Indian-American donates $5 mn to University of Chicago


Houston: An Indian-American businessman has donated a whopping $ 5 million to the University of Chicago to help aspiring entrepreneurs in their pursuit of innovation.
Rattan L. Khosa, 79, gifted the amount to the varsity to launch a student entrepreneurs’ program after his name at the Polsky Center.
“The day I wrote the check for this new program, I sat down, closed my eyes, and thought about my first day in this country and how little I had,” he said.
“I’m extremely humbled and equally grateful to be able to give back and help support the next generation of Booth entrepreneurs,” he told PTI.
Khosa, a Kashmiri who came to the US in 70’s and secured a research fellowship from the University of Maryland, had just $3 in his pocket when he joined the varsity.
He started his company AMSYSCO in 1981 from the basement of his home. After nearly four decades, Khosa has grown it into a highly profitable venture that provides post-tensioning systems on commercial structures and occupies a 55,000 square foot facility.
“Starting a business from a scratch is like jumping off a cliff in the middle of the night while blindfolded, hoping that there is a safety net down below,” Khosa said.
“I know from personal experience that everyone needs help at some point in their lives. No one has succeeded on their own,” he said.
When more than 80 per cent of companies fail within the first year – even those with ample funding – it’s clear that there is much more to a startup’s success than just money, Khosa said.
“I don’t simply want to provide the money for this new program, I plan to serve as a thought leader, mentor and guide for these aspiring entrepreneurs, so that my years of experience, my struggles and my successes may serve as an additional resource to help them succeed,” he said.
“Rattan’s leadership, generosity, and success will serve as an inspirational example to our most promising entrepreneurial students,” said Madhav Rajan, Chicago Booth Dean and George Pratt Shultz Professor of Accounting.
He said the “transformational commitment” will greatly support the school’s mission to influence and educate current and future leaders.
“His new gift will enhance Booth’s reputation as the destination for aspiring entrepreneurs,” said Starr Marcello, executive director of the Polsky Center and adjunct assistant professor of entrepreneurship at Chicago Booth.