Dr. Ishari K. Ganesh, who grew up as the son of a stage artist, faced financial struggles after his father's death at 19. Despite these challenges, he completed his education and was inspired by his experiences and his father's memory to pursue a career in education.

Driven to empower the poor through education, Dr. Ganesh founded the Vaels Educational Trust in 1992, starting with a small pharmacy college. His dedication led to the institution's expansion, now with 43 entities, serving over 39,000 students and employing 7,000 staff.

As a respected educationist and Founder Chancellor of a deemed university, Dr. Ganesh is dedicated to India's socio-economic development through knowledge. His work honors former President Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam's vision, which he has made his university's mission.

Academic Profile
High School
Bharath Senior Secondary School CBSE, Chennai
Senior Secondary
The Hindu Senior Secondary School CBSE, Chennai
Bachelor of Commerce
Pachaiyappa's College, University of Madras, Chennai
Master of Commerce
Pachaiyappa's College, University of Madras, Chennai
Doctor of Philosophy
University of Madras, Chennai
Bachelor of Law
Madurai Kamaraj University, Madurai
Master in Business Administration
University of Madras, Chennai
Master of Philosophy
Sathyabama University, Chennai
Master of Law
Dr. Ambedkar Law University, Chennai
Present Positions

CHANCELLOR- Vels Institute of Science Technology and Advanced Studies (VISTAS)

  • ➤ Hindi Advisory Committee, Government of India
  • ➤ Fertilizer Advisory Forum, Government of India
  • ➤ Tamil Nadu Sports Advisory Committee, Government of Tamil Nadu.
  • ➤ Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam (TTD, Chennai), Government of Andhra Pradesh.
  • ➤ Vels Film International Ltd.
  • ➤ Vels Studios & Entertainment Pvt. Ltd.
  • ➤ Vels Aviation Services IFSC Pvt. Ltd.
  • ➤ Vel Ganesh Foundations Pvt. Ltd.
  • ➤ VG Park Beach Resorts Pvt. Ltd.
  • ➤ VGS Estates Pvt. Ltd.
  • ➤ Arthi Associates Pvt. Ltd.
  • ➤ Cybernexa Infotech Pvt. Ltd.
  • ➤ Kindle Kids International Pte. Ltd. (Singapore)
  • ➤ Kushmitha Foundations Pvt. Ltd.
  • ➤ Vel Education Ltd. (London)

Tamil Nadu Olympic Association / Taekwondo Federation of India / Tamil Nadu Taekwondo Association.


South Indian Cine Artistes Association (SICAA)

  • ➤ Vaels Educational Trust
  • ➤ Vels Institute of Science Technology and
  • ➤ Advanced Studies (VISTAS)
  • ➤ Vetri Educational Trust
  • ➤ Vel Ganesh Educational Trust
  • ➤ Vaels RB Educational Trust
  • ➤ Amarar Isari Velan Charitable Trust

Tamil Nadu Private Professional Colleges Association (Health Sciences)

Education and Empowerment Initiatives

Dr. Ishari K. Ganesh has journeyed as an illustrious educationist and is also the youngest founder chancellor of a deemed to be University in India. The buzz word in all the institutions in the Vels fold is the state-of-the-art infrastructure, competent faculty and an ideology that prepares students to be future leaders in their chosen fields.

VISTAS offers more than 100 courses of contemporary learning in diverse fields and an equal number of skill enhancement courses that ensures a student is adequately equipped to face the challenges when he/she steps out of the institution and into a competitive world. Vels group of schools offer CBSE, IGCSE, ICSE and it's very own preschool and primary curriculum. All the schools under Vels Group of Institutions are ranked number 1 by popular ranking bodies in India. . The list of his institutions are as follows.

1992 Vels College of Pharmacy
1993 Vels College of Physiotherapy
1993 Vels College of Science
1996 Vels Institute of Hotel Management
1997 Vels Vidyashram CBSE - Pallavaram Campus
1999 Vels Institute of Business Administration
1999 Vels Academy of Maritime Studies
2003 Vels Srinivasa College of Engineering and Technology
2003 Vels Higher Secondary School
2004 Vels International Preschool
2006 Venkateswara Nursing College
2006 Vinayaga College of Education
2007 Sri Venkateswara Dental College
2008 Vaels International School
2008 Shri Isari Velan Mission Hospital
2008 Vels University
2013 Vels Vidyashram CBSE International
2014 Vels Vidyashram CBSE - Thalambur Campus
2014 Vels Vidyashram CBSE - Cantonment Campus
2014 Meghna Institute of Dental Sciences (in Nizamabad)
2015 Mahavir Institute of Medical Sciences and Hospital (in Hyderabad)
2015 MDIS VELS (in Singapore)
2015 Vels Kinder Kids
2015 Vels Vidyashram CBSE - OMR Campus
2018 Kindle Kids International School (in Singapore)
2019 Vels Global Schools a group of 14 campuses in Chennai, Bangalore, Erode, Kolkata and Delhi NCR
2019 Cambridge Tutor's College (in London)
2020 Vels Medical College and Hospital
2020 Vel Nursing College

Dr. Ishari K. Ganesh, a pioneer in private maritime education in India, has been recognized with the Maritime Excellence Award by Tamil Nadu's Governor for his contributions to maritime and nautical science education. Under his leadership, his institutions have held over 550 international and 2100 national conferences, focusing on practical, industry-ready curricula to fill the skill gap in India.

His institutions have global partnerships for knowledge exchange, faculty, and student programs, and aim to implement best international practices. Dr. Ganesh encourages students to participate in nation-building efforts and ensures his campuses are eco-friendly, with a focus on sustainability.

Understanding the financial hurdles of education, Dr. Ganesh provides scholarships to many students. In 2008, his institutions merged into VISTAS, with Dr. Ganesh as its youngest founder chancellor, extending Vels Group's educational reach to over three decades, including locations in India, Singapore, and the UK.

Women Empowerment

Dr. Ishari K. Ganesh is an advocate for women's empowerment and development. He supports women's self-help groups with annual training camps and markets to sell their products. To raise awareness about early breast cancer detection, he coordinated an event where stylists created the longest pink hair extensions, resulting in a Guinness World Record and a Unique World Record in 2019. For his efforts in empowering rural women, he was nominated to the Hindi Advisory Committee of the Ministry of Women and Child Development in 2020.

Additionally, Dr. Ganesh promotes social integrity and national strength by organizing pledges against corruption, casteism, and communalism with students and influential leaders. He also facilitates the VFund Women start-up pitch competition, which encourages female entrepreneurship by providing seed funding and mentorship, and he honors accomplished women annually for their contributions to various industries.

Rural Development

As a strong supporter of ‘Skill India Movement’ a novel initiative launched by the Honorable Prime Minister of India Shri Narendra Modi, Dr. Ishari K. Ganesh has organized and conducted 224 camps at Primary Health Centers in rural areas of Chennai and Pondicherry benefitting more than 42000 patients and also organizes free eye testing camps. Since 2015, he has conducted more than 24 free computer literacy programs for rural youth and 41 National level empowerment programmes in Chennai and Pondicherry. Owing to the utmost respect for the former president, Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, he also drives the ‘1 crore tree plantation project’, a green initiative by the Abdul Kalam Foundation. He has also made enormous contributions towards Unnat Bharat Abhiyan and Swachh Bharat Mission programmes in Chennai and Pondicherry, the brainchild of honorable Prime Minister Shri. Narendra Modi, aimed at rural developments.

Film Production

Dr. Ishari K. Ganesh, from a family of actors, naturally ventured into acting with roles in over 25 films, including "Vaakumoolam" (1989). Today, he is the chairman of GV Films, Vels Film International, and Prabhudeva Studios. He is also a lifetime trustee of the South Indian Artistes Association and has produced numerous successful films in various Indian languages.

“For his success as a film producer and for producing movies that impart social messages, Dr. Ishari K. Ganesh was conferred with Tamil Nadu State's highest honor for an artist, the "Kalaimamani" award and title in the year 2021, by former Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu"
Thiru. Edappadi K. Palaniswami.

Journey in Indian Politics

Dr. Ishari K. Ganesh, whose father Shri Isari Velan was a founding member of ADMK and a minister in Tamil Nadu, started engaging in social service at age 12. He honed his leadership skills early, becoming the student union secretary at Pachaiyappa's College in 1987, and often sought guidance from former Chief Minister M.G. Ramachandran. Dr. Ishari K. Ganesh was appointed as the Chennai District Student Wing Secretary of AIADMK in 1987 by former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Dr. J. Jayalalitha, recognizing his exceptional campaigning skills and commitment to social welfare for the economically disadvantaged. He served in this role with zeal for five years. Dr. Ishari K. Ganesh, declined an MLA seat offered by Dr. J. Jayalalitha in 1991 due to being underage, and instead focused on education. Later, he was promoted to State Student Wing Secretary of AIADMK, serving from 1991 to 1996. To combat unemployment and skill gaps, he founded the Vaels Educational Trust in 1992, providing job-oriented courses. Inspired by DMK leader Dr. M. Karunanidhi, Dr. Ganesh also works to promote Tamil language and culture. Dr. Ishari K. Ganesh, who served as the General Secretary of the New Justice Party from 1999 to 2001, is known for representing the interests of the Vellalar community, which encompasses 42 castes in Tamil Nadu, including Mudaliars, Pillais, Gounders, and Chettiars, with a population of about 2.7 crores. In 2021, he advocated for the All India Federation of Vellalar and the Vellalar Name Protection Committee. Dr. Ganesh has a close relationship with the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, Thiru M.K. Stalin. During the Covid-19 pandemic's second wave, he contributed 1 Crore and 1 Lakh rupees to the Chief Minister's Relief Fund.


Dr. Ishari K. Ganesh has furthered his philanthropic efforts by providing INR 1,99,32,000 to over 303 student-athletes, enhancing their ability to compete nationally and internationally. He has also played a role in nation-building by enabling approximately 75,000 rural youth to learn basic computer skills, aligning with the Government of India's initiatives. Additionally, he supports women entrepreneurs from rural self-help groups by organizing annual one-day markets, thus contributing to the Government's poverty alleviation programs. For over a decade, Dr. Ganesh has offered monthly financial assistance to more than 450 senior and impoverished artists from the drama and cinema industries, amounting to INR 1,63,65,000. Lastly, he has established a 100-bed multi- specialty hospital in Thalambur, OMR, Chennai, dedicated to his late father, which focuses on improving the quality of life for patients with serious illnesses.

  • Awards and Appreciations

    2022 - Asia Healthcare Awards
    2021 -  "Kalaimamani" Award and Title conferred by the Government of Tamil Nadu
    2021 -  People Who Inspire India - Education Iconic Award 2021
    2019 -  Lifetime Achievement Award in the field of Education and Philanthropy
    2019 -  Education Stalwarts of the Year
    2019 -  Pink Locks of Hope - Guinness Book of World Records
    2018 -  Lifetime Achievement Award from LIC
    2018 -  Confluence Excellence Award, London
    2018 -  Maritime Skills Education Award
    2018 -  Pride of Tamil Nadu
    2018 -  Jeppiaar Icon Awards - Best Educationist
    2017 -  Provoke Awards - Chairman of Excellent College
    2017 -  Indywood Education Excellence Award
    2017 -  Times Education Achiever Award
    2017 - Bharatham 5000 - Guinness Book of World Records
    2017 - Uzhaipal Uyarndha Sadhanaiyalar (Achiever through absolute hard work) Award
    2016 -  Pearl Foundation - Education Excellence Award
    2016 -  Best Multinary Award
    2016 -  South Indian Culinary Association Award
    2016 -  Times of India - Eduicons - Pioneers of Education in Tamil Nadu
    2015 -  Genius Award
    2012 -  Mauritius Tamil Cultural Trust Award
    2012 -  South Indian Culinary Association Award
    2011 -  Dubai Tamil Sangam Award
    2010 -  SICA Award of Excellence

    • VELS Group of Institutions (India, Singapore and the United Kingdom)