Kumar bags double recognition from Asia Leaders Awards 2020
Kumar is best associated with FICWSI, a non-stock, non-profit organization the Indian national founded in 2015, aimed at bringing together Indian and Filipino businessmen and stakeholders under one umbrella organization to look after their needs, welfare and interests. The first ALA award Kumar received was CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) Company of the Year for FICWSI. Kumar was granted the award for his FICWSI NGO upon meeting ALA’s set criteria, which included the “successful implementation of community program inspiring poverty alleviation, better education, employment opportunities, business growth and community engagement.” While FICWSI’s been around for five years now, it’s in 2020 when it shone best. The NGO has put its aids-giving machinery to full, nonstop use when the Covid-19 pandemic hit the Philippines in early 2020, causing the main economic region and the country itself to shut down its borders, affecting lives and livelihood. Right before that, FICWSI also spearheaded several batches of relief operations in South Luzon when Taal Volcano displayed one of its most devastating eruptions yet in January. Kumar immediately led FICWSI to donate relief goods—personal hygiene kit, rice, water—aiding locals and responders like policemen alike in certain areas in Batangas. The organization went on multiple trips and continued to deliver relief goods as it came. In April, the COVID-19-centered outreach program of FICWSI was officially branded #filindihelpline, a play on words that connoted “Filipino Indian helpline” or “fill-in-the-helpline.” “I believe in collaborations,” Kumar said when asked what his secret was in enabling a proficient donation drive. Kumar also received ALA’s Philanthropist of the Year award for his exceptional generosity by direct financial support and inspiring others to foster the same philanthropic initiatives. The award was granted by ALA based on the “evidence of direct gift support, description of impact of gift support, and evidence of encouragement and motivation given to others to take leadership roles in philanthropy.” Kumar is known in the community to be one to wear too many hats—exceptionally. He’s foremost a businessman—he’s engaged in business process outsourcing, security provision, restaurant, build and sell, and micro lending—but he’s also a crime-abhorring expat, and was once a church leader. In all these ventures of Kumar, his mission to help always took center stage. One of Kumar’s most noteworthy efforts was probably at the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) in November 2013, which claimed hundreds of lives and brought catastrophic impact to many Filipinos. Following a series of relief operations, he got together with his fellow Sikhs and set off to Pontevedra, a village in the province of Capiz, to build concrete homes for families who lost their houses, and a modest clinic.