The latest decision by Azim Premji ensures that economic interest from 67 percent of shareholding in Wipro will be devoted towards various philanthropic activities.Thimmaya Poojary
Azim Premji, chairman of the India’s third largest IT services exporter Wipro, has increased his personal contribution to philanthropy by pledging benefits from his personal shareholding. This adds another $7.5 billion to his contribution, taking the total corpus to $21 billion.
A press statement stated,
“Azim Premji, Chairman of Azim Premji Foundation (‘the Foundation’), announced today that he has increased his commitment to philanthropy, by irrevocably renouncing more of his personal assets and earmarking them to the Endowment, which supports the Foundation’s philanthropic activities.”
In the past, he had committed 21 percent of his shareholding in Wipro for philanthropy, and now with the latest decision, his total contribution has gone up to 67 percent. He currently holds 74.30 percent stake in Wipro.
The release stated, “He has done this by additionally earmarking all economic benefits for philanthropic purposes, in approximately 34 percent of the shares in Wipro Limited held by certain entities controlled by him. This action is in addition to his earlier donations to philanthropy, which included Wipro’s shares, as well as other assets owned by him.”
At the current market value of Wipro’s share, this contribution to philanthropy totals up to Rs 1.45 lakh crore or $21 billion.
Azim Premji’s philanthropic activities have an overarching vision to contribute to developing a just, equitable, humane, and sustainable society in India. To enable this vision, the Azim Premji Foundation works directly in education and supports other not-for-profits, working in some specific areas through multi-year financial grants.
The foundation has done extensive fieldwork in education in some of the most disadvantaged parts of India to help contribute to the improvement of quality and equity of the public (government) schooling system. All this work has been in close partnership with various State Governments. At present, this field work is spread across Karnataka, Uttarakhand, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Puducherry, Telangana, and Madhya Pradesh, along with some work in the northeastern states of India.
As part of its overall strategy, the foundation has also set up the Azim Premji University in Bangalore. The University has been established with a clear social purpose of developing outstanding professionals in the domains of education and related areas of human development for the entire country.