Indian Business Tycoons Open Gates to Philanthropy


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BANGALORE: Azim Premji, Bill Gates and Ratan Tata will co-host some of India’s wealthiest men and women on Friday to talk philanthropy in an event that has been wrapped in a thick blanket of secrecy.

Premji, 66, the founder of Wipro, has taken the lead in organising the get-together at which none of them will be asked to pledge or give away money.

Among those who are expected to huddle together at a Bangalore hotel are Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw of Biocon, Infosys’ Kris Gopalakrishnan, Rohini Nilekani, who runs a foundation focussed on water and sanitation, and GV Krishna Reddy, the founder of the GVK group.

The participants, all of whom have been personally invited by Premji, have been instructed not to speak to the media about the event.

The three co-hosts are counted among the most generous businessmen in the world. Gates, the founder of Microsoft, and billionaire investor Warren Buffett (the two of them are together worth over $100 billion, or Rs 5.6 lakh crore), have persuaded dozens of America’s billionaires to sign up for the Giving Pledge and return a majority of their fortunes to charitable causes.

The Tata group has a long tradition of philanthropy stretching back to its founding nearly 150 years ago and Premji has pledged nearly Rs 9,000 crore to an eponymous foundation.

(Economic Times)


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