Shalabh Kumar

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Shalli Kumar
Born (1948-12-24) 24 December 1948 (age 69)
Ambala, India
Alma materPanjab University
Punjab Engineering College
Illinois Institute of Technology
OccupationChair of AVG Advanced Technologies[1]
Political partyRepublican

Shalabh "Shalli" Kumar (Hindi: शलभ कुमार) (born 24 December 1948) is a Chicago-based Indian-American industrialist.

Early and personal life[edit]

Kumar was born in Ambala, in the state of Haryana, India,[2][3] and graduated from Punjab Engineering College, Chandigarh[4] with a BS in electronics engineering in 1969. He immigrated to the United States when he was 20, attending the Illinois Institute of Technology[3] for his Master's.

Kumar's son, Vikram Kumar, married England-born 2007 Miss Earth India Pooja Chitgopekar. Their wedding took place in January 2011 in New Zealand, where Pooja Chitgopekar was living with her Indian immigrant parents.[5] It featured 9 helicopters forming a groom's party also called a "Barat" in the Hindu wedding tradition, and music lasting three days featuring Daler Mehndi, RDB Rhythm Dhol Bass of Canada and UK, and Signature (dance group) from UK of Britain's Got Talent fame.

Career[edit]

In 1975 he founded the AVG Group of Companies, which designs and manufactures electronic components and products used in variety of industries such as automation and telecommunications. With headquarters in Chicago, AVG Group has operations all over the world.[3] Life Made Ezee Technologies, Pvt. Ltd. is a division of AVG Group that provides home automation solutions in India, and is based in Bangalore, India. All these products are manufactured in USA and sold worldwide.

Additionally, Kumar has served as president or CEO of Circuit International Incorporated, Microfast Controls Corporation, Electronic Support Systems, PEC Reliance, Lika Tandy Corporation, Mc Technologies, and Hi-Tech Systems Corporation. Kumar has also been employed with Nanofast Incorporated and National Controls Corporation.[6]

Political angling[edit]

Right after Bin Laden was found hiding in Pakistan, during 2011 and 2012, Kumar became an active citizen lobbyist on Capitol Hill to support Texas Congressman Ted Poe's bill to cut off foreign aid to Pakistan.[citation needed] The Bill passed in August 2012.

National Indian American Public Policy Institute (NIAPPI)[edit]

Subsequently, Kumar founded the National Indian American Public Policy Institute (NIAPPI),[citation needed] a think tank focusing on issues relevant to Indian Americans. In 2013, NIAPPI and Kumar took Chairwoman of House Republican Conference Cathy McMorris Rodgers, Congressman Aaron Schock, and Congresswoman Cynthia Lummis to visit the then-Chief Minister of the Indian state of Gujarat and future Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and invite him to the United States. This Congressional visit, which came at a time where Modi was banned from entering the United States, ended his isolation from U.S. lawmakers and helped Modi establish relationships with US lawmakers.[citation needed]

TV media[7][8][9][10] at that time characterized this visit as a boost to propel Modi as the front runner for the post of Prime Minister of India. Working with Congressman Pete Sessions, Chairman of the Rules Committee of the US Congress, Kumar has sought to recruit Indian-Americans Republicans to run for Congress.[11] The Sessions/Kumar project resulted in two Indian Americans running as Republican candidates in the 2014 elections.

In 2014, Kumar worked with the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) to encourage Indian Americans to run for office and get involved politically.[citation needed] He was also named Chairman of the Indian American Advisory Council for the House Republican Conference.[12]

Kumar has organized meetings between American and Indian politicians,[13] He has described Modi as his idol.[12] The Hindustan Times has pronounced Kumar as the Punjabi Tycoon, the biggest supporter of Modi in US.[citation needed]

Kumar and Newt Gingrich, former speaker of the House, worked together closely in the early eighties and from 2011 onward. Kumar ran the Gingrich Presidential Campaign in Scott County, Iowa in 2012.

Donald Trump's 2016 Presidential campaign[edit]

In July 2016, Kumar became a public supporter of the Republican candidate Donald Trump's candidacy in the 2016 Presidential Election, emerging as one of the biggest donors. Kumar cited Trump's stance on Pakistan and Muslims, namely Trump's plan to profile Muslims.[13] Kumar also lauded Newt Gingrich's calls for increased scrutiny of American Muslims and increased surveillance against mosques in the United States. The Hill quoted Kumar specifically as saying: "The policy setting is that we need to have a lot of scrutiny. I totally agree with [former Speaker] Newt Gingrich [R-Ga.]: Mosques should be monitored completely, vetting should be taking place. ... I am totally for profiling. If you need to profile, what is the fuss?"[13]

The RHC created three television ads, which were aired on Indian networks in the final three weeks of the presidential campaign. The RHC also executed a direct mail campaign, targeting Hindu American voters in Florida, Ohio, and North Carolina. RHC volunteers placed yard signs throughout the I-4 corridor in Florida and mounted a GOTV effort.

Shalabh Kumar, in his capacity as chairman of Indian American Advisory Council of Trump, created the 'Ab ki Baar Trump Sarkar' campaign which went viral instantly gathering over 2 million views in the first week. Shalabh Kumar became a sensation overnight on social media and TV & print media. He ran multiple digital ad campaigns in favour of Trump through video & social content targeting Indian-Americans and undecided voters in the battleground states.

In the final three days of the campaign, the RHC made a large digital buy to target undecided Non-Hindu 8 million voters in Florida, North Carolina, Wisconsin, Ohio, Michigan, and Pennsylvania.

Trump $ 10 million Hindu campaign[edit]

In August 2016, Kumar was named Chairman of the Indian Advisory Board for the Trump campaign. In this capacity, he designed the "Abki bar Trump Sarkar" ("This time, Trump government") campaign to sway Hindu/Indian voters. Borrowing the slogan popularized by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his 2014 campaign, the campaign ran an ad featuring Donald Trump speaking in Hindi and stating his love of India and Hindu people.

They ran a last minute campaign for digital buy with 10 million non-skippable YouTube Ads to target 8 million undecided non-Hindu voters in 6 swing states.[citation needed] Over 500 Print, TV and Online news articles saturated media in a short period of 3 weeks.[citation needed] The viral digital campaign, mass TV campaign and mass mailers touched over 96% of all Hindu American voters.[citation needed] In addition to paid media, earned media is estimated to be over 5 million dollars.[citation needed]

As a minority Trump supporter, Kumar served as a campaign surrogate,[citation needed] appearing on national television shows, including Fox Business, as well as in more than 200 national print and online profiles. He also advocated for Trump in three hour-long debates on Indian television which were broadcast in the US.[citation needed]

Kumar and his family members personally donated over $1.5 million to Trump.[14] In addition, Kumar bundled $150,000 in political donations to the Trump campaign. Many of these donations came from Indian Americans who had never before donated to political campaigns. Coupled with the RHC concert, the Kumar family spent over $4 million in the Trump campaign.[15]

Shalabh Kumar is also a part of Trump-Pence Asian Pacific American Advisory Committee (APAAC)[citation needed] and the National Committee of Asian American Republicans[citation needed] that feature several other top Indian—Americans on its leadership team,[citation needed] including PuneetAhuwalia from Virginia, K V Kumar from California and Harry Walia from Florida.[citation needed] This committee is responsible for organizing "Asian Pacific American Presidential Inaugural Gala 2017". It is confirmed that several Bollywood stars are scheduled to perform at the inauguration ceremony of Donald Trump, after he is sworn-in as the 45th president of the United States of America on 20 January. On 5 January, Kumar made a cameo appearance in Washington to attend a farewell party hosted by the Indian Ambassador to the United States NavtejSarna at his Cleveland Park mansion for the outgoing Deputy Chief of Mission Taranjit Singh Sandhu.[citation needed] In his brief speech Kumar praised Sandhu, who is leaving for Colombo to take charge as the Indian High Commissioner to Sri Lanka.

References[edit]

  1. ^ https://www.bloomberg.com/research/stocks/private/snapshot.asp?privcapid=4281315
  2. ^ https://www.scoopwhoop.com/Meet-Shalabh-Kumar-IndianAmerican-Tycoon-Who-Is-One-Of-Donald-Trumps-Biggest-Donors/#.pcmhtyi3w
  3. ^ a b c Raj, Yashwant (2 August 2013). "Punjabi tycoon is Modi's top backer in US". Hindustan Times. Retrieved 26 February 2014.
  4. ^ "Shalabh Kumar: Innovating his way to outstanding entrepreneurial success". NRIToday. Archived from the original on 4 July 2016. Retrieved 26 February 2014.
  5. ^ Morton, Frances (9 January 2011). "Wedding Bill Heads for $10m". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 26 February 2014.
  6. ^ "Executive Profile Shalabh Kumar". Bloomberg Businessweek. Retrieved 26 February 2014.
  7. ^ Kumar, Ajit (24 September 2013). "Indian Americans can help India turn into a manufacturing powerhouse: Shalabh Kumar". Zee News. Retrieved 24 September 2014.
  8. ^ PTI (28 March 2013). "US delegation meets Narendra Modi". Deccan Chronicle. Retrieved 28 March 2013.
  9. ^ 24, News (29 March 2013). "NRI Shalabh Kumar sponsored US delegation that met Modi". News 24 Online. Retrieved 29 March 2013.
  10. ^ PTI, TOI (28 March 2013). "US delegation of parliamentarians, businessmen meet Modi". Times of India. Retrieved 28 March 2013.
  11. ^ PTI (30 July 2013). "Republicans to field 10 Indian-Americans in 2014 elections". The Economic Times. Retrieved 26 February 2014.
  12. ^ a b Marinucci, Carla (27 January 2014). "Indian PAC founder behind new candidate for Honda seat". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 26 February 2014.
  13. ^ a b c Lakshman, Narayan (15 July 2013). "After Modi, Rajnath now a cash-cow for Chicago businessman?". The Hindu. Retrieved 26 February 2014.
  14. ^ http://thehill.com/homenews/campaign/288377-hindu-american-emerges-as-trump-mega-donor
  15. ^ http://www.businessinsider.in/Meet-Shalabh-Kumar-the-Indian-American-who-is-donating-nearly-900000-to-Donald-Trumps-campaign/articleshow/53338201.cms
  16. ^ "Shalabh Kumar AIF Honoree of 2014". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2 December 2014.