India’s Second Richest Man, Azim Premji Donated $21 Billion
Tech tycoon Azim Premji just paved his path and secured his position as one of the world’s most hearted billionaire. Azim Premji announced on Wednesday, 13th March 2019, that he has donated $21 billion to his charitable arm, The Azim Premji Foundation.
After this announcement, Premji’s worth which was $22.6 billion (Placing him at no.36 among the world’s billionaires) slashed down by 80 percent to $4.4 billion. Along with his family, Premji now owns a 7 percent stake in Wipro.
With his kind gesture, Premji’s close friend, Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, the biotech billionaire said that ‘Azim has taken Indian philanthropy to next level’. Like Premji, she also signed the Giving Pledge and has assured to donate 75 percent of her wealth.
As per Bain & Company’s recent India Philanthropy Report 2019, private philanthropy capital has grown 15 percent between 2014 and 2018 but it is still punching below its full potential. Therefore, ultra-rich people need to gear up more.
Premji began his philanthropy journey in 2001 with children’s charitable hospital in Mumbai. He endowed Wipro shares worth $125 million for this gesture which he later followed up by donations of more than $4 billion. The foundation also funded Azim Premji University, which today has 1,300 students. These students are trained to work in the social sector. A similar thing is said to expand to a bigger campus and other universities in Madhya Pradesh state as well. Another involvement is with more than 200,000 public schools across different states. With this, they deploy a 1,600 strong field force to help students upgrade their curriculum, train teachers and much more.
In 2014, the foundation widened its roots by focusing on societal issues such as domestic violence, suicides among farmers, malnourishment in children and many more.
We can see the foundation is widening its scope year after year through such initiatives. It is also expected that there will be a five-fold increase in such grants over the upcoming 5 years.