10 Things You Didn’t Know About ‘Ananda Krishnan’

T. Ananda Krishnan, a renowned tycoon from Malaysia, holds numerous stakes in diverse business ventures. From media and satellites to the energy sectors, he has carved a unique name for himself. Despite being one of the wealthiest individuals in Asia, not much is known about him. Staying tight-lipped about his business strategies, he firmly believes in leading a guarded and private life. However, there are several unique aspects about him that are worth knowing. Let’s dive in and explore 10 things you probably didn’t know about Ananda Krishnan.

1. Origins and Early Life

Born in Brickfields, Kuala Lumpur, in 1938, Ananda Krishnan’s beginnings were humble. His family belonged to the Tamil community that had migrated from Sri Lanka to Malaysia. His father was a civil servant in the Malaysian government.

Despite these humble beginnings, Krishnan showed a flair for business from an early age. Given his admittance to the prestigious Victoria Institution, it was clear that he was destined for great accomplishments. Combining his innate skills with an exemplary education, he started displaying an entrepreneurial streak that would later catapult him to immense success.

2. Education

Krishnan is a highly educated individual. He secured a scholarship to study at the esteemed Melbourne University, where he majored in political science. After completing his undergraduate studies, he won another scholarship – this time, from the prestigious Harvard Business School.

At Harvard, he enrolled in the MBA program, setting him apart as one of the only Asian tycoons with such a qualification. This business-oriented education played a significant role in shaping his future, equipping him with the tools he needed to build his diversified business empire.

3. Oil Business Endeavor

Before venturing into telecom, Krishnan started his career in the oil trading business. He founded an oil trading company, Exoil Trading, in the 1970s, which liaised with the state-owned Petronas and was instrumental in shaping Malaysia’s oil industry.

Despite the significant challenges in this fiercely competitive industry, Krishnan excelled by leveraging his strategic thinking and business acumen. The success of Exoil Trading marked the first major step in Krishnan’s journey to becoming a billionaire.

4. A Titan in the Telecom Industry

Krishnan’s true breakthrough came with his ventures in the telecom industry. His investment in Maxis Communications, and particularly its subsidiary Aircel, paved the way for his substantial wealth accumulation.

His foresight in investing in an industry that was about to explode was impeccable. Today, Maxis is one of the leading telecom companies in Malaysia, serving millions of customers and contributing significantly to the country’s telecom infrastructure.

5. Modest and Private Lifestyle

Despite his immense wealth, Ananda Krishnan leads a modest and largely private life. Unlike many billionaires who are public figures, Krishnan prefers to stay out of the public eye. He’s known for refusing interviews and maintaining a low profile.

This humility and simplicity extends to his personal life as well. Although the owner of luxurious properties, he is known to lead a simple lifestyle, reinforcing the narrative that money doesn’t always change one’s character or values.

6. Philanthropic Endeavours

Krishnan is not just an entrepreneur, but a notable philanthropist as well. His contributions to education and social causes have been substantial. Through the AK Foundation, he’s funded various educational and aid programs, showcasing his commitment to societal progress.

His philanthropic endeavors span across sectors such as healthcare, education, and disaster relief. These contributions highlight Krishnan’s deep-rooted belief in giving back to society.

7. Sports Enthusiast

Krishnan is a sports enthusiast, particularly interested in horse racing. He owns several racehorses and has been associated with some significant winnings on the track. His love for sports extends beyond just participation – he also owns a stake in the sports channel network, ESPN Star Sports.

His interest in sports shows that there’s more to Krishnan’s life than just business. It embodies his belief in a balanced lifestyle and his passion for pursuing interests outside of his work.

8. Media Ventures

Krishnan also has significant investments in the media industry. He owns stakes in Astro All Asia Networks, a leading satellite television and radio network in Southeast Asia. He also owns a stake in Johnston Press plc, a UK-based multimedia company.

His media ventures serve to diversify his portfolio and showcase his skills in identifying and capitalizing on profitable investments across various industries.

9. Legal Battles

Krishnan has not been immune to the controversy that often surrounds such vast wealth. He has faced allegations of corruption and legal battles in India, related to irregularities in the granting of telecom licenses to his company, Aircel.

Though these battles have tarnished his image somewhat, he has mostly managed to come out unscathed, showcasing his resilience and steadfast determination.

10. The 2nd Richest Man in Malaysia

Ananda Krishnan is currently ranked as the second-richest man in Malaysia, with an estimated net worth of $7 billion, according to Forbes. His story relates a tale of a man who, despite his humble beginnings, made it to the top through diligence, strategic decision-making, and a knack for identifying potential growth sectors.

Despite his immense wealth, Krishnan has remained grounded, living a simple life, and extending significant contributions towards philanthropic activities.

Useful Links:

Ananda Krishnan’s Forbes Profile

Ananda Krishnan’s Bloomberg Profile

Astro All Asia Networks

Maxis Communications