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Azim Premji, the odd man out in India's thrifty billionaires club

Premji recently committed earnings from 67% of Wipro’s shares to Azim Premji Foundation.

ET Online|
Mar 14, 2019, 05.07 PM IST
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Azim Premji, chairman of India's leading IT software company Wipro Ltd, is the odd man out among his peers when it comes to philanthropy.

Premji recently announced that all earnings from approximately 34% shares of India’s fourth-largest software services exporter — worth about Rs 52,750 crore ($7.5 billion) — would be transferred to the endowment that supports the Azim Premji Foundation. With this, Premji has committed earnings from 67% of Wipro’s shares to the charitable foundation. The Premji family and entities controlled by them hold a 74.30% stake in the software exporter.

However, Premji's peers are not as generous as him. The Indian Philanthropy Report released last week by Bain & Company estimated that excluding contributions by Premji, donations of Rs 10 crore and above have declined 4% in India since 2014 even as the proportion of the ultra-rich — those with a net worth of over $50 million — grew by 12%.

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"A breakdown of contributions reveals