Nitte Vinaya Hegde can be described as an entrepreneur having made a successful foray into the field of education, a philanthropist, a technocrat, an avid sports lover, a family man and finally to describe in his own words a true human being. He towers over many others when it comes to his contribution in heralding the second renaissance in the field of education in undivided Dakshina Kannada district. Under the guidance of this great visionary, Nitte Education Trust (NET) run by him has emerged as the largest Mangalore-based educational institution catering to basic and professional education. Being the son of a famous father late justice K S Hegde, Former Judge of the Supreme Court of India and Speaker of Lok Sabha, was not a deterrent for him to carve out his own place of eminence.
Mr. Vinaya Hegde also spearheads Lamina Group of Industries as the Group Chairman, which has a turnover in excess of Rs. 200 crores, employing more than 2000 people. The group has a export turnover in excess of Rs.100 crores with exports to countries like Germany, U.S.A, U.K, Korea, Finland, Belgium and others. The flagship company Lamina Suspension Products Ltd, which was founded in the year 1976, manufactures Automobile Leaf Springs. He was the Chief Promoter of Marmagoa Steels Limited, a Mini Steel Plant set up at Margao, Goa, in 1989. He was former Chairman of CII, Mangalore Chapter and was nominated by the Government of Karnataka as the Industrial Representative in the Governing Council of KREC, Suratkal, (now NIT Karnataka) and held this office till the institution was elevated as National Institute of Technology. He was appointed by the Government of Karnataka as Chairman of Coastal Agenda Task Force, constituted for drafting long term plan for the comprehensive development of the Coastal Districts.
He is also the former Chairman of the Board of Governors of National Institute of Technology Karnataka, Surathkal (by Ministry of HRD, Govt. of India) member of the Mangalore University Syndicate & Academic Council and member of the Governing Council of Manipal Institute of Technology, Manipal. The Coastal Agenda Task Force headed by him played a key role in proposing the Special Economic Zone for this region, which is now becoming a reality. A great sports lover that he is, Vinaya Hegde was responsible for awakening the sporting spirit among Mangaloreans by conducting national sports for the first time in the district headquarters in 1984 under the aegis of Lamina Group. He had a part to play in the development of some national-level athletes from the district.
In memory of his late father, the Nitte Education Trust has established a Foundation in 1992 under his Chairmanship. The Foundation undertakes charitable works like village adoption, housing, education and healthcare, resettlement of displaced children and vocational training. In recognition of his distinguished and longstanding service in the fields of education and industry Mr. N. V. Hegde has been conferred with "Honorary Doctorate" by the Mangalore University. When the Nitte (Deemed to be University) was established in 2008, he became the Chancellor. Under his farsighted leadership, in a short span of just four years, Nitte (Deemed to be University) has been placed under category "A" by the Ministry of Human Resource Development, Govt. of India, which is a rare distinction and achievement.