"I'm determined to use my success to rebuild people and 
communities around the world" 

ABOUT TEJ KOHLI

Philanthropist, technologist and investor, Tej Kohli has made it his life's goal to use his success to uplift and improve the lives of others across the globe. 

 

Being born and raised in India, Tej Kohli is now based in the United Kingdom where he oversees his many businesses and charities. Working out of Mayfair, London, he is often found to be honest about his goals and his life. 

 

Having been quoted stating: “I rebuilt myself into a big success, and I’m determined to use that success to help rebuild others too” -  it is clear that he won't stop until he achieves his goals. 

 

Alumnus of the Indian Institute for Technology, Kolhi has always been intrigued by new and emerging technologies. This brought on the success of a series of companies that he founded and built. This included companies such as Estacion Tramar which specialised in online payment gateways - which had grown due to the dot com boom in the late 1990’s and early 2000’s. Kohli later went on to sell the companies, which ended up being extremely beneficial. 

 

Since this, Tej Kohli has made it his mission to use his wealth and technology to improve human life. He has made a name for himself in sectors such as artificial intelligence, robotics, healthcare, biotech, esports and crypto throughout his career and in some cases, it’s only the beginning.

 

Mr Kohli has also become a big name within the artificial intelligence sphere. He is a strong advocate for having AI become a useful tool and present within society. For over 15 years, Mr Kohli has backed ambitious entrepreneurs to unlock the improvements that AI has to offer human life. Having already committed over $100million in investments, he believes that the global AI economy will be worth $150trillion and will penetrate all human life for the better. 

Over his career, Kohli has been a force within charity. His philanthropic efforts have changed the world in ways he could not have imagined. With various organisations, he has become a leader in the healthcare sector, improving the lives of thousands of people across the globe. 

 

For nearly 20 years, Tej Kohli has been active within the healthcare industry, especially in ophthalmology. His first venture into this was the Tej Kohli Cornea Institute, which was founded in 2015. With this the Institute welcomed 223,404 outpatients, had success in 43,255 surgical procedures, collected 38,225 donor corneas, utilised 22,176  of those donor corneas, trained 152 clinicians, published 202 papers and gave 892 educational presentations. In 2019 alone, 5,736 patients were cured of blindness. These staggering results were just the beginning of Kohli’s mission into curing blindness. 

 

As well Tej Kohli’s not-for-profit Tej Kohli Foundation has become a global centre of interdisciplinary innovation for the development of new solutions. With it’s ‘Rebuilding You’ philosophy, it reflects his desire to use science and technology to rebuild communities and improve lives. With the foundation, he has used his amassed wealth, with the support of his family, to restore the sight of thousands of the world’s poorest people, provide bionic arms to disabled teenagers and provided sustainable food sources to thousands of families whilst continuing to fund scientific research and innovation. 

 

In 2021, the Tej Kohli & Ruit Foundation was launched. Mr Kolhi casted his attention mainly towards curing the poorest communities of curable blindness. Sharing the desire to cure is Dr Sanduk Ruit, otherwise known as the ‘God of Sight’. Their hope is  to screen 2,000,000 patients and to cure at least 300,000 of cataract blindness by 2026.

 

The Tej Kohli & Ruit Foundation has taken low-cost cataract surgeries into impoverished and  remote communities in Nepal, Indonesia, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Myanmar, India and China with over 13,000 patients cured so far. With the foundation having only been active for one year, Mr Kohli aims to cure at least 300 thousand people of blindness by 2026. 

 

As well as his philanthropic activity, Mr. Kohlii also invests in real estate and e-commerce. 

Mr. Kohli is also the owner of the Zibel Real Estate portfolio. The Zibel Real Estate portfolio consists of residential and mixed-use buildings as well as premium residences that are located in areas that showcase commercial and cultural innovation. Zibel also supports Tej Kohli’s broader investment and not-for-profit activities, such as his charitable work. 


Tej Kohli regularly shares his thoughts on the matters that are relevant to his many ventures and organisations via outlets such as the World Economic Forum, his Medium blog and with his series #TejTalks. With #TejTalks, Mr Kohli also shares commercial and investment insights. On top of this, he writes a regular stock market investment column for The Motley Fool, an occasional contributor to CityAM and Project Syndicate. He also has his book ‘Rebuilding You’  available to read on Substack.

THE TEJ KOHLI FOUNDATION

Wendy and Tej Kohli founded the Tej Kohli Foundation in 2005.  The Foundation focuses on developing solutions to major global health challenges.  Under the guidance of Wendy and Tej Kohli, the Foundation has become a global hub for interdisciplinary innovation as part of a global mission to eliminate needless corneal blindness worldwide by 2035.  The Tej Kohli Foundation also supports projects such as the provision of fully funded 3D-printed bionic limbs to young people in the United Kingdom who are living with with limb difference, as well as other social projects. 

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TREATING BLINDNESS

Blindness is heavily impacted by poverty.  The World Health Organisation says that 14 million of the 39 million people on the planet who are blind live in India.  12.7 million people are currently waiting for a cornea transplant worldwide, of which 6 million are in India.

 

In 2010 the Tej Kohli Foundation funded its first donor cornea implants at Niramaya Hospital.  Tej Kohli was present when a 50-year-old patient had his bandages removed after a corneal transplant and saw his wife and grown up children for the first time.  Tej and Wendy immediately decided that eliminating corneal blindness would be their new calling.

 

After funding corneal transplants at Niramaya Hospital for five years, in 2015 the Tej Kohli Foundation substantially expanded its efforts to tackle corneal blindness in poor and underserved communities with the ambitious launch the Tej Kohli Cornea Institute.  Between January 2016 and November 2019 the Institute welcomed more than 223,404 outpatients and completed more than 43,255 surgical procedures, mostly for free.

 

Since then, Tej Kohli has gone on to co-found the Tej Kohli and Ruit Foundation. This is an entirely new venture that sees the alliance of Mr Kohli and Dr Sanduk Ruit in the mission to cure needless blindness across the developing world. So far the pairs initiative has led to over 200,000 people to be cured on blindness.  

ERADICATING CORNEAL BLINDNESS

Corneal transplants require donor or synthetic cornea, which are applied using sutures during highly invasive surgery.  Given the costs and complications of this surgical approach, it is not possible to ‘eliminate’ curable corneal blindness in this way.  Therefore, Tej Kohli has long been advocating for and supporting research toward a ‘universal treatment’.

 

The Tej Kohli Foundation’ has been pursuing this ‘universal treatment’ for corneal blindness through it’s ‘Applied Research’ program, a longstanding scientific collaboration between researchers in Montreal Canada, and Moorfields Eye Hospital, UK.  Early efforts focused on synthesising synthetic cornea, first from yeast and then from peptides. 

 

In January 2020 the ‘Applied Research’ program announced that it had moved one step closer in its mission to invest an affordable, accessible and scalable universal cure for corneal blindness through the regeneration of corneal tissue using an innovative proprietary technology.

 

In 2019 Tej Kohli also made an initial donation of $2m to fund the Tej Kohli Cornea Program at Massachusetts Eye And Ear in Boston, a teaching hospital of Harvard Medical School, to accelerate innovative and collaborative research to achieve new breakthroughs in corneal disease. 

 

With these efforts combined with the efforts of the Tej Kohli and Ruit Foundation, Mr Kohli has become a leader in curing those suffering with needless blindness. With this success already achieved - only more can follow.  

FUTURE BIONICS

Tej Kohli is a strong believer in the power of technology to improve human life, and in late 2019 he was proud to launch the Tej Kohli Foundation’s UK-based project: the ‘Future Bionics’ program.  The program funds the purchase and fitting of 3D-printed bionic ‘Hero Arms’ for young people with limb difference in the UK; and highlights how technology can substantially improve the lives and confidence of younger people living with disabilities. 

 

The programme launched in late 2019 at the Open Bionics headquarters in Bristol, United Kingdom, where Wendy and Tej Kohli met with 14-year-old Open Bionics ambassador and motivational speaker Tilly Lockey alongside the first two recipients of the program.  TeJ Kohli instigated the Future Bionics program as it epitomises that the Tej Kohli Foundation is about: using technological innovations to improve individual lives and prospects.

TACKLING POVERTY

Tej and Wendy Kohli founded their first major philanthropic project in Costa Rica in 2005.  Since then the ‘FundaKohli’ program has fed hundreds of children every week in its free soup kitchens.  The enduring program represents Tej’s commitment to continue to give back to the country where he met Wendy and enjoyed his contemporary business success. 

 

The ‘FundaKohli’ program ensures that hundreds of families and children have access to vital nutrition and sustenance.  It also provides them with other support structures and facilities so that underprivileged families can get the little extra help they need to flourish.  Wendy and Tej Kohli have not lived in Costa Rica since 2006, however their commitment to the FundaKohli project and the families that it supports will always endure.

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IMPACT INITIATIVES

When Wendy and Tej Kohli set up the Tej Kohli Foundation in 2005, a core objective was to focus on grassroots philanthropy rather than on donating money to existing charities.  This has led to a number of 'impact initiatives'.

 

In 2019 Wendy and Tej Kohli authorised the ‘Impact Initiatives’ program to commission a documentary film to highlight the plight of children in India living with Xeroderma pigmentosum (XP), a rare genetic condition.  Many are forced to live their  life in the shadows, as young people with XP face significant social stigma.  The physical effects of the condition includes corneal blindness, and the absence of clinical knowledge and specialist care services in many communities robs young sufferers of their prospects.

 

The XP ‘Impact Initiative’ sought to highlight the plight of India’s XP children through a series of high profile collaborations.  Working with internationally renowned photographer Simon Townsley and the Global Health section of The Telegraph, the Tej Kohli Foundation brought the realities of life of Indian children with XP visibly to the fore in a major photographic study and news feature.  The independent documentary short about XP, which is called SeeAgainFilm.com, premiered at the 2020 Manchester International Film Festival and is now touring film festivals worldwide to raise awareness..

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BIOTECH INVESTMENT

Tej Kohli believes in biotech solutions to some of the world’s greatest public health challenges, and that joining the technological frontiers of AI and biotech can substantially improve human life.  However the development of new and early stage biotechnologies requires a very high appetite for risk.

 

Because of his long-term investment horizon and a ‘return on investment’ calculus that gives equal weighting to humanitarian impact as to financial return, as a private investor through Kohli Ventures, Tej is able to provide long term funding commitments to biotech ventures that would not fall within the typical investment criteria of institutional investors.

 

Tej Kohli is the lead backer of Detraxi, a US-based company that hopes to one day save millions of lives by developing its proprietary solution for a range of global health challenges.  Detraxi is working in collaboration with some of the worlds most talented and respected scientists across fluid replacement, diagnostics, transplantation and regenerative medicine.  The Detraxi biotechnology has already undergone several clinical studies.  It is currently undergoing pre-clinical trials at Johns Hopkins University.

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IMPACT INVESTMENT

Tej Kohli is an advocate of a unique form of venture philanthropy as a vehicle for boosting development and prosperity throughout the Global South.  Artificial intelligence is already transforming developing countries, and the United Nations ‘AI for Good’ campaign is fostering dialogue amongst policy makers on the beneficial use of technology for humanitarian work. Tej Kohli believes that technology investors must also have a seat at the table, and since 2018 has made two substantial investments into Rewired, a robotics-focused venture studio with a humanitarian bent.  Companies within the Rewired portfolio are working on a technological solution to substantially increase the proportion of plastics that are viable for recycling; the development of affordable prosthetics, and portable machines designed to improve manufacturing processes.

 

NB: these are commercial investments that are not connected to the Tej Kohli Foundation.

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