I am on a mission to help achieve the #1 United Nations Sustainable Development Goal of ending poverty by curing blindness in the developing world.
Visit my official ‘Mr Kohli’ blog for my latest thoughts and views on the things that matter
Tej Kohli is a man on a mission to combat extreme poverty in the developing world by curing needless blindness. The Tej Kohli and Ruit Foundation is aiming to cure over 500,000 people of blindness by 2030. At last count it had screened over 142,033 patients and cured 16,105 of blindness within 14 months of launch. Tej Kohli believes that curing needless blindness is the fastest way to turbo-charge social and economic development in the developing world; and continues to make a trailblazing contribution to the IAPB #2030 inSight plan to help achieve the #1 United Nations Sustainable Development Goal of ending poverty everywhere.
Whilst he is best known for the Tej Kohli Foundation and the Tej Kohli & Ruit Foundation and his mission to combat poverty-derived blindness, Tej Kohli is able to make a substantial personal contribution to the fight against extreme poverty thanks to his commercial interests as a technologist and investor backing ventures in the fields of AI, robotics, biotech and esports.
Tej Kohli’s career as an entrepreneur culminated in the sale of a series of companies that he founded and sold during the dot com boom of the late 1990’s and early 2000’s. Since this major liquidity event Tej Kohli has been an evangelist of the promise of technology to improve human life and has invested into companies all over the world. Tej Kohli also invests in real estate and is the owner of the Zibel Real Estate portfolio.
Tej Kohli regularly shares his thoughts on matters relevant to the Tej Kohli Foundation at the World Economic Forum and also on his Mr Kohli Blog and his Medium blog. He is an occasional contributor to CityAM and Project Syndicate and his book ‘Rebuilding You’ is available on Substack.
Tej Kohli is active on social media as @MrTejKohli.
An NGO focused on the #1 UN Sustainable Development Goal of ending poverty by curing 300,000+ of blindness by 2030. tejkohliruit.com
A not-for-profit Foundation focused on rebuilding people and communities worldwide. tejkohlifoundation.com
A charitable institute that cured 43,255 of corneal blindness in India during its 5-year lifespan, ending in 2019. tejkohlicorneainstitute.com
Tej Kohli has become best known for his mission to give away a proportion of his wealth to combat extreme poverty by curing needless blindness in the developing world. The Tej Kohli mission is wholly aligned with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and with the #2030 InSight mission of The International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness.
The Tej Kohli fight against needless blindness has evolved from the Tej Kohli Foundation sponsoring surgeries at a local hospital in India in 2010, to the Tej Kohli Cornea Institute which welcomed 56,083 outpatients and cured 11,744 of corneal blindness between 2015 and 2019. Today the Tej Kohli fight against ‘poverty blindness’ manifests as the Tej Kohli & Ruit Foundation, which launched in 2021 to great acclaim. The Tej Kohli & Ruit Foundation is on track to complete its target to cure 300,000 to 500,000 of cataract blindness by 2030.
Tej Kohli is a technologist and investor who is focused on investing his accumulated wealth into projects focused on artificial intelligence, robotics, biotechnology and esports through the Kohli Ventures investment vehicle and courtesy of a $100m investment into the Switzerland-based Rewired Venture Studio. Tej Kohli is also owner of the €350m Zibel Real Estate portfolio which is amongst one of the most actively acquisitive privately held real estate portfolios in Europe. Tej Kohli also trades daily in a substantial portfolio of equities and cryptocurrencies.
Tej Kohli is also a philanthropist who is best known for his mission to eliminate forms of blindness that arise due to poverty. His not-for-profit Tej Kohli Foundation pursues a ‘Rebuilding You’ philosophy to rebuild people and communities around the world by making direct grassroots interventions whilst simultaneously backing the development of novel scientific and technological solutions to major global health challenges.
Tej Kohli is best known for his worldwide mission to eliminate poverty-driven corneal blindness by 2035. His Tej Kohli Foundation is a leading backer of technological and scientific projects that seek to develop a ‘universal’ solution to corneal blindness that is accessible, affordable and scalable in the world’s poorest communities where 90% of people with blindness and severe visual impairment live. Between 2005 and 2019 his Tej Kohli Cornea Institute in India welcomed 223,404 outpatients and undertook 43,255 procedures to alleviate and cure corneal blindness in poor and underserved communities.
Tej Kohli founded a series of companies in the late 1990’s and early 2000’s from his base in Costa Rica. The companies specialised in online payment gateways, online payment fraud protection software and e-commerce. Collectively the Group of companies established a dominant position in the ‘high risk’ online segment.
From 2006 onwards Tej Kohli was the sole beneficiary of a series of liquidity events thanks to companies and subsidiaries such as Estacion Tramar, which were sold in a series of high value trade sales. The income stream arising from these sales necessitated the establishment of the Zibel Real Estate portfolio and later Kohli Ventures as vehicles to invest this new-found liquidity into brand new projects.
Tej Kohli’s interests have expanded into a conglomeration of commercial and investment interests which provide yield and income stream. Tej Kohli has substantial holdings in real estate, artificial intelligence, robotics, biotechnology, equities and cryptocurrency. Tej Kohli is also Europe’s biggest individual esports investor thanks to a €50m investment into the Rewired.GG Esports Venture Fund.
Tej Kohli is a private investor who engages exclusively in private business activity using his own capital through his Kohli Ventures investment vehicle. Kohli Ventures engages in impact investments that have the potential to substantially improve human life. Tej Kohli focuses on exponential growth opportunities that are derived from the chain reaction of rapid technological progression in the areas of AI, robotics, biotech and esports.
Tej Kohli is engaged exclusively in private business activities and does not real on any third-party investors or partners. Since 2006 Tej Kohli has declined to rely on banks or debt and instead uses only his own funds and capital to support his private business activities.
Kohli Ventures is the investment vehicle of Tej Kohli and is focused on investing in growth stage ventures that offer exponential growth opportunities derived from the chain reaction of rapid technological progress. Kohli Ventures has a strong track record for applying financial and intellectual capital to add substantial value to growth-stage ventures in the fields of AI, robotics, biotechnology and esports. Kohli Ventures pursues a double bottom line of humanitarian as well as commercial impact and has already backed game-changing innovations in the field of biotechnology that promise to have a substantial impact on human life the world over. Kohli Ventures is primarily focused on opportunities to be the sole or majority investor in growth stage ventures for the long term, alleviating founders from the need to engage in multiple rounds of funding and instead to focus on growing the value of their venture and on having a more immediate impact.
For nearly two decades the not-for-profit Tej Kohli Foundation has been making long-term grassroots interventions to create projects in poor and underserved communities around the world that address myriad issues arising from inequality. In South America the ‘Funda Kohli’ project has been feeding children in free canteens every day since 2005. The Tej Kohli Foundation is well known in the United Kingdom for its ‘Future Bionics’ program to provide state-of-the-art bionic arms to limb different children and teenagers. The Foundation’s Tej Kohli Cornea Institute cured over 43,255 people of corneal blindness in India between 2015 and 2019. And its project in Boston continues to develop new and novel technological solutions to prevent and cure needless blindness. Across its largest projects the Tej Kohli Foundation is developing accessible, scalable and affordable solutions that can solve problems and support social and economic development in the world’s poorest communities.
The Tej Kohli Cornea Institute was inaugurated by Tej Kohli in 2015 at the LV Prasad Eye Institute in Hyderabad, which is a World Health Organization collaborating centre. Between 2015 and 2019 the Tej Kohli Cornea Institute welcomed 223,404 outpatients and completed 43,255 surgical procedures to cure and alleviate blindness in the world’s poorest communities; as well as collecting 38,225 donor cornea into its eye bank, training 152 clinicians, publishing 202 academic papers and giving 892 educational presentations. During 2020 the Tej Kohli Cornea Institute also launched a UK Research Network dedicated to maintaining the surface of the cornea in a clear and transparent state. The Research Network seeks to foster interdisciplinary innovation by funding groundbreaking new research and treatments and technologies that can eventually be ‘transferred’ into the world’s poor and underserved communities where needless corneal blindness is socially and economically pervasive. In 2021 the reources that supported the Tej Kohli Cornea Institute were redirected into the new Tej Kohli & Ruit Foundation.
The Tej Kohli and Ruit Foundation aims to screen 1,000,000 and to to cure at least 300,000 of cataract blindness in the world’s poorest communities by 2026. The Tej Kohli & Ruit Foundation launched in 2021 with a mission to combat needless blindness by closing the pervasive treatment gap within the world’s poorest communities through direct interventions to rebuild people and communities by curing pervasive and entirely needless cataract blindness in an ongoing series of microsurgical outreach camps. The Tej Kohli & Ruit Foundation is a unique partnership between ‘God of Sight’ Dr Sanduk Ruit and Tej Kohli, with 100% of the activities of the Tej Kohli & Ruit Foundation funded by Tej Kohli and the Kohli family. 90% of the worlds blind live in the poorest countries on the planet where cataract is the number one cause of blindness. The Tej Kohli & Ruit Foundation is a restricted fund operating under the auspices of Prism The Gift Fund, registered UK charity number 1099682.
Zibel Real Estate is the real estate portfolio of Tej Kohli with over €300m of AuM and a mission to grow AuM three-fold over the coming years. Zibel Real Estate acquires prominent buildings in “A” micro locations and scarce assets that transcend cycles. Transacting on behalf of Tej Kohli and the Kohli family, Zibel applies a unique approach to under managed, under capitalized and undervalued assets located within emerging growth clusters and technology hubs in Europe, the UAE and Asia. The Zibel Real estate philosophy is that outperforming yield and equity growth can be derived from these geographic clusters where rapid technological development and new technology wealth are causing transformation. A key attribute of Zibel Real Estateis that the reliable income stream generated from real estate assets helps to support the not-for-profit activities of the Tej Kohli Foundation and the Tej Kohli & Ruit Foundation.
In 2010 Tej Kohli funded his first corneal transplant at Niramaya Hospital in India and was present when the recipient had his bandages removed and was able to see his wife and family for the first time in decades. Tej Kohli immediately decided that eliminating poverty-driven corneal blindness was his calling and in the years since his Tej Kohli Foundation has made tens of thousands of treatment interventions to alleviate and cure corneal blindness in the world’s poorest communities. The Tej Kohli Foundation is also a leading backer of technological and scientific projects to find an accessible, affordable and scalable cure.
The Food Support projects of the Tej Kohli Foundation are part of Tej Kohli’s mission to combat holiday hunger in the United Kingdom. Through a series of initiatives such as the YouCube project, Tej Kohli is seeking to empower and support local grassroots and voluntary movements in the UK by providing the sustainable funding and tactical support that they need to be able to eliminate holiday hunger from their local community.
Tej Kohli is one of the world’s most bullish investors in artificial intelligence and believes that the global AI economy could be worth $150 trillion in the next five years. Tej Kohli holds a global portfolio of privately held AI and robotics investments through his Kohli Ventures investment vehicle. He does not publish his portfolio of worldwide AI and robotics investments so that the focus remains on the pioneering founders of these ventures.
Between 2018 and 2019 Tej Kohli made Europe’s largest ever individual investment into esports as part of a €50m commitment to the Rewired.GG Esports Venture Fund where he is a passive investor. The privately held investment fund backs high-growth esports ventures and has invested €34m into a leading European esports team. As a passive investor Tej Kohli plays no active role in the Rewired.GG Esports Venture Fund or its investments.
Tej Kohli is a passionate collector of automotive prestige and performance cars. Pride of place in his garage is a Pagani Huayra, one of only 100 ever made. The six-litre twin-turbo charged 238 mph hyper car can do 0–60mph in 2.8 seconds. Kohli’s favourite car is his Bugatti Veyron Grand Sport Vitesse roadster, one of only 150 every made and the fastest roadster in the world with a top speed of 258 mph.
Tej Kohli studied Electrical Engineering at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kanpur where he graduated in 1980. In 2008 IIT conferred its Distinguished Alumnus Award upon Kohli for “serving society at large” thanks to his achievements developing solutions to major global health challenges through the Tej Kohli Foundation.
Tej and Wendy Kohli married in 2001 and have two children since. Wendy Kohli plays a prominent role in the Tej Kohli Foundation where she supports projects at the heart of communities that have been neglected, especially when interventions can help to combat a lack of education, poor health or prejudice.
Tej Kohli does not disclose his net worth as a matter of longstanding policy.