rediff.com

NewsApp (Free)

Read news as it happens
Download NewsApp

Available on  

Rediff News  All News 
Rediff.com  » Business » Premji gives half his stake in Wipro for charity

Premji gives half his stake in Wipro for charity

Last updated on: July 08, 2015 21:24 IST

Image: Bill Gates (L) his wife Melinda Gates, Azim Premji (2nd L) and billionaire Warren Buffett (R) attend a news conference. Photograph: B Mathur/Reuters
 
 

IT czar Azim Premji has given away almost half of his stakeholding in Wipro, India's third largest exporter of software services, to philanthropy.

The Wipro's billionaire founder has given away an additional 18 per cent of his stake in the IT company for charity, thus earmarking 39 per cent of stake (worth Rs 53,284 crore) for a charitable trust.

The latest philanthrophic initiative by Premji would pump in an additional Rs 530 crore (Rs 5.3 billion) by way of dividends into the Azim Premji Trust's corpus this year.

69-year old Premji is the first Indian to sign the Giving Pledge, sponsored by billionaires Warren Buffett and Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates to invite the world's wealthiest to donate majority of their wealth to charity.

Image: Azim Premji, India’s most generous billionaire. Photograph: B Mathur/Reuters
 
 

"Over the past fifteen years, I have tried to put this belief into action through my personal philanthropic work...," Premji said in a letter to shareholders published in the company's annual report for the year ended March 2015.

Premji said, "Over these years I have irrevocably transferred a significant part of the shareholding in Wipro, amounting to 39 per cent of the shares of Wipro, to a Trust (of which ownership in 21.14 per cent was transferred and for the balance the Trust is entitled to beneficial interest of dividends and sale proceeds)."

The previously transferred 21 per cent stake was estimated at $4.3 billion. The promoter group led by Premji holds 73.39 per cent stake in Wipro.

Premji was considered the 'most generous Indian' of 2014 according to the Hurun India Philanthropy List.

He said the Trust supports the work of The Azim Premji Foundation and Azim Premji Philanthropic Initiative and thus a very significant part of the value created by Wipro, goes towards social causes.

Premji also stated in the report that economic value is sustainable only if created on a foundation of ethics and responsibility.

"For us, this is the driving force in the form of our values and is something that we will continue to remain completely committed to," he added.

The company's Social and Sustainability Initiatives are driven by the conviction that corporations should play a significant role in contributing to building a better society, Premji said.

"The owners - individuals or other entities - of such corporations can do a lot more for society, because they can choose to exercise the right of their ownership, and invest their wealth in any social cause, to their utmost," he said.

© Copyright 2018 PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.