What would you do if your net worth is USD 18.9 billion? Well, while you think of all the things you can buy with that much money, let us tell you what India’s fourth richest man did with it. He gave away 63 percent of this to charity!
Azim Premji- India’s fourth richest person as per the recent Huran India Rich List 2017 is a man with a big wallet and a bigger heart. He was named India’s most generous man by Hurun Research Institute in 2013 when he had donated 14.3 percent of his wealth. This was followed by an increase to 39 percent in 2015 and a further increase by a third has taken this number to 63 percent in 2018. The total corpus amounts to USD 12 billion or INR 78,000 crore- roughly 63 percent of Premji’s wealth as per Forbes’ World Billionaire Report 2018. He is second richest Indian as per the Forbes’ list.
Born in Mumbai to Mohamed Hashim Premji in 1945, Azim Premji inherited Western Indian Vegetable Products from his father who was a known industrialist. Having studied Electrical Engineering from Stanford University, Premji gave up the idea of taking a nice cushy job and instead opted for facing the challenges of running the hydrogenated oil business on his father’s death. He was just 21 years old when he entered the business. With 1978 expulsion of IBM by the government, Premji jumped onto the opportunity to fill the vacuum left behind and expanded his business to IT under the name of Wipro. Rest is history. With his sheer hard work, he made the company India’s third largest software services company.
In Odisha, The Azim Premji Philanthropic Initiatives (APPI) jointly works with the state government for reducing malnutrition among women and children in the state. He is the first Indian to sign up for The Giving Pledge, a campaign led by Warren Buffett and Bill Gates. The campaign aims to encourage the world’s wealthiest people to make a commitment to give most of their wealth to philanthropic causes.
India, the world’s fastest growing economy is also home to the highest population of poor in the world with its top 1 percent enjoying 58 percent of the country’s wealth and all the while garnering 73 percent of the new wealth generated. However, the good news is that there are men like Azim Premji who believe in giving away whatever money they has for the greater good.
“I strongly believe that those of us, who are privileged to have wealth, should contribute significantly to try and create a better world for the millions who are far less privileged” – Azim Premji.