Azim Premji first Indian to sign Gates-Buffet charity pledge

Wipro founder and chairman Azim Premji on Tuesday became become the first Indian to sign up for the Giving Pledge, a movement started founded mainly by Microsoft's bill gates and investor Warren Buffet where large-hearted billionaires undertake to pledge the majority of their wealth to philanthropy.

The software tycoon is already active in philanthropy, having donated 8.7 per cent of his personal stockholding in Wipro to his Azim Premji Foundation, which is active in the field of education. He committed nearly Rs9,000 crore for philanthropy in 2010 alone.

In a letter for the first international "Giving Pledge", group, Premji said he would direct more of his wealth towards the endowment supporting his foundation.

"I was deeply influenced by Gandhi's notion of holding one's wealth in trusteeship, to be used for the betterment of society and not as if one owned it," he wrote.

He said the Azim Premji Foundation currently has 800 workers spread across the country, most of who are working for the betterment of some of the most disadvantaged regions of the country, and others at the Azim Premji University in Bangalore.

"The Foundation plans to scale up to 4,000-5,000 people over the next five years," Premji said.