Mangalore, November 15: There are some people who search far and wide for success. And there are a few who believe in themselves strongly. They stay where they are and create a world of success around themselves. N Vinaya Hegde, Chancellor of Nitte Deemed University and Chairman of Lamina Group of Companies, obviously belongs to the latter category.
To have a better understanding of this well dressed, soft-spoken, cherubic man, it is essential to go back to his earlier days. Born on 3rd April 1939, Vinaya Hegde is the second son of Justice K. S. Hegde and Meenakshi Hegde. His father Justice K.S. Hegde, a respected judge of Supreme Court and also the speaker of Lok Sabha has perhaps left an indelible impression on his mind.
Hegde had his early education at St. Aloysius College, Mangalore and topped it with a B.Sc degree from St. Joseph’s College, Bangalore. Then after a stint at Canara Workshops Ltd., Hegde was all set to plunge into the world of entrepreneurship. In 1975 Hegde’s dreams took shape in the form of his flagship enterprise Lamina Suspension Products Ltd. With tremendous zeal coupled with hard work and inspired team effort, he systematically built - almost from scratch - two organisations, one an industrial enterprise and the other an educational organisation, both of which have become symbols of what one man with conviction can achieve in one’s own lifetime. Well-read and widely travelled, Vinay Hegde is happily marred to Sujata. They have two children, daughter Ashwita R. Punja and son Vishal, who has faithfully followed his father’s footsteps, assisting him in business.
Even now at the age of 70, when most men contemplate retirement, Hegde continues to be a busy man, always bubbling with enthusiasm. From his plush office on the eighth floor of Ram Bhavan Complex in the city, he presides over the empire he has carefully created, guiding its destiny with effortless ease. Under his flagship comes the Lamina group of companies, manufacturing automotive components, which account for a turnover of over Rs. 100 crores and employ more than 2,000 people. The group has an export turnover in excess of Rs. 70 crores to countries like Germany, USA, UK, Korea, Finland, Belgium and others.
Even as he was engaged in building his industrial enterprises, Hegde also found time to actualise yet another long cherished desire - to contribute to society through education. Thus in 1979, Nitte Education Trust was established. Over the next 25 years it has grown into the largest educational organisation of D. K. Today the trust has under its umbrella a string of twenty two institutions covering the entire educational spectrum - from schools to preuniversity and first grade colleges to polytechnic to professional colleges like engineering, medical, dental, pharmaceutical, nursing and hotel management spread over three campuses: Nitte, Mangalore and Bangalore. There are more than 8000 students studying in these institutions, which employ more than 1000 people.
The Nitte University was established in June 2008 with A B Shetty Memorial Institute of Dental Sciences as its first constituent college. From April 2009, four more Institutions of Nitte Education Trust have come under the ambit of the Nitte University. The 5 constituent colleges under Nitte University: A B Shetty Memorial Institute of Dental Sciences, KS Hegde Medical Academy, Nitte Gulabi Shetty Memorial Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Nitte Usha Institute of Nursing Sciences and Nitte Institute of Physiotherapy
And unlike many other lesser success stories, in Vinay Hegde’s case, success has only brought out the best in the man. Not one to rest on his laurels, he has used his wealth for social good. Taking a great interest in rural development, he has been personally supervising several rural uplift projects. These include running 14 rural hospitals, financial support to poor students and projects for women’s empowerment.
Among Hegde’s greatest qualities, is his humility. You will never hear him trumpeting his own achievements. On the other hand he is keen to listen to what you have to say and accommodate your ideas into his grand vision. As a result of this team building ability, he has been able to attract a great many talents to work with him in creating wealth for the community.
Honours that have come his way are many, including the Udyoga Pathra Award from Institute of Trade and Industrial Development, New Delhi (1980); Kanara Chamber of Commerce & Industry A ward (1999); Outstanding Manager of D. K. & Udupi districts Award (1999) and the Best Public Relations Person Award (2001). He was even presented with an Honorary Doctorate by the Mangalore University during its convocation held early this year.
As the Chancellor of Nitte University, his responsibility in carrying forward the torch of education and enlightenment has increased further. Today, N Vinaya Hegde stands as one of the leading edupreneurs of the region.