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7 Indians feature in Forbes Asia's Heroes of Philanthropy list

By Seema Hakhu Kachru
September 08, 2015 09:28 IST
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Sunny Varkey

Image: Sunny Varkey. Photograph: Rediff Archives

Seven Indians feature in Forbes Asia's ninth Heroes of Philanthropy list, highlighting most noteworthy contributions to philanthropy from 13 countries across Asia Pacific.

Of them, four are co-founders of Infosys, one of India's largest information technology services companies.

Nandan Nilekani

Image: Nandan Nilekani. Photograph: Rajesh Karkera/

Kerala-born entrepreneur Sunny Varkey, who in June pledged about half of his $2.25 billion dollar fortune to charity as part of Bill Gates and Warren Buffet-led Giving Pledge initiative, tops the list of philanthropists in the region.

Dubai-based Varkey is the founder of GEMS Education, a chain of 70 private schools in 14 counties.   

Image: Rohan Murty with his wife, Lakshmi Venu. Photograph: PTI.

Image: Rohan Murty with his wife, Lakshmi Venu. Photograph: PTI.

Infosys co-founders Senapathy Gopalakrishnan, Nandan Nilekani and S D Shibulal feature on the list for their individual contributions to the health and education sectors.

S D Shibulal

Image: S D Shibulal. Photograph: Reuters

Another Infosys co-founder N R Narayana Murthy's son Rohan  is on the list for donating a whopping $5.2 million to Harvard University Press for promoting ancient Indian literary classics.

S Gopalakrishnan.

Image: Senapathy Gopalakrishnan. Photograph: Reuters

He represents his father N R Narayana Murthy as a philanthropist.

The other two Indian philanthropists are brothers Suresh Ramakrishnan and Mahesh Ramakrishnan, both London-based entrepreneurs and founders of Whitcomb & Shaftesbury Tailors on London's Saville Row.

Ramakrishnan brothers

Image: Suresh (extreme left) and Mahesh Ramakrishnan (extreme right) with the Whitcomb & Shaftesbury team outside the company’s London showroom. Photograph: Kind courtesy, Whitcomb & Shaftesbury's Facebook page

The brothers donated $3 million for training of more than 4,000 people in tailoring across India. Beneficiaries include the 2004 tsunami victims and ‘ill-fated’ women.

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