Tatparanandam Ananda Krishnan (is a Malaysian businessman and philanthropist. Nicknamed TAK, he is currently estimated to have a net worth of US$6.0 billion according to Forbes' latest annual list of billionaires, making him the third wealthiest man in Southeast Asia behind Robert Kuok and Ng Teng Fong..
Ananda Krishnan hates public exposure and is known to maintain a very low profile for a person of his stature. However, his hugely successful business activities always thrust him into the limelight and his name represents a huge business empire.
He was born in 1938 in Brickfields, Kuala Lumpur's "Little India" to a Tamil immigrant family from Sri Lanka and is of Sri Lankan Tamil descent (Ceylonese/Jaffnese).Ananda Krishnan studied at Vivekananda Tamil School in Kuala Lumpur and furthered his studies at Victoria Instituition, Kuala Lumpur. Later, he attended University of Melbourne, Australia for his B.A. (Honours) degree majoring in political science. Following that, Krishnan obtained a Masters in Business Administration at Harvard University, graduating in 1964.
Ananda Krishnan’s first entrepreneurial venture was in oil trading, setting up Exoil Trading, which went on to purchase oil drilling concessions in various countries. Later he moved into gambling (in Malaysia), stud farming (in Australia) and running a Hollywood cartoon studio. Soon, he diversified into a host of other business opportunities. In the early part of the 1990s, he started diversifying, in a big way, into the multimedia arena.
Currently, he has business interests in entertainment (Astro), space(MEASAT) , oil, power, shipping, telecommunications (Maxis, Aircel), property and gaming (Pan Pools Malaysia). His companies operate in a most parts of the South East Asia. A quarter of his wealth comes from the gambling business (lottery, horse-racing wagering). He is also said to be behind the world's largest indoor Water Park in Tropical Islands,Germany with former Genting Group executive Colin Au .He is also pondering an online lottery venture in Russia.
Said to have an extraordinary entrepreneurial flair and far sighted, it was Ananda who sold former Malaysian Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad on the idea of the 88-storey Petronas Twin Towers, the world's second tallest building, which stake he has now sold off.
Fortune magazine, in a 2001 article, called him "Kuala Lumpur's Mr Big".
He first came to prominence by helping to organize the Live Aid concert with Bob Geldof in the mid-1980s. In the early 1990s, he began building a multimedia empire that now includes two telecommunication companies - Maxis Communications and MEASAT Broadcast Network Systems - and has three communication satellites circumnavigating the earth.
He also effected the purchase of 46% of Maxis Communications, the country's largest cellular phone company, from British Telecom and AT&T for $680 million - raising his stake to 70%. Maxis has more than eight million subscribers, with more than 40% market share in Malaysia. Recently, Maxis has acquired Aircel, Tamil Nadu's largest cellular phone company and has plans to expand to rest of India. Maxis is also under negotiation to buy over and expand an Indonesian cellular phone company.
He is also the head of Astro All Asia Networks Plc, the only company currently providing a DIRECT to HOME TV satellite service in Malaysia. http://www.astroplc.com/05/ (accessed 18th August 2006). It currently broadcasts to Malaysia, Brunei and Indonesia.
In an agreement between Astro and India's Sun Network, Ananda plans to produce TV channels which cater to the Indian market, especially Tamil diaspora in countries such as US and Europe. Ananda also plans to offer TV services featuring Web-based interactivity.Ananda Krishnan owns stakes in TVB.com (the interactive arm of Hong Kong's main broadcaster) and the Shaw Brothers' movie archives, which holds more than 800 movie titles. He also operates a chain of TGV multiplex theatres.
Ananda Krishnan has been called everything from a recluse to a humble, silent worker. Not much is known about him and his tightly guarded private life because he maintains such a low profile.
He is known to be apolitical. But he is also a close friend of both former Malaysian Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad and Mahathir's former arch-foe Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah. He brokered the peace deal and healed the political rift between them a few years ago. He is also known to be generous and donates to charities and temples as well as has established scholarships for the deserving. In 2005, newspapers reported that he had given away RM160 million to charities through his privately owned Usaha Tegas group of companies.Despite his wealth he still maintains and stays in his family's Minangkabau styled mansion in Kuala Lumpur.He was one of the earliest tycoon to own a Dassault Falcon private jet.