This Indian Tech Billionaire Just Gave the Biggest Ever Donation to Charity

India's second-richest man, Azim Premji, donated an astonishing $7.5 billion to charity

Mar 30, 2019

Businessman Azim Premji made history last week when he donated a whopping $7.5 billion (yes, billion with a b) to charity. The donation is the single largest contribution to an Indian foundation on record and possibly the biggest donation ever given to charity.

The 73-year old billionaire is the chairman of Wipro Ltd., a company that was first started by his father in 1945. What began as a vegetable oil manufacturer, is now the 4th largest IT service company in India.

Premji donated the generous sum to his foundation, the Azim Premji Foundation, which he started in 2000. The foundation focuses on strengthening rural education and works in 40 different districts across six Indian states.

According to the foundation's website, “The core idea is to improve quality of education and provide better learning experiences for children in government schools through improving the capacities of teachers at multiple levels.”

The foundation also developed the Azim Premji University in Bangalore India; and with the newest funds, they hope to build another university in northern India.

According to Forbes, Premji is the second richest man in India and is renown for his giving. This year alone he donated sums worth 34 percent of his Wipro shares, which is comparable to world-famous donors Bill Gates and Warren Buffet.

Premji’s philanthropy, which makes up 80 percent of large private donations in India, is especially powerful amid reports that India’s wealthiest citizens are donating less money today than they were five years ago.

In total, Premji has donated $21 billion to charity, more than any other Indian billionaire. He was also the first Indian philanthropist to sign the Giving Pledge, a campaign that Gates and Buffet founded to encourage the world’s wealthiest to donate half of their wealth or more to charity.

This week on Twitter Gates even hailed Azim Premji’s contributions as inspirational.

The billionaire tweeted: "I’m inspired by Azim Premji’s continued commitment to philanthropy. His latest contribution will make a tremendous impact."

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE:
Who Is Behind the $2 Million Donation to Give Lab Chimps a New Home?
India Planted 50 Million Trees in One Day to Save the Climate
This Indian Doctor Has Treated Over 2 Million People for Free

HILLA BENZAKEN, CONTRIBUTOR
Hilla Benzaken is a dedicated optimist. Her happy place involves cooking, acting, gardening, and fighting for social justice. She writes about all things sustainability, innovation, and DIY.