While the tag of the ‘richest man in India’ undoubtedly goes to Mukesh Ambani, Indian business tycoon and billionaire, Azim Premji, comes second in the list. However, apart from a big bank balance, the chairman of Wipro Limited is known to have an even bigger heart, which has placed him alongside the world’s most influential philanthropists including Bill Gates, George Soros and Warren Buffett.
And on Wednesday, the 73-year-old made a historic announcement which will also be the most generous donation in Indian history.
According to NDTV, Premji will now give a further 34 percent of his company’s economic benefits of shares worth Rs 52,750 crore to the Azim Premji Foundation, his charity, involved in philanthropic activities. The massive donation also takes the total value of the philanthropic endowment corpus contributed by Mr. Premji to a whopping $21 billion.
“With this action, the total value of the philanthropic endowment corpus contributed by Mr. Premji is $21 billion, which includes 67% of economic ownership of Wipro.”
In case you do not know, Premji’s foundation provides education directly and supports over 150 other non-profits serving underprivileged and marginalized Indians through multi-year financial grants.
A statement by the Azim Premji Foundation read,
“He has done this (contribution) by additionally earmarking all economic benefits for philanthropic purposes, in approximately 34 per cent of the shares in Wipro Limited (current market value Rs 52,750 crore), held by certain entities controlled by him.”
Previously, Premji has not only donated Wipro’s shares to charitable causes but has also given away other assets owned by him.
The statement also highlighted the fact that the foundation aims to develop significantly in the coming years. The team working in education which currently has 1,600 people will be stronger and grant-making activities will triple. The university based in Bangalore will expand to 5,000 students with over 400 faculty members. Setting up another university in northern India is also a part of the huge plans.
We would like to take a moment to thank Azim Premji for his incredible contributions to the welfare of others in need. In fact, he is actually getting richer by 53,000 crores by making the noble donation.
“What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us. What we have done for others and the world remains and is immortal.”