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Premji commits additional 34% stake worth $7.5 b for philanthropy

Our Bureau Bengaluru | Updated on March 13, 2019 Published on March 13, 2019

Azim Premji, Chairman, Azim Premji Foundation   -  THE HINDU

Market value of endowment corpus stands at $21 billion

Wipro Chairman Azim Premji has committed to philanthropy an additional 34 per cent stake in Wipro Ltd belonging to him and valued at ₹52,750 crore ($7.5 billion).

The new commitment is in addition to the 33 per cent Premji had already earmarked for the Azim Premji Foundation, taking the total market value of the philanthropic endowment corpus to ₹1,45,000 crore ($21 billion).

Premji’s total stake in Wipro stands at 74.3 per cent. With the additional commitment, the Foundation now has economic ownership of 67 per cent of Wipro.

What this means is that all the dividends, bonus and other benefits that accrue to the 67 per cent stake will go towards the endowment that supports Premji Foundation’s philanthropic activities.

“Azim Premji, Chairman of Azim Premji Foundation, has announced that he has increased his commitment to philanthropy by irrevocably renouncing more of his personal assets and earmarking them to the endowment that supports the Foundation’s philanthropic activities.

He has done this by additionally earmarking all economic benefits for philanthropic purposes in approximately 34 per cent of the shares in Wipro Ltd currently valued at ₹52,750 crore ($7.5 billion) held by certain entities controlled by him,” a statement from the Foundation said on Wednesday.

Premji’s earlier donations to philanthropy included Wipro’s shares as well as other assets owned by him.

Over the past three years, Premji, through his entities, earned ₹10,115 crore through dividends and share-buybacks from his entire stake in Wipro.

According to the Hurun India Philanthropy List 2018, Premji and his family contributed ₹113 crore last year. Mukesh Ambani topped the list with contributions worth ₹437 crore, followed by Ajay Piramal and family’s ₹200-crore contribution.

Focus on education

Established in 2001, the Azim Premji Foundation works mainly in the area of primary education and supports other not-for-profits working in specific areas through multi-year financial grants.

The Foundation’s extensive fieldwork in education with close partnership with various State governments helps contribute to the improvement of quality and equity of the public schooling system. Its field strategy focusses on scaling up a network of institutions at the district and State levels, to contribute to improvement in the school education system on a continued and sustained basis, the statement said.

The Foundation has also set up the Azim Premji University in Bengaluru that offers various degree programmes and opportunities to conduct research in several fields of human development and social importance.

Expansion plan

Over the next several years, the activities of the Foundation are expected to scale up significantly.

The team driving the field work in education is expected to grow significantly from the current 1,600 people, while the university will have 5,000 students with 400 faculty members across multiple programmes. Thereafter, another university in the North may be set up.

The grant-making activities will also continue to expand rapidly, growing three times from its current levels, supporting work across multiple domains of social importance in India, said the statement.

Giving more

Of Premji’s 74.3 per cent stake in Wipro, 67% is committed to the endowment that supports Premji Foundation’s philanthropic activities. This means all the dividends, bonus and other benefits that accrue to the 67 per cent stake will go towards the endowment

The Foundation works with various State governments to improve the quality and equity of the public schooling system

It also runs the Azim Premji University in Bengaluru

Published on March 13, 2019
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