The Nānakshāhī Trust emerged from interactions between entrepreneurs, researchers, graphic artists, and Sikh activists from South Asia and North America. In Pajāb, at several gatherings of academics, civil servants, organizers, religious leaders, and social activists, the following were highlighted: urgent need to produce aesthetically pleasing yet informative material on the Sikh heritage, archiving the invaluable manuscripts and other material, recognizing outstanding contributors in their respective fields in Pajāb, and providing educational and empowerment services.

The founders developed an organization dedicated to building a movement of individuals and organizations committed to the finding the solutions to the aforementioned through Sikh vision. After consultations with experts, underwriters, and organizers, a trust was established, funds were raised, and the organization was launched in 2001.