July 9th, 2015
The owners — individuals or other entities — of big corporations can do a lot more for society, because they can choose to exercise the right of their ownership, and invest their wealth in any social cause, to their utmost.
At this time, when gap b/w rich and poor are rising and just 928 households own 20% of India’s wealth, personality like Azim Premji restore our faith that there are people who are working to narrow the gap by their contributions.
Wipro’s billionaire chairman Azim Premji, the first Indian to sign the Giving Pledge, has set aside more than half of his wealth for charity by allocating an additional 18% stake in the company to fund philanthropy, thus earmarking 39 percent of stake (worth Rs 53,284 crore) for a charitable trust. The latest philanthropic initiative by Premji would pump in an additional Rs 530 crore by way of dividends into the Azim Premji Trust’s corpus this year.
69-year old Premji is the first Indian to sign the Giving Pledge, sponsored by billionaires Warren Buffett and Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates to invite the world’s wealthiest to donate the majority of their wealth to charity.
“Over these years, I have irrevocably transferred a significant part of the shareholding in Wipro, amounting to 39% of the shares of Wipro, to a trust,” said Premji in a letter to the shareholders.
Mr. Premji was considered the ‘most generous Indian’ of 2014 according to the Hurun India Philanthropy List.