Azim Premji allocates his additional 18% stake in company to Charity

July 15, 2015 by  
Filed under newsletter-india

WiproBengaluru: IT tycoon and Wipro’s chairman Azim Premji has committed to give around additional 18 % of his stake in Wipro for charity purposes, taking his total charity to 39 % of his company’s shares (worth Rs 53,284 crore) primarily for funding education.

The latest philanthropic initiative by Premji would pump in an additional Rs 530 crore by way of dividends into the Azim Premji Trust’s corpus this year.

“Over the past 15 years, I have tried to put this belief into action through my personal philanthropic work. Over these years, I have irrevocably transferred a significant part of the shareholding, amounting to 39 % of the shares of Wipro, to the Trust,” Premji wrote in a letter to all the shareholders.

Premji, 69, controls a 73.39 % stake in Wipro and also owns a private equity fund, PremjiInvest, which manages his $1 billion worth of personal portfolio.

Wipro is India’s third-largest exporter company of IT products and services. In Wipro’s annual report for the year ended March 2015, Premji said he has now allocated the equivalent of 39% of the company’s shares to a trust focused on philanthropic initiatives, mainly primary education. The additional 18% stake forms the latest tranche of shares Premji has allocated for charity.

Apart from the latest development, Premji is the first Indian to sign up for The Giving Pledge, a campaign led by Warren Buffett and Bill Gates, to encourage the wealthiest people to make a commitment to give most of their wealth to philanthropic causes. He is the third non-American after Richard Branson and David Sainsbury to join this philanthropy club.

In 2001, Premji had founded the Azim Premji Foundation, a non-profit organisation, with a vision to significantly contribute to achieving quality universal education that facilitates a just, equitable, humane and sustainable society. The Foundation works in the area of elementary education to pilot and develop ‘proofs of concept’ that have a potential for systemic change in India’s 1.3 million government-run schools.

Pertinently, Premji was considered the ‘Most Generous Indian of 2014’ in a survey by Hurun Research Institute.

– tcn

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