India’s Top Philanthropists, Azim Premji Remains Most Charitable Indian!
Azim Premji, the tech tycoon and Wipro chairman, has been named as the ‘Most charitable person in India’ by Shanghai (China) based Hurun Research Institute for the second year in a row. Having donated a staggeringly huge Rs 12,316 crore to his Azim Premji Foundation during April 2013- October 2104 period, he clearly towers above all others who find a mention on the Hurun India Philanthropy List 2014.
Hurun Research Institute had come up with a similar list of philanthropists last year too wherein they had included the names of all the generous people and organizations in the country which had donated over Rs 10 crore for charitable purposes. As against 31 people who were mentioned in the list during the previous report, the list has become bigger this year and includes 50 people. 27 out of these 50 are new faces.
Donations were measured by the research firm by the value of their cash or cash equivalent for an 18 month period beginning April 1, 2013 and ending October 31, 2014.
It “includes cash and cash equivalents pledged with legally binding commitments for the period and includes significant donations ($16.7 million) up to the date of publication. It included donations made by companies in which an individual had a significant share, by applying the percentage the individual has of the company on the donations.”
Realizing that educating the masses is the best way to empower them and to put the country on the fast track to development, Indian philanthropists have donated most generously to the Education sector– a total of Rs 15,791 cr being pumped into it. Nearly 80% of the total donated amount went towards this sector.
That was followed by Rural Development (Rs 2,333 cr), Healthcare (Rs 1,447 cr) and Environmental Protection (Rs 12 cr).
Anil Agarwal of the London-listed Vedanta Resources comes a distant second with a donation of Rs 1,796 cr most of which was towards social and rural development. Shiv Nadar, the HCL chairman, is placed third on the list with a donation of Rs 1,316 cr.
11 of the 50 most generous people from the country live outside its shores. Five of these made their donations in India.
37 of the philanthropists being mentioned on the list (74%) are self-made as compared to 21 (68%) over the period covered by the previous report.
With founders Nandan Nilekani (with wife Rohini) and Kris Gopalakrishnan placed at number six and nine, Infosys has the highest number of philanthropists in the top ten.
The north-south divide is too palpable to be ignored, the people from the southern part of the country donating almost five times (Rs 13,300 cr) as much as their northern counterparts.
With 15 generous people, Mumbai emerges as the most generous city in the country followed by Bengaluru (8) and Delhi (6).
The average age of philanthropists in India has come down to 56 years as compared to 63 years over the last year.
Ashish Dhawan (45) of Central Square Foundation is the youngest philanthropist on the list; oldest being Pallonji Mistry (85) of Shapoorji Pallonji.
Women entrepreneurs are also stepping forward. Anu Aga donated Rs 14 cr individually while joint donations by Savitri Jindal, Rohini Nilekani, Zarina Screwvala and Yasmin Gupta aggregated to Rs 987 cr.
Leading cardiologists Vijay and Khushman Sanghvi who have donated Rs 12 cr towards medical research together with hedge fund manager Ashish Dhawan “are seen to be unleashing a new wave of philanthropy in the country.”
Bollywood celebrities Shahrukh Khan and Salman Khan are also mentioned on the list. While Shahrukh’s Red Chilies Entertainment donated Rs 25 cr towards social and rural development Salman Khan’s Being Human donated Rs 11 cr towards healthcare.
As mentioned in an earlier article here, 0.2% of the world’s population holds and controls 34% of the total wealth. And while the overall rate of growth is lower, the assets of these people grew at an impressive 14.7% over last year. Which means that not only are a very few people holding disproportionately large assets, they are getting richer by the day.
The increase in the number of philanthropists and the amounts donated by them therefore bring a huge smile to the faces of every discerning Indian. It is nice to see the super-rich loosen their purse strings and show concern for humanitarian causes.
Globally too, those with deep pockets have been seen to donate open heartedly for causes they connect to, Microsoft founder owner Bill Gates and Facebook owner- CEO Mark Zuckerberg being the most worthy examples.
“I strongly believe that those of us who are privileged to have wealth should contribute significantly to try and create a better world for the millions who are far less privileged. I will continue to act on this belief,” Premji had said earlier.
Anil Agarwal of Vedanta has already pledged to donate 75% of his family’s wealth towards charitable causes while HCL chairman Nadar has committed $1 billion towards educating people from the under privileged sections of the society.
Interestingly, only one of the flamboyant Ambani brothers is seen on the list. Thought he elder brother Mukesh Ambani is placed fifth on the list with donations to the tune of Rs 603 cr towards education, his sibling Anil Ambani is notable by absence.
Hurun India List.