About Tej Kohli

Who is Tej Kohli?

Tej Kohli is the creator of the #TejTalks universe of blogs and social content and is also the author of ‘Rebuilding You: The Philanthropy Handbook’ which has been serialised on Substack. Tej Kohli is best known for his mission to combat poverty blindness as the founder of the Tej Kohli Foundation and co-founder of the Tej Kohli & Ruit Foundation.

How did Tej Kohli make his money?

In the late 1990s, Tej Kohli started the first of what would grow to become a conglomeration of companies specialising in high-risk online payments and associated technologies and services. In 2006 he stood down as CEO and began selling the companies in a series of high-value trade sales culminating in the eventual sale of the holding company. This major liquidity event placed Tej Kohli on a new path as an investor and philanthropist.

Where did Tej Kohli study?

Tej Kohli studied at the Indian Institute of Technology from 1976 to 1980 where he obtained a degree in Electrical Engineering . In 2018 Mr Kohli was granted the Distinguished Alumnus Award from IIT Kanpur in recognition of his achievements at the Tej Kohli Foundation.

What companies does Tej Kohli own?

Since the major liquidity events of the early 2000’s when Tej Kohli sold his companies, he has primarily invested in technology companies through third-party funds, including a $100m investment into the Rewired fund.

Since 2010 Tej Kohli has also transacted the acquisition, turnaround, and sale of companies through his Kohli Ventures investment vehicle, which makes control-orientated investments in the fields of AI, robotics, biotechnology, e-commerce, and esports.

Companies currently in the Kohli Ventures portfolio include Dynacart Holdings, a global portfolio of highly successful e-commerce websites; and Detraxi, which owns the IP of revolutionary new biotechnology that is currently being deployed for medical diagnostics.

What is Tej Kohli’s charity?

Since 2005 Tej Kohli has been at the helm of a variety of philanthropic and charitable projects with a focus on young people and on blindness. The most longstanding project falls under the umbrella of the Tej Kohli Foundation but dates back to 2005. It feeds hundreds of underprivileged children in South America. Tej Kohli’s Tej Kohli Cornea Institute was a hospital in India that cured 42,255 during its operation from 2015 to 2019.

By far the biggest charity affiliated with Tej Kohli is the Tej Kohli & Ruit Foundation. In 2021 the charity screened 92,487 patients and completed 9,854 surgeries to cure blindness and severe visual impairment across 37 outreach camps in the developing world. The Tej Kohli & Ruit Foundation hopes to cure 300,000 to 500,000 cataracts blindness by 2026.

How does Tej Kohli’s charity help children?

Projects of the Tej Kohli Foundation have transformed thousands of lives all over the world and have had a profound impact on younger people. In South America, Funda Kohli canteens have fed hundreds of children before and after school every day since 2005. In the United Kingdom, the Tej Kohli Foundation has provided limb-different children with state-of-the-art bionic limbs since 2019. In India, the Tej Kohli Cornea Institute has cured hundreds of children of blindness and visual impairment caused by corneal deficiencies since 2015. In Southern Asia, the Tej Kohli & Ruit Foundation is treating children with congenital cataracts and has committed to curing at least 1,000 children by 2026.

Why did Tej Kohli choose to fight blindness?

Tej Kohli first encountered the problem of ‘poverty blindness’ after being invited to fund corneal transplants in India. Upon seeing a patient have his blindness cured in a single operation, Tej Kohli decided that he would use his accumulated wealth and expertise to fight this needless and avoidable blindness. Over a decade later, needless blindness remains a major contributor to extreme poverty and gender inequality worldwide, and Tej Kohli is as motivated as ever to lead the charge for a coordinated global effort to end it forever.

What does Tej Kohli invest in?

The majority of Tej Kohli’s contemporary success arises from an investment philosophy of ‘getting in early’ on the latest new trends.

In 2006 he founded Zibel Real Estate. The privately held real estate portfolio is 100% owned by Tej Kohli and has grown substantially thanks to early real estate investments in emerging technology hubs and micro-locations, with a strong focus on Berlin and Dubai.

Tej Kohli also invested in conventional stock market investments as well as a raft of pre-IPO companies. At present, his holdings in pre-IPO companies include stakes in SpaceX and in the back catalogue of Michael Jackson. Tej Kohli was also a very early cryptocurrency investor and has consistently grown his holdings over a number of years.

With the ‘getting in early mindset, Tej Kohli also invested into esports through his company Rewired. He has invested heavily into the leading French esports team Vitality. Vitality have gone on to win several tournaments and are in the top 3 esports teams in Europe.

How much did Tej Kohli invest in esports?

In 2018 Tej Kohli became one of Europe’s largest individual esports investors through a €50m investment into the esports fund of the Rewired. Rewired owns Europe’s only esports ‘superteam’ which has become famous on the global esports stage as the team of choice for blue-chip sponsors seeking to engage with younger generations in a meaningful way. The value of esports teams is rising quickly, with teams such as FaZe now worth $1 billion.

How does Tej Kohli invest in AI?

Tej Kohli is a technologist who believes that AI will transform every aspect of human life and pervade every segment of economic activity. In 2019 he predicted that the global AI economy will one day be worth $150 trillion. Tej Kohli’s investments in AI are primarily transacted through the Switzerland-based Rewired investment fund.

In addition to this, Mr Kohli has been outspoken on his passion for AI and how it can improve human life. In an interview in 2019, he discussed how it is inevitable that AI is going to be a large part of our lives and he believes that it is for the greater good.

How does Tej Kohli invest in CRISPR?

Through his Kohli Ventures investment vehicle, Tej Kohli owns a portfolio of intellectual property assets focused on biotechnology and regenerative medicine. In 2021 Tej Kohli wrote in CityAM about his desire to invest in the ‘second wave’ of CRISPR technologies.

Why does Tej Kohli appear in the media?

Tej Kohli recognises the importance of building partnerships and coalitions when operating large-scale grassroots projects such as the Tej Kohli & Ruit Foundation. This necessitates the sharing of regular stories on social media and very occasionally in the mainstream media in order to create new connections with experts and to surface opportunities with partners.

Some of the places where Tej Kohli has been featured include Forbes, Business Insider, City AM, Evening Standard, Financial Times, Associated Press, AutoCar, Spears, Mail Online, Al Jazeera, and The Telegraph.

What is Tej Kohli’s book about?

Rebuilding You: The Philanthropy Handbook’ is available on Amazon and Substack and charts Tej Kohli’s own journey to becoming a philanthropist. The book is organised into a collection of lessons across ten chapters that Tej Kohli says will help aspiring philanthropists avoid common mistakes and maximize their own impact.

Why does Tej Kohli write #TejTalks?

#TejTalks is an outlet for Tej Kohli to share thoughts, ideas, and stories. It is a ‘blog without a home’ that exists across a variety of platforms and websites including CityAMThe World Economic ForumThe Motley FoolMedium, and Project Syndicate. Tej Kohli also shares #TejTalks thoughts on Twitter as @MrTejKohli and on Instagram as @MrTejKohli where he regularly shares photos with his 17,000 followers.