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Who's The Most Generous Of Them All?

By Surajeet Das Gupta
March 11, 2024 13:24 IST
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Even the biggest Indian philanthropists are far behind their global peers, finds India Philanthropy Report 2024.

IMAGE: Kindly note the image has been posted only for representational purposes. Photograph: Kind courtesy RDNE Stock project/

India's super-rich who boast businesses worth over Rs 1,000 crore tend to give less to charity than the rich with a net worth of Rs 500-1,000 crore, according to a new report on trends in philanthropy.

Among other findings about family philanthropy is that women give a larger share of their wealth than men; now generation wealth creators (first generation of wealth creators) give more than inter-generation funders (current generation of family philanthropists); and professionals -- generally C-suite executives in private companies --donate more than business folk.

The "India Philanthropy Report 2024" by Bain & Company, in collaboration with Dasra, released recently, also found that donations from ultra-high-net-worth individuals or UHNWIs grew by a staggering 60 per cent in FY23 to reach Rs 6,850 crore.

The sharp rise was driven primarily by significantly bigger contributions from just two individuals: Azim Premji and Shiv Nadar.

Wipro's Premji increased his contribution by Rs 1,000 crore while HCL Technologies' Shiv Nadar augmented his by Rs 700 crore.

The overall net worth of UHNWIs also went up by 15 per cent (excluding the net worth of Premji and the Adanis) in the same period.

While the figures seem eye-watering, even the biggest Indian philanthropists are far behind their global peers.

The contribution of Indian UHNWIs of their total net worth is only 0.1 per cent, compared with 0.6 per cent in China, 0.7 per cent in the UK and 1.6 per cent in the US.

While the number of UHNWI philanthropists has grown from 100 in FY22 to 120 in FY23, some have donated only sporadically. Around 70 of them have been consistent donors.

Moreover, high-net-worth individuals or HNWIs with a net worth of Rs 200-1,000 crore and affluent donors with a net worth of Rs 7-200 crore donated much more of their wealth -- 0.7 per cent of their net worth -- than UHNWIs did.

This fact has prompted Bain & Company researchers to predict that HNWI and affluent donor contributions for altruistic causes would rise substantially from 22 per cent in FY23 to 35 per cent in FY28 in consequence of their numbers swelling to 1.7 million by then, representing a cumulative net worth of Rs 460 trillion.

At a macro level, Indian private funding ended FY23 with contributions of Rs 1.21 trillion, growing by 10 per cent, much faster than the average of 5 per cent between FY18 and FY23.

A more detailed scrutiny across the various segments shows that now generation funders donated 0.19 per cent of their wealth as compared with inter-generation funders who gave away 0.06 per cent of their wealth.

Women philanthropists were more generous than men, giving 0.14 per cent of their wealth compared with men's 0.11 per cent (if Premji's singular contribution is excluded).

Professionals donated 0.13 per cent of their wealth, more than business owners who gave away 0.08 per cent.

Feature Presentation: Ashish Narsale/

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Surajeet Das Gupta
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India Votes 2024

India Votes 2024