"Since ancient times, art has had the ability to transform every sphere of life: people, communities, education -- I discovered my whole self when returning to music, and my life is far richer because of that. I wish the same transformative experience for others. There’s no better place to start this process than education -- we’ve only scratched the surface.”
Chandrika Tandon is an expert on the intersection of business and the arts, as both the Founder and Chairman of Tandon Capital Associates, and as a Grammy-nominated singer.
Prior to founding her own financial advisory firm in 1992, Tandon was the first Indian-American woman to make partner at McKinsey and Company. With her first paycheck from McKinsey, she purchased a guitar and stereo system rather than a bed – and slept on the floor of her apartment. Music has always played an important part in her life, and it was not until she became successful in business that she rediscovered her craft.
After training to become a musician, she recorded her album, Soul Call, which was nominated for a Grammy in the category of Best Contemporary World Music. She has released four albums under her nonprofit label, Soul Chants Music, which donates all proceeds to support community building, education, the arts, and well-being.
In an interview with the NYU Steinhardt school, she explained her late dive into professional music: “Music is what I am; everything else is what I did.” When traveling around the world for business, Tandon found music to be a form of communication. In describing the various dimensions of business, music, and meditation, she commented: “They all inform each other; they all affect each other.”
Tandon has performed many benefit concerts to support organizations such as the Smithsonian, Lincoln Center, Wellness and Global Peace Initiatives, and the World Culture Festival. She will go on tour for her newest album, Shivoham – The Quest, in spring of 2019.
Chandrika and her husband, Ranjan, are also philanthropists, and have donated $100 million to the NYU School of Engineering. She remains heavily involved with NYU as Vice Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Chair of the President’s Global Council, and Chair of the NYU Tandon Engineering School, as well as serving on boards of the Stern Business School and Langone Health System. Tandon is also a former Dean’s Council Member at NYU Wagner School of Public Policy, where she trains leaders to impact public well-being.
She serves on the Board of Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, leading a major effort to attract new, diverse audiences, and chairing the Global Council. At Berklee School of Music, where she serves on the President’s Council, Berklee-Tandon Global Clinics connect underprivileged talent to distinguished faculty worldwide. As Chair of the Krishnamurthy Tandon Foundation, she has supported over 30 institutions which work in education, the arts, wellness, and community building.
As both a CEO and musician, Tandon has a unique understanding of the way business and the arts can influence each other, and how the intersections between the two can have a positive impact.