Pay it forward like Premji: the most generous Indian

Vinson Kurian Thiruvananthapuram | Updated on March 13, 2018


Donates ₹12,316 crore to charity, as per Hurun India's Philanthropy List

Azim Premji has emerged as the ‘most generous Indian’ in the Hurun India Philanthropy List 2014, a ranking of the most generous individuals from India. Premji (69) parted with a sum of ₹12,316 crore in favour of his Azim Premji Foundation during the year, says Hurun Research Institute that released the ranking. This is the second successive year that he has topped the philanthropy list.

Give it away

Premji was the first Indian to sign up for the Giving Pledge, a global philanthropic initiative spearheaded by Warren Buffet and Bill Gates. Anil Agarwal (61) of Vedanta Resources came in second with a donation of ₹1,796 crore. He has pledged to donate 75 per cent of his family’s wealth to charity. Education remained the favourite philanthropic cause, accounting for 80 per cent of the donations.

“The list is a good representation of responsible entrepreneurship in India,” said Anas Rahman Junaid, Publisher-at-Large of Hurun Report India.

Rupert Hoogewerf, Chairman and Chief Researcher of Hurun Report, said that the fact that education is the most popular beneficiary shows that this is the cause they can have an immediate effect on.

Ratan Tata (77) donated ₹620 crore to various charitable organisations for the underprivileged through the JRD TATA Trust and Sir Ratan Tata Trust, rising to number three on the list. Mukesh Ambani (57) of Reliance Industries is fourth on the list.

Big spenders

The richest man in India, Ambani donated ₹603 crore towards healthcare. Nandan (59) and Rohini Nilekani (54) stand fifth in the list with a contribution of ₹498 crore. This year’s list has seen philanthropic donations by women entrepreneurs, both individually and through joint donations from their family. Anu Aga individually donated ₹14 crore; Rohini Nilekani, Zarina Screwvala, Yasmin Gupta and Savitri Jindal jointly donated ₹987 crore.

Looking southwards

Region-wise, South Indians are most generous accounting for ₹13,300 cr, five times the donations of their counterparts in the North. Ashish Dhawan (45) of Central Square Foundation is the youngest philanthropist on the list, the oldest being Pallonji Mistry (85) of Shapoorji Pallonji.

The transition of Ashish Dhawan from a hedge-fund manager to philanthropist demonstrates a new wave of philanthropy in India. Cardiologists Vijay and Khushman Sanghvi donated ₹12 crore towards medical research. The philanthropists made their money mainly from the tech sector. With four individuals, Infosys has created the highest number of philanthropists on the list.

Ravi Pillai had made ‘101 Dreams Come True’ by organising a mass wedding through his Ravi Pillai Foundation. Each bride was given four sovereigns of gold and ₹50,000 each.

Published on December 29, 2014

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