Press "Enter" to skip to content

News18 Explainer: Who is the Republican Hindu Coalition’s Shalabh Kumar?

File photo of Shalabh Kumar, Founder of the Republican Hindu Coalition (REUTERS)

Indian American industrialist and the founder of the Republican Hindu Coalition Shalabh Kumar has rejected reports that he is lobbying to be the next US ambassador to India, as reported by the Washington Post. But who is Kumar, and why is his name in the fray.

Early Life

Kumar was born in a village in Ambala in 1948 and graduated with a degree in electronics engineering in 1969 from Punjab Engineering College, Chandigarh. He immigrated to America at the age of 20.


In 1975 Shalabh Kumar founded Chicago-headquartered AVG Group of Companies, which designs and manufactures electronic components used in automation and telecommunications. Life Made Ezee Technologies Pvt. Ltd. is a division of AVG Group that provides home automation solutions in India, and is based in Bengaluru.

Political Interventions

Shalabh Kumar founded the National Indian American Public Policy Institute (NIAPPI), a think tank focusing on Indian American issues. NIAPPI and Kumar took a high level Congressional and business delegation in 2013 to visit then Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi.

Also Read: Not ‘Eyeing’ US Envoy Post, Shalabh Kumar Tags Reports as ‘Fake News’

In July 2016, Kumar became a public supporter of the Republican candidate Donald Trump’s candidacy, emerging as one of the biggest donors. Kumar cited Trump’s stance on Pakistan and Muslims, namely Trump’s plan to profile Muslims. Kumar also lauded Newt Gingrich’s calls for increased scrutiny of American Muslims and increased surveillance against mosques in the United States.

Shalabh Kumar also created the ‘Ab ki Baar Trump Sarkar’ campaign which went viral, instantly gathering over 2 million views in the first week. He ran multiple digital ad campaigns in favour of Trump through video and social content targeting Indian-Americans and undecided voters in battleground states. Kumar and his family members donated over $1.5 million to Trump. In addition, Kumar bundled $150,000 in political donations to the Trump campaign.

First Published: February 28, 2017, 1:06 PM IST