Mr. Abhishek Poddar
Businessman and a Prominent Collector and Patron of the Arts, India
Abhishek Poddar is a businessman and a prominent collector and patron of the arts in India. He has been collecting art since high school and has created a significant collection of South Asian art, craft and antiquities. Poddar is involved in various family group companies with diverse interests and serves on the advisory committees of several cultural institutions including the Deccan Heritage Foundation, FIND ( Foundation Inde-Europe de Nouveaux Dialogues or the India – Europe Foundation for New Dialogues) and the Lincoln Center Global Council, USA.
Poddar worked initially at Khaitan & Co., and later at the Standard Chartered Bank before joining the family businesses. In the 1960s, the Poddar family acquired Matheson Bosanquet, an 80-year old company with activities in tea production, trading and export, and shipping. Poddar joined the company in the late 1980s and took over as Managing Director in 1997. He is also a Director of Sua Explosives & Accessories Private Limited, which manufactures mining explosives and accessories in India, and is a leader both in the domestic and international markets. Other companies he owns range from trading and export to the retail sector.
Donning many other hats, he was also the Honorary Consul for Poland Bangalore
In 2011, Poddar founded a not-for-profit foundation to manage and archive his extensive collection with a desire to use it to increase interest in the visual arts in India. Prompted partly by the striking lack of any kind of museum culture in India, this museum is intended to be a living institution characterised by a dynamic programme that aside from a wide diversity in collection, would also offer multiple avenues for learning and engagement. Poddar serves as the Founder-Trustee at the Museum of Art & Photography, a unit of the Art & Photography Foundation. MAP is a Bangalore-based museum set to open in 2022. With his family, Poddar donated over $7 million and 7,000 pieces from their personal collection to MAP. As the first major private art museum in India's tech city, it now already has more than 60,000 works (including gifts) covering the gamut from modern and contemporary Indian art to photography and popular culture.
He was named as one of Asia’s 2018 Heroes of Philanthropy by Forbes Magazine.
Poddar was born in Kolkata as the son of Industrialist Bimal Poddar, he went to Lamartiniere for Boys and later transferred to The Doon School, Dehradun before completing his studies in St. Xavier’s College, Kolkata. Poddar is married to Radhika Sanghi, founder of the design and lifestyle store Cinnamon. They have two children and live in Bangalore.