The purpose of philanthropy is for the improvement of mankind’s wellbeing and eliminating social problems. In the midst of the countless poor people in India, a number of billionaires have dedicated their wealth to philanthropic causes and are giving back to society to ensure that children, women and the hungry are well fed and taken care of. These philanthropists also strive to eradicate poverty through social initiatives that will make for life-changing impact in the society. Here, Top 10 of Asia shares its list of the top 10 billionaires in India who have donated huge sums of money for philantrophic causes. These individuals were also listed in the Edelgive Hurun India Philantrophy list.
Shiv Nadar is a billionaire in India who is also a philanthropist and industrialist. He is the founder and Chairman of a software firm, HCL Technologies Limited, Shiv Nadar University and the Shiv Nadar Foundation. The university was established for multidisciplinary education, embedded in innovation and research while the Foundation was established in 1994 and it is committed to create a more equitable, merit-based society through transformational education to bridge the socio-economic divide. It has established institutions and programmes in the underdeveloped areas in India related to art and also urban and rural education. Shiv has donated Rs 826 crore to charity.
Azim Hashim Premji is a philanthropist, business tycoon, investor and engineer. He is the founder and was also the Chairman of Wipro Limited. His commitment to philanthropy started with the cause of education for disadvantaged children and his education-centered foundation, the Azim Premji Foundation was established. The foundation now collaborates with over 200,000 public schools across India in training teachers and providing initiatives that included a better curriculum. Azim generously earmarked funds as endowment towards philanthropy as a charity pledge. Azim has donated Rs 453 crore to charity.
Mukesh Dhirubhai Ambani is a billionaire business magnate who is the Chairman and Managing Director plus largest shareholder of Reliance Jio Infocomm Limited, a telecommunications company headquartered in Mumbai, Maharashtra, India. Mukesh also established the Reliance Foundation for philanthropic initiatives for underprivileged communities and he has given Rs 402 crore to charity.
Nandan Nilekani is an Indian entrepreneur, bureaucrat, politician and the co-founder of Infosys, an Indian multinational corporation providing digital services and consulting. Nandan and his wife, Rohini Nilekani donated half of their wealth to “The Giving Pledge” initiated by Bill Gates, Microsoft’s founder and his wife, Melinda Gates. Nandan has also donated and set up the Indian Institute for Human Settlements, which is a national education institution committed to the equitable, sustainable and efficient transformation of Indian settlements. Nandan’s donation to charity amounted to some Rs 204 crore.
Ajay Piramal is the Chairman of Piramal Group, a conglomerate dealing with pharmaceutical, financial services, real estate, healthcare analytics and glass packaging. He is also an Indian billionaire, industrialist and social entrepreneur. Ajay has set up a foundation known as the The Piramal Foundation and it is dedicated to engage in initiatives that improve the areas of healthcare, education, water and women’s empowerment in India. Ajay has given some Rs 200 crore to charity.
Rohini Nilekani is an Indian author, writer, author and philanthropist. She is the founder and Chairperson of Arghyam Foundation, a non-profit that focuses on water and sanitation issues. She is also the Chairperson of the Akshara Foundation that focuses on elementary education. Rohini started her philanthropic journey when she supported young girls with scholarships. The Akshara Foundation makes education accessible in government-run primary schools. Some Rs 142 crore has been given by Rohini for charitable causes.
Rahul Bajaj is a philanthropist and Chairman of Bajaj Auto, a subsidiary under Bajaj Group, a company providing variety of manufactured products and financial services in India and abroad, including motorised 2 and 3-wheelers, home appliances, electric lamps, wind energy, special alloy and stainless steel, cranes, forgings, infrastructure development, material handling equipment, travel, general and life insurance and investment plus consumer finance and asset management. The Bajaj family has a legacy of philanthropy and Rahul heads the CSR initiative of Bajaj Group that has seen some Rs 131 crore donated to charity.
Cyrus S Poonawalla
Cyrus S Poonawalla founded the Serum Institute of India in 1966 and it became one of the largest vaccine makers. For a philanthropic cause, Cyrus creates vaccine for downtrodden people with the cheapest and affordable price. He provided funds for the construction of roads, highways, parks and rehabilitation centre for the handicapped and people with leprosy. Cyrus also organises free rubella immunisation camps for girls at slum areas in collaboration with Rotary International. His contribution to charity amounted to some Rs 117 crore.
Anil Agarwal is the Chairman of Vedanta Resources Limited, a globally diversified Natural Resources Company dealing with zinc-lead-silver, iron ore, steel, copper, aluminium, power, oil and gas. He is also an avid philanthropist who is dedicated in helping those who are poor and needy. He set up the Anil Agarwal Foundation focusing on women empowerment, child development and education. He has also pledged a portion of 75% of his wealth to charity with some Rs 113 crore already given out to charity.
Gautam Adani is the Chairperson of the Adani Group, a company transporting logistics and energy utility portfolio businesses focusing on large scale infrastructure development in India. He is also the Chairman for Adani Ports & SEZ Ltd, the largest commercial ports operator in India accounting. Gautam has established the Adani foundation for the purpose of philanthropic work in 18 states in India. He has donated some Rs 84 crore for charitable causes.