Azim Premji is India Inc’s top philanthropist; richest Asian Mukesh Ambani comes third

Rajesh Kurup Mumbai | Updated on November 10, 2020

Wipro Founder-Chairman Azim Premji   -  PTI

With donation of Rs 27 crore, Amit Chandra and Archana Chandra of A.T.E. Chandra Foundation only professional managers to enter the list

With contributions of about ₹7,904 crore, Wipro Founder-Chairman Azim Premji topped the list of philanthropists in India for 2020, followed by HCL Technologies Founder-Chairman Shiv Nadar who donated ₹795 crore for charitable causes.

Reliance Industries Ltd Chairman and Managing Director Mukesh Ambani, also Asia’s richest man, came in third with donations of ₹458 crore, according to ‘EdelGive Hurun India Philanthropy List 2020’.

Azim Premji and family and Shiv Nadar and family mainly supported education, while Ambani donated funds for disaster relief. Nadar had topped the list in 2019 with donations of ₹826 crore, with Premji coming in second with ₹453 crore and Ambani third with ₹402 crore.

Azim Premji Endowment Fund owns 13.6 per cent of the promoter’s stake in Wipro and has the right to receive all money earned from promoter shares. On April 1, 2020, Azim Premji Foundation (₹1,000 crore), Wipro (₹100 crore) and Wipro Enterprises (₹25 crore) had committed ₹1,125 crore towards tackling the Covid-19 outbreak. These were in addition to Wipro’s annual Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) activities and the usual philanthropic spending of the foundation.


Wipro, Azim Premji Foundation commit ₹1,125 crore for Covid-19 fight

“Azim Premji is a role model for Indian philanthropy and is continuing to inspire other entrepreneurs into giving. The preferred cause of India’s top philanthropists has been education, although poverty alleviation has grown dramatically to become the second most popular cause this year,” Anas Rahman Junaid, Managing Director and Chief Researcher at Hurun India, said.

Aditya Birla Group Chairman Kumar Mangalam Birla came in fourth with donations of ₹276 crore, followed by Vedanta Group Chairman Anil Agarwal with contributions of ₹215 crore. Ajay Piramal and family (₹196 crore), Nandan Nilekani (₹159 crore), Hinduja brothers (₹133 crore), Gautam Adani and family (₹88 crore) and Rahul Bajaj and family (₹74 crore) also found their place among the top 10 Indian philanthropists.

Flipkart co-founder Binny Bansal (37) was the youngest in the list, while the average age of philanthropists stood at 66 years.

Seven women in the list

The list also featured seven women, with Rohini Nilekani being the most generous of them all. Rohini Nilekani, wife of Infosys co-founder Nandan Nilekani, who donates through Rohini Nilekani Philanthropies, donated 47 crore for noble causes.

Anu Aga of Thermax and her family came in second with contributions of ₹36 crore, followed by Biocon chairperson and managing director Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw with a donation of ₹34 crore.

“In addition to seven women in the list, it is also important to highlight the role played by women in running the family’s charitable trusts. For instance, in most of the family-run businesses that are featured in the list, the spouses of the entrepreneurs lead the charitable trusts,” Junaid added.

The list of philanthropists touched a record high during the year, with the number of individuals who donated more than ₹10 crore rising to 78 this year from the earlier 37. Led by Infosys co-founder SD Shibulal, who donated ₹32 crore, there were 28 new additions to the list while the total donations by new additions stood at ₹313 crore.

With a donation of ₹27 crore, Amit Chandra and Archana Chandra of A.T.E. Chandra Foundation were the only only professional managers to enter the list. They, along with V-Guard’s Kochouseph Chittilappilly and family, were among the 28 new entrants to the list.

Education, most favoured

Education was the most favoured cause with 90 philanthropists cumulatively donating ₹9,324 crore, while healthcare registered an 111 per cent rise increase in total donation from 84 donors, followed by disaster relief and management, which had 41 donors.

“This year, we also looked at our methodology very closely — ensuring we keep the process transparent and proactively invite leaders of a diverse group to participate in the list,” Vidya Shah, Chairperson and CEO of EdelGive Foundation, said.

Published on November 10, 2020

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