He many be known to many as one of India’s richest men, as a tech mogul and as the chairman of Wipro – but Azim Premji is definitely much more than that. He’s also a philanthropist with a big heart, as evidenced by one of his recent acts of kindness.
According to reports, the 73-year-old billionaire just made a generous donation amounting to £5.7 billion to charity, which so far becomes the country’s biggest single donation for a charitable organization. This move brings Premji’s total donations to almost £16 billion in cash and shares. The Azim Premji Foundation currently owns 67% of Wipro’s shares, a CNN report said.
In addition to that, a DailyMail feature tells us that Premji was “the first Indian to sign the Giving Pledge,” a campaign which was started by Warren Buffett with Bill and Melinda Gates to encourage billionaires across the globe to share their riches to charitable causes.
Premji’s foundation supports more than 150 other non-profit organizations to reach out and provide educational opportunities for poor Indians. The Azim Premji University, also set up by the foundation, helps develop professionals and offers degree and education programs.
Needless to say, Premji’s donation will surely go a long way – and we can only hope that his generosity will inspire other wealthy people out there to do something similar.
Anurag Behar, Wipro’s chief sustainability officer and Azim Premji Foundation’s chief executive officer, put it this way:
“The visibly wealthy and the newly wealthy in India are clearly not as generous as the wealthy in, say, America. But India also has a substantial culture of philanthropy that is not conspicuous.”
With an estimated net worth of £14 billion, Premji is considered as the second wealthiest person in India, only behind Mukesh Ambani, the chairman and largest shareholder of Reliance Industries Limited, a Fortune 500 company.
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