Wipro chairman Azim Premji, who is also the chairman of Azim Premji Foundation has announced that he has increased his commitment to philanthropy, by irrevocably renouncing 34% of the shares in Wipro, earmarking them to the Endowment, which supports the Foundation’s philanthropic activities.
At current market value, these shares amount up to Rs 52,750 crore ($7.5 billion), held by certain entities controlled by him. This action is in addition to his earlier donations to philanthropy, which included Wipro’s shares, as well as other assets owned by him. With this action, the total value of the philanthropic endowment corpus contributed by Premji is Rs 1,45,000 crore ($21 billion), which includes 67% of economic ownership of Wipro Limited.
The Azim Premji Foundation works directly in education and supports other not-for-profits working in some specific areas through multi-year financial grants.
The Foundation’s extensive field work in education has been in some of the most disadvantaged parts of India, to help contribute to the improvement of quality and equity of the public (government) schooling system. All this work has been in close partnership with various State Governments. This field work is currently spread across Karnataka, Uttarakhand, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Puducherry, Telangana, and Madhya Pradesh, along with some work in the north-eastern states of India.
Over the next several years, the Foundation is expected to scale up its activities significantly. The team driving the field work in education is expected to grow significantly from the current 1600 people, while the Azim Premji University will expand to have 5000 students with 400 faculty members across multiple programs.
The Foundation also plans to set up another university in the northern part of India. The current university is located in Bengaluru. The grant-making activities will also continue to expand rapidly, growing three times from its current levels, supporting good work across multiple domains of social importance in India. Overall, this strategy and its expansion aims to contribute meaningfully to developing a more just, equitable, humane and sustainable society in India.