Hari and Madhu Varshney are devoted community leaders whose lives are characterized by generous spirits and dedication to philanthropy. The University is honoured to recognize their leadership and support, which made the Robert H. Lee Alumni Centre possible.
A well-known philanthropist and venture capitalist, Hari was born in Kazimabad, a small village in India. He excelled in school and became a lecturer at Agra University, where he also received Bachelor and Master of Commerce degrees. He came to UBC in 1967 on an M.B.A. program scholarship- a move that would prove life changing.
While in the M.B.A. program, Hari was hired by Arthur Andersen, where he earned his Chartered Accountant designation. He worked there until 1982, after which he started his own practice. He subsequently established Varshney Capital Corporation, a merchant banking and venture capital firm, where he serves as President, in partnership with his two sons. Varshney capital has contributed significantly to the economy of, and investment in, British Columbia, particularly in resource and technology. Hari has received many awards, including the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal and the Order of British Columbia.
Madhu was born in Sarai Tarin, India. She also attended Agra University, completing a Bachelor’s degree in Literature and two Masters’ degrees, one in Economics and the other in Hindi literature. She is an award-winning writer and poet.
Hari and Madhu have contributed their time, talents and financial support to many organizations, including UNICEF, St. Paul’s Hospital Foundation and BC Children’s Hospital Foundation. Over the past 20 years, their community support raised more than $1 million for local children’s charities through the Varshney Capital Corp. Charity Golf Classic.
UBC has also remained close to their hearts. All three of their children graduated from UBC- Praveen (B.Com. 1987), Peeyush (B.Com. 1989, LL.B. 1993), Vandana (B.Com.1994) – and Hari and Madhu have been leading supporters of the Sauder School of Business, the Centre for India and South Asia Research, and the Hari and Madhu Varshney Lecture Series.
In 2006, UBC established the Hari B. Varshney Business Career Centre in recognition of the family’s leadership support. Hari also served as a cabinet member for UBC’s $1.5 billion start an evolution campaign- the most ambitious fundraising and alumni engagement campaign in Canadian history.
“My education and experiences here have afforded me exceptional opportunities. I’ve had a fantastic career. I feel it is a privilege and an honour to be able to give back to my community and country, and to help future generations of students pursue and embrace new opportunities for their careers in business.” – Hari Varshney