Azim Premji tops in Hurun India philanthropy listing


India CSR News Netowrk

MUMBAI: The Hurun Research Institute today released the Hurun India Philanthropy List 2015, a ranking of the most generous individuals from India. Donations were measured by the value of their cash or cash equivalent from 1 November 2014 to 31 October 2015. This is the third year of the list and it follows on from the Hurun India Rich List, a ranking of the 296 richest individuals in India, released in September for the third year running.

With the same cut-off as last year of Rs 10 Cr, the Hurun India Philanthropy List has 36 individuals, down by 14 from last year.

Azim Hashim Premji (70) the most generous Indian of the year donated INR 27,514 Cr for education. The Azim Premji foundation is working for empowering education in India.” A girl child who is even a little bit educated is more conscious of family planning, health care and, in turn, her children’s own education”, he says. The foundation works in 8 states and has more than 350,000 schools.

Nandan (60) and Rohini Nilekani (56) take the second spot in the list with a contribution of INR 2,404 Cr. Nandan Nilekani is an Indian entrepreneur, bureaucrat and politician. He left Infosys and joined Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) as the chairman. Although developing entrepreneurship ecosystem has been their primary area of interest, they are also involved in social & rural development and education in India.  Rohini Nilenkani is the chairperson and founder of Arghyam, an organisation that grants funds to implement and manage ground water and sanitations projects in India.

NR Narayana Murthy & family (69) Nagavara Ramarao Narayana Murthy, an IT industrialist, donated INR 1,322 Cr for encouraging entrepreneurship, social development and education. He says “The real power of money is the power to give it away.”

Mukesh Ambani (58) of Reliance Industries is sixth in Hurun India Philanthropy List. Ambani, the richest man in India, donated INR 345 Cr towards healthcare. He channelizes his philanthropic initiative through Reliance foundation, his philanthropic arm. The primary aim of the foundation is to promote sustainable growth in India. Besides healthcare, his philanthropic interests include social & rural development and education.

K Dinesh (61) retired from Infosys in 2011. K Dinesh has been actively involved in philanthropic ventures in education, entrepreneurship encouragement and healthcare. With donations of INR 1,238 Cr Dinesh shot into the top ten for the first time.

Shiv Nadar (70), promoter of India’s fourth-largest software company donated INR 525 Cr to various charitable activities through the Shiv Nadar Foundation. “Samudhay” an initiative to develop a replicable model of development for villages across five critical parameters – education, employability, health, infrastructure and water – is the dream project of the chairman of $6.3 billion HCL Technologies.

“I had the opportunity to visit Mr. Nadar’s foundation and university. His mission to impart contemporary education in poorest villages sets a good example for practical philanthropy in India”, said Anas Rahman Junaid, Business Head, Hurun Report India

The Wedding Philanthropy – Dr Ravi Pillai (62) donated INR 12.5 Cr towards conducting mass weddings. This donation coincided with his daughter’s wedding Dr. Arathi Ravi Pillai.

Some other key highlights

The total contribution of top 3 in Hurun India Philanthropy List 2015, shot up by 53% (INR 16,491 Cr) more than previous year.

The philanthropists made their money mainly from the tech sector, also one of the biggest wealth creators on the Hurun India Rich List.

With 6 individuals, Infosys has created the highest number of philanthropists on the list.

Rohan Murthy is a good example of the new generation of Indian philanthropists. His transition from IT professional to philanthropist demonstrates a new wave of philanthropy in India by donated INR 32 Cr towards the education

“Despite weak corporate earnings in 2015 compared to last year, the increasing speed of wealth creation seems to promise a bright future for Indian philanthropy”, said Anas Rahman Junaid, Business Head, Hurun Report India.

However, according to Charity Aid Foundation UK, as per the World Giving Index, India came down in its ranking from 93rd in 2013 to 106 in 2014, demonstrating an overall reduction in Indian philanthropy.

Rupert Hoogewerf, Chairman and Chief Researcher of Hurun Report, said “Education is the cause that India’s philanthropists feel they can make the biggest difference in.”

Tables & Stats:

Top 10 Philanthropists of 2015

Rank Name Donation (in Cr) Cause Age Company City Industry
1− Azim Premji 27,514 Education 70 Wipro Bangalore TMT
Nandan & Rohini Nilekani 2,404 Urban Governance 60/56 Infosys Bangalore TMT
NR Narayana Murthy 1,322 Social Development 69 Infosys Bangalore TMT
K Dinesh & Family 1,238 Education 61 Infosys Bangalore TMT
Shiv Nadar 535 Healthcare 70 HCL New Delhi TMT
Mukesh Ambani


345 Healthcare 58 Reliance Mumbai Energy
Sunny Varkey & Family 326 Education 58 Gems Dubai Education
Ronnie Screwvala 158 Education 53 UTV Group Mumbai TMT
Rahul Bajaj & Family 139 Social Development 77 Bajaj Auto Pune Automobile
10é Pallonji Mistry 96 Social Development 86 Shapoorji Pallonji Group Mumbai Engineering & Construction

é Increase in Rankings; − Retained Ranking;  ê Down compared with last year; NEW New to the Top 10

Source: Hurun India Philanthropy List 2015

Favored Philanthropic Causes:

Rank Cause % of List


% compared with last year Total contribution  ( in Cr ) Total compared with last year Biggest Philanthropist


Highest Individual Donation (in Cr)
1 Education 50%  Down 2% 29768 Up 103% Azim Premji & Family 27,515
2 Social Development 25% Up 5% 1656 Up 35% NR Narayana Murthy 1322
3 Healthcare 17%  Down 9% 1011 Down 30% Mukesh Ambani 345
4 Urban Governance 6% Up 6% 2469 Up 101% Nandan and Rohini Nilekani 2404
5 Wedding 3% Up 3% 13 New cause Ravi Pillai 13

Source: Hurun India Philanthropy List 2015

Geographical Spread

Rank City No of Indiv Compared with last year Top Contributor Total Contribution

(INR Cr)

1 Mumbai 10 Down 4 Mukesh Ambani 872
2 Bangalore 9 Up 1 Azim Premji 32,601
3 New Delhi 4 Down 2 Shiv Nadar 581
4 Pune 3 Up 1 Rahul Bajaj & family 229
5 Dubai 2 Down 2 Sunny Varkey & family 358
6 London 2 Same Anil Agarwal & Family 115
7 Ahmedabad 1 Down 2 Pankaj Patel & family 11
7 Calicut 1 Up 1 M P Ahammed & Family 30
7 Hisar 1 Same Savitri Jindal & Family 83
7 Thrissur 1 Up 1 T. S. Kalyanaraman 12
7 Kollam 1 Same Ravi Pillai 13

Source: Hurun India Philanthropy List 2015

Rank Name 2015

(In INR crs)

2014 (INR crores) Primary Cause Age Company City Industry
1 Azim Premji & Family 27514 12316 Education 70 Wipro Bangalore TMT
2 Nandan & Rohini Nilekani 2404 498 Urban Governance 60/56 Infosys Bangalore TMT
3 NR Narayana Murthy & Family 1322 13 Social Development 69 Infosys Bangalore TMT
4 K.Dinesh & Family 1238 New Education 61 Infosys Bangalore TMT
5 Shiv Nadar 535 125 Education 70 HCL New Delhi TMT
6 Mukesh Ambani 345 603 Healthcare 58 Reliance Mumbai Energy
7 Sunny Varkey 326 17 Education 58 Gems Dubai Education
8 Ronnie Screwvala 158 350 Education 53  UTV Group Mumbai TMT
9 Rahul Bajaj & family 139 16 Social Development 77 Bajaj Auto Pune Automobile
10 Pallonji Mistry 96 60 Social Development 86 Shapoorji Pallonji Mumbai Engineering & Construction
11 Anil Agarwal & Family 95 1796 Education 51 Vedanta Resource London Energy
12 Adi Godrej & Family 85 73 Education 75 Godrej Mumbai FMCG
13 Savitri Jindal & Family 83 65 Education 65 Jindal Steel & Power Hisar Steel
14 Kumar M Birla & family 70 34 Education 48 Aditya Birla Group Mumbai Manufacturing
15 Cyrus S Poonawalla 65 New Urban Governance 74 Serum Instiute of India Pune Pharmaceuticals
16 Ajay Piramal 52 40 Education 59 Piramal Enterprise Mumbai Pharmaceuticals
17 S Gopalakrishnan 38 255 Healthcare 60 Infosys Bangalore TMT
18 Rohan Murthy 35 New Education 32 Infosys Bangalore TMT
19 Azad Moopen 32 100 Healthcare 62 DM Healthcare Dubai Investments
20 MP Ahammed & family 30 New Social Development 57 Malabar Group Calicut Jewellery
20 Anil Ambani& Family 30 New Healthcare 56 Reliance Capital Mumbai Financial Service
22 Anu Aga & Family 25 14 Education 73 Thermax Pune Energy
23 PNC Menon 20 26 Education 66 Education Bangalore Infrastucture
23 Suresh and Mahesh Ramakrishnan 20 New Social Development Whitcomb & Shaftesbury London Textiles
25 Sunil Mittal & Family 18 68 Education 57 Bharti Airtel New Delhi Telecom
26 Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw 16 New Healthcare 62 Biocon Bangalore Bio-technology
27 Anand Burman & Family 15 New Healthcare 63 Dabur New Delhi FMCG
28 SD Shibulal & Family 14 48 Education 60 Infosys Bangalore Biotechnology
29 Romesh Wadhwani 13 New Education 67 Symphony Technology Group United states Investment
29 Kushal Pal Singh & family 13 36 Social Development 84 DLF New Delhi Real estate
29 Ravi Pillai 13 145 Wedding 62 RP Group Kollam Infrastructure
32 Subhash Chandra & family 12 New Social Development 64 Zee Entertainment Mumbai Media
32 Nita Ambani 12 New Social Development 52 Reliance Industries Mumbai Energy
32 TS Kalyanaraman 12 New Social Development 64 Kalyan Jewellers Thrissur Textiles
35 Harsh Mariwala & family 11 15 Education 64 Marico Mumbai FMCG
35 Pankaj Patel  & family 11 27 Education 62 Cadilla Health Care Ahmedabad Pharmaceutical


To put together a comprehensive list of the largest philanthropists of India is an almost impossible task. However, we believe at Hurun Report that, the Hurun India Philanthropy List is the most serious and authoritative effort to date, identifying the individuals and highlighting the causes they donate to.

To make this list, the Hurun Report surveyed India’s most successful entrepreneurs, including the 300 from the Hurun India Rich List 2015, meticulously cross referencing the results with media reports and charitable foundations. In the course of the research, Hurun Report attended non-profit related seminars, as well as meeting with scholars, experts, philanthropists and senior members of charitable foundations.

Hurun Report includes cash and cash equivalents pledged with legally binding commitments for the twelve month period from 1 November 2014 to 31 October 2015. In the event that a pledge has been made, we assume a yearly donation made on average ife expectency.

Hurun Report included donations made by companies in which an individual had a significant share, by applying the percentage the individual has of the company on the donations. So, for example, JP Associates in the period made donations of INR 49 Cr, and Jaiprakash Gaur holds 45% of the shares of the company, so Hurun Report recorded Gaur’s donations as INR 22 Cr.

The list includes only individuals born and bred in India regardless of the passport they currently hold. Values are rounded, and past figures are subject to exchange rate fluctuations. 1 USD = 66.74 (Dated on 9-12-15)

IT tycoon Azim Premji is the ‘Most Generous Indian, donating INR 27,514 Cr36 Indians on the list, down from 50 last year. 12 new entrants and 26 drop outs

With a net worth of INR 9000 Cr, ‘Education King’ Sunny Varkey, 58, joins Gates and Buffett by pledging half his wealth to the ‘Giving Pledge’.

Nandan, Rohini Nilekani & Family, came in second with a donation of INR 2404 Cr, primarily towards the cause of urban governance, public policy and education.

Education remains the most favoured philanthropic cause, accounting for 84% of donations

Led by Azim Premji, South Indians in the list donated more than the North Indians 

Average donation increased from INR 300 crores last year to INR 900 crores this year, mainly on the back of Premji’s donation

With 10 individuals, Mumbai is home to most of the Hurun philanthropists, followed by Bengaluru and Delhi

Anu Aga and Family of Thermax donate 30% of family’s income to their flagship intiative Teach for India Campaign.

With a donation of INR 35 Cr, Rohan Murthy (32) of Infosys is the youngest philanthropist on the list; Oldest being Pallonji Mistry (86) of Shapoorji Pallonji who donated INR 96 crores.

5 do not live in India. Of the non residents, 4 made their donations in India.

Average age of 63 years, one year older than the average age of the Hurun India Rich List 2015.

33 of the Top 36 are also listed in the Hurun India Rich List 2015.

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