Tycoon gives $2.3 billion to charity

AFP-JIJI

Indian software tycoon Azim Premji said Saturday he has given $2.3 billion to an education charity he controls, reportedly the biggest charitable donation in the country’s recent history.

It is his second recent big donation after giving almost $2 billion to the charity in 2010, and came shortly after he joined the Giving Pledge club set up by Microsoft cofounder Bill Gates and billionaire investor Warren Buffett.

In Saturday’s donation, the chairman of software firm Wipro transferred shares worth $2.3 billion from the company to a trust that controls the education charity Azim Premji Foundation, a company statement said.

The billionaire, who inherited a cooking oil company and transformed it into India’s third-biggest outsourcing services firm, said the trust will use the funds to scale up the foundation’s activities “significantly.”

The media-shy tycoon is India’s third wealthiest individual with a net worth estimated at some $16 billion, according to a 2012 Forbes rich list.