Ranjan and Chandrika Tandon

NET WORTH: Unknown

SOURCE OF WEALTH: Libra Advisors

FUNDING AREAS: Education, Arts (Music), Indian Causes & Global Development

OVERVIEW: Ranjon Tandon and his wife Chandrika Krishnamurthy Tandon move their philanthropy through the Krishnamurthy Tandon Foundation. The couple has given big gifts in higher education, including a recent $100 million gift to support engineering at NYU. They've also supported the arts, where Chandrika, a musician, takes the lead. The couple also gives grants that support wellness and spirituality, global development, and the Indian community. The foundation does not accept unsolicited proposals.

BACKGROUND: Ranjan Tandon graduated from the Indian Institute of Technology with a degree in chemical engineering. He also received a degree from Harvard Business School. Tandon held several manufacturing and operations positions with DCM in India and Halliburton in Europe. He was CFO of Intermarine in Texas, and worked for Merrill Lynch before founding Libra Advisors, a hedge fund, in 1990.


EDUCATION: Tandon and his wife Chandrika have given several large gifts to universities. In late 2015, the Tandons gave $100 million to New York University's Polytechnic School of Engineering, renaming the school the NYU Tandon School of Engineering. Chandrika is a member of the board of overseers of NYU’s business school, an NYU trustee, and leads the NYU President’s Global Council. The donation is believed to be the largest philanthropic gift by a member of the Indian-American community. The Tandons have also strongly supported Yale University, from where the couple's daughter graduated. Through their family foundation, the Tandons gave $1.5 million to Yale in a recent fiscal year.

The couple has also supported places like Madras Christian College in India, Oxford Center for Hindu Studies and Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad Alumni Association. An important part of the Tandons' philanthropy is supporting Indian outfits. Back stateside, though, they've funded Brearley School, Teach for America, Teach for All and Berklee College of Music.

ARTS (MUSIC): Chandrika Tandon was once a partner at McKinsey & Associates, and currently chairs Tandon Capital Associates. In addition to much success in the finance world, Chandrika also is an acclaimed musician and composer. She was nominated for a Grammy, and has performed in major venues including Lincoln Center. The Tandons' grantmaking through their foundation reflects this interest area. Grantees have included Indo-American Arts Council, a "nonprofit cultural organization that promotes Indian theater, art, film, fashion, music, dance and literature," Jiva Performing Arts, the Smithsonian Institution, and World Music Institute. It's worth noting that Chandrika has performed at Smithsonian in conjunction with the museum's first yoga art museum.

INDIAN CAUSES & GLOBAL DEVELOPMENT:  Recent grantees have included Hindu American Foundation, One Small House, which "builds homes and community buildings for the poorest families by bringing together determined volunteers and generous donors," South Asian Youth Action, Arsha Vidya Gurukulam, "an institute for the traditional study of Advaita Vedanta, Sanskrit, Yoga, Ayurveda, astrology, and other classical Indian disciplines," Staten Island Hindu Temple, and AIM (All India Movement) for Seva. 

LOOKING FORWARD: Expect this couple to stay laser-focused on its interest areas in higher education, the arts, and the Indian community.