Sobha group founder to give 50% of wealth to charity

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PNC Menon, Chairman, Sobha Group.
PNC Menon, Chairman, Sobha Group.

PNC Menon, the founder of Sobha Group of Companies, with an estimated fortune of $600 million plans to give half of his personal wealth to charity, a news report says.

Dubai-based Menon, a first generation entrepreneur who began his professional career by setting up an interior decoration firm in the Sultanate of Oman in 1976, told Arabian Business that he plans to open education institutes in India and Oman.

“Once you make all of the money I don’t think you should keep all of it for your family, a large portion of it should go to society. I have decided that 50 per cent of mine should go to society,” he was quoted as saying in the report.

“My view is very simple; I am lucky to have made my money.

After a certain point in time, money cannot make a difference in your life. I feel that its not even called charity, it’s about accountability and the responsibility of society,” he said.

Menon was ranked the Gulf Cooperation Council’s 21st richest Indian with a fortune of $600 million, in a list published last month by Arabian Business.

His firm established Sobha Heritage and Sobha Academy in 2006 to provide education and social welfare to around 2,500 families in two villages in India, Vadakkenchery and Kizhakkenchery.

Realty firm Sobha Developers, where Menon holds the position of Chairman Emeritus, was listed on the Bombay Stock Exchange in 2006. Bangalore-based Sobha Developers was founded in 1995. The Sobha Group employs 28,000 people across the Gulf and India.

There are plans to expand operations across India and the GCC, Menon said.

Sobha will also expand its business to include a three-star hotel management company called Strada. “There is a huge market if we can manage such a group and manage it very well, there is a huge potential. We are looking at building up 50 to 100 hotels.

“We’ll be managing but initially some of the investments will be done by us and then over time we’ll only manage the hotels,” Menon said.

Last month, giving more to philanthropy IT czar Azim Premji had announced transfer of 295.5 million equity Wipro shares worth Rs 12,300 crore at that time held by certain entities controlled by him, to an irrevocable trust.

The trust will utilise the endowment to fund, various social, not-for-profit initiatives of Azim Premji Foundation, that are expected to scale significantly over next few years.

The Shiv Nadar Foundation has invested close to Rs 1,800 crore till date and billionaire Shiv Nadar of HCL Technologies has committed to spending 10 per cent of his wealth for these activities.

(This article was published on March 7, 2013)
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A commentable action to be followed by everyone who shows respect to humanity and wish the upliftment of the underprivilaged section of the society.It is a true guidance to the entire humanity and an act to be highly appreciated. May god bless you

from:  sraju.k
Posted on: Mar 7, 2013 at 14:57 IST

Giving Charity it can't remove poverty , better make some industry , that give job & remove poverty and develop the are slowly , create job with some profiable way , than only your Charity some meaning.

from:  indian
Posted on: Mar 7, 2013 at 15:42 IST

dear sir
i advise you to give away your flats at half the prices to customers instead of TALKING of charity. that will fix why you want to sell your shares.GIVE your employees BONUS, hike their SALARY double instead of giving charity.

from:  beb
Posted on: Mar 8, 2013 at 09:51 IST

You are great, the charity amount will benefit many. @Beb: - you are showing narrow mindedness in asking benefits for employees, please note that employees have something to eat, but millions do not have any to eat. There is no end to satisfy employees, let the gentleman do what he feels good for society.

from:  ravi ramireddy
Posted on: Mar 8, 2013 at 14:07 IST

When will Infosys founders announce such decision?

from:  k a prasanna
Posted on: Mar 8, 2013 at 20:48 IST

dear sir , if you take small project of linking river in drought area any where in india it will give tremendous strength and spirit for construction of ia .distribution of power through water not money . regards prashant dandekar

from:  prashant dandekar
Posted on: Mar 9, 2013 at 12:54 IST

mr ravi ramireddy , i am happy if this money actually goes for the poor in a country where 1 paise lands the poor when you spend 1rs. so the point is hard to believe a man donating if he cannot pass on the courtsey to his customers, employees etc. why should customer of sobha pay for his MASTERS charity.

from:  beb
Posted on: Mar 11, 2013 at 12:31 IST
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