Premji pledges another 34% of his Wipro shares to philanthropy
14 March 2019
Wipro chairman Azim Premji has committed another 34 per cent of his shares in Wipro Ltd to philanthrophy, taking his total commitment to philanthropic activities to 67 per cent of all beneficial ownership in the company.
At current market prices, the newly pledged shares are worth about Rs52,750 crore ($7.5 billion), which takes the total value of Azim Premji’s philanthropic endowment corpus to Rs1,45,000 crore ($21 billion).
Premji, who is also the chairman of Azim Premji Foundation, has announced that he has increased his commitment to philanthropy, by irrevocably renouncing 34 per cent of the shares in Wipro, earmarking them to the Endowment, which supports the Foundation's philanthropic activities.
“Azim Premji has increased his commitment to philanthropy, by irrevocably renouncing more of his personal assets and earmarking them to the endowment, which supports Azim Premji Foundation’s philanthropic activities,” the city-based Foundation said in a statement.
This is in addition to his earlier commitment to philanthropy, which included Wipro's shares, as well as other assets owned by him.
The Azim Premji Foundation works directly in education and supports some other not-for-profit organisations through multi-year financial grants.
The Foundation strives to provide education to children in some of the most disadvantaged parts of India, so as to help contribute to the improvement of quality and equity of the public (government) schooling system.
The Foundation has been working in close partnership with various state governments and its field work is currently spread across Karnataka, Uttarakhand, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Puducherry, Telangana, and Madhya Pradesh, as also some north-eastern states.
The Foundation is planning to scale up its activities significantly over the next five years. The Foundation’s current 1,600-strong team that is engaged in the field work in education is also expected to grow significantly.
The Azim Premji University in Bengaluru will expand to have 5,000 students and 400 faculty members across multiple programs. The Foundation also plans to set up another university in northern India.
With the expansion, the Foundation aims to better contribute to developing a more just, equitable, humane and sustainable society in India.