New Delhi: Indian Institute of Technology in Delhi (IIT-Delhi) has stepped up an effort to garner $1 billion dollar over the next six years as endowments from industry and alumni including Sachin Bansal.The endowment fund will be announced on 31 October, two days ahead of its Golden Jubilee convocation ceremony on 2 November.

IIT-Delhi director V Ramgopal Rao has already had a meeting with Bansal, investment firm Westbridge Capital’s managing director Sandeep Singhal, founder of IvyCap Ventures Vikram Gupta and Gautam Kumra managing partner of India of McKinsey among others. Gupta is leading the fund raise campaign for IIT-Delhi.

“Watch out for a big announcement soon. The list is evolving," Rao told Mint. A professor at IIT-Delhi said that the initial announcement of the endowment fund will be between 175 crore to 225 crore.. The fund will grow gradually with help from industry leaders and alumni who are now in senior management positions at companies in India and abroad. “US, and UK are two key destinations for us as thousands of our alumni are based there. Just not money but we are open to accepting company shares where alumni are founders or co-founders as well which will grow with time" the professor said requesting anonymity. “Initially, we were planning for a Rs1000 crore fund but after talking to various past students, investment bankers, we thought to have a bigger ambition for 2025".

The professor said the initial endowment amount and commitments are being collected from around two dozen alumni who are committing between 5 crore and 30 crore each. To be sure, a 225 crore endowment fund to begin with will not be tough for IIT-Delhi. Already its sponsored research and consultancy projects earn them over 350 crore of external funding each year for the last few years. Though this is different from an endowment fund, it indicates the institutions ability to raise funds from external sources.

Endowment funds are a big source of income for top global universities who use a portion of it for development work and students scholarship. For example, Harvard University has an endowment corpus of over $39 billion and Stanford has an endowment corpus of $27.7 billion.

IIT-Delhi has been talking about building an endowment fund for past couple of years and more rigorously after it was awarded the institution of eminence tag in 2018. An endowment fund will give the IIT more financial freedom in designing its research projects and centers of excellence, hiring needed scholars and students financial help systems. IIT-Delhi is hoping to spend 2,500 crore on research activities over a five year period and the money for this will come from both external sources and the 1000 crore government commitment to it as part of the IoE status it got last year.

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