Vijay Eswaran, controlling shareholder of Sri Lanka blue chip Asia Capital, won the Lifetime Regional Philanthropy award, given by former Prime Minister of Malaysia, Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi last week. The Award was given at the third World Chinese Economic Forum held on 3 and 4 November at the Palace of the Golden Horses, in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Vijay Eswaran was only one of the two non-Chinese individuals to have been honoured with the lifetime achievement award at this event, among a total of 12 recipients that included prominent individuals of Chinese origin from the Asia Pacific region.
A renowned Entrepreneur, bestselling author and a well-known speaker Vijay Eswaran was featured amongst the top 48 philanthropists in Forbes Asia’s annual list of Heroes of Philanthropy in the region, earlier this year. As part of his growing QI Group of companies, he has established the RYTHM foundation, registered in Hong Kong, that channels CSR activities of the QI Group around the world. In Sri Lanka, Vijay Eswaran has been actively involved in the Foundation of Goodness (FOG), an organisation that aims to narrow the gap between urban and rural life.
In 2007 he donated the only paediatric laparoscopy machine in Sri Lanka to the Lady Ridgeway Hospital.
His foundation also set up a team of volunteers to distribute relief material and over $5 million during the Tsunami rehabilitation efforts. Most recently, his Foundation was involved with Sri Lanka Unites (SLU), a youth organisation, to bring relief to school children affected by the recent floods that wreaked havoc in the Eastern, North Central and North Eastern regions of Sri Lanka. He has also established a Malaysian chapter, Vijayaratnam Foundation, in honour of his philanthropist father that works on numerous initiatives in Malaysia towards youth and women empowerment, promotion of arts and culture, education and environmental protection.
Eswaran attributes his philanthropic activities to his upbringing, coming from a family where philanthropy was a way of life. His father, who passed away just a week before he received the award, was an important influence in that arena.
The World Chinese Economic Forum (WCEF) organised by leading think tank Asian Strategy and Leadership Institute, focuses on the emergence of the Global Chinese economic power, which is not only from China but also from the Chinese Diaspora worldwide. The theme for this year’ was “Linking East and West in a Globalised World.”
The third WCEF brought together prominent role-players from 25 countries and delegates from 31 countries along with top industrial players including policy makers, NGO’s, political leaders and the general public. It was supported by leading organisations that included the Chinese Professional and Business Association in Australia, The China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT), China Development Institute (CDI), China Association of Mayors, Chamber of Commerce for Import and Export of Machinery and Electronic Products.