Azim Premji, Chairman of Wipro, today said that he will commit more of his wealth for philanthropy.

The billionaire founder of the soaps-to-software company is scaling up its efforts to improve the quality of education system in India through the Azim Premji Foundation.

In a letter for the first international “Giving Pledge” group Premji said: “The Foundation plans to scale up to 4,000-5,000 people over the next five years.”

Currently, it employs 800 people. “The developments of the past two years have given me confidence in our scaled up and institutional strategy,” added Premji.

The members of the Giving Pledge commit to give away at least half their wealth to charitable organisations and philanthropic causes. The Giving Pledge, established three years ago by Bill Gates, the co-founder of Microsoft, and Warren Buffett, was designed to promote a debate over philanthropy and encourage rich individuals to give money away to worthwhile causes. Premji has donated 8.7 per cent of the total stock of Wipro from his personal stock for philanthropy in 2010, which formed the endowment for this foundation. The other new participants announced were John Caudwell, Chris and Jamie Cooper-Hohn, Andrew and Nicola Forrest, Mo Ibrahim, Patrice and Precious Motsepe, Hasso Plattner, David Sainsbury and Vincent Tan Chee Yioun.

(This article was published on February 19, 2013)
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