Azim Premji Tops India Philanthropy List With Education Giving

For the third year in a row, Azim Premji ranks first on the latest edition of the Hurun India Philanthropy List, with total charitable giving in 2015 of more than $4.12 billion (Rs. 27,514 crore), the Economic Times reports.

Premji's giving in 2015 to the Azim Premji Foundation — which works in eight Indian states and supports more than three hundred and fifty schools — was more than double the $1.84 billion (Rs. 12,316 crore) he gave in 2014 and accounted for 80 percent of the total given by India's top ten philanthropists, as ranked by the Hurun Report. Premji, chair of the IT consulting and outsourcing firm Wipro, committed an additional 18 percent of his stake in the company to a trust that supports the foundation last July; he has now dedicated half of his stake in Wipro to charity. He signed the Giving Pledge in 2013, the first Indian billionaire to do so.

The list, which tracked total giving between November 1, 2014, and October 31, 2015, with a cutoff of Rs.10 crore ($1.49 million), includes thirty-six Indian philanthropists, down from fifty the previous year. On the 2015 list after Premji were three Infosys co-founders — Nandan and Rohini Nilekani, NR Narayana Murthy, and K Dinesh — followed by HCL Technologies founder Shiv Nadar and Mukesh Ambani, chair of Reliance Industries and the richest man in India.

According to the Hurun Report, education remained the issue area that attracted the most support, accounting for 84 percent of giving by those on the list. "Education is the cause that India's philanthropists feel they can make the biggest difference in," said Rupert Hoogewerf, chair and chief researcher of Hurun Report.

Saumya Bhattacharya. "Azim Premji the 'Most Generous Indian' in Hurun India Philanthropy List 2015." Economic Times 01/09/2016. Simar Singh. "Azim Premji Leads Philanthropic Efforts As the Most Generous Indian." Business World 01/11/2016.