Azim Premji, Chairman of Wipro Ltd., pledged on Tuesday to contribute more to philanthropy. Mr. Premji, who donated 8.7 per cent of the Wipro stock in 2010 — valued then at $2 billion — to the Azim Premji Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the company, said he would contribute to the growth of the Foundation.
“I strongly believe that those of us, who are privileged to have wealth, should contribute significantly to try and create a better world for the millions who are far less privileged,” Mr. Premji said in a statement.
He said the workforce of the foundation, which employs about 800 persons across the country, would be “scaled up” to 4,000-5,000 people in about five years.
He said the foundation, which was focussed on promoting education, particularly at the primary school level, but which also funds the Azim Premji University, is aimed at providing opportunities to the “disadvantaged”.
Referring to the recasting of the management of the company, Mr. Premji said: “The developments of the past two years have given me confidence in our institutional strategy,” he said.
However, even as the company went ahead with the changes, Mr. Premji said, he was “committed to transferring more of my wealth to scale up the Endowment of the Foundation.”
Mr. Premji, who took over the family business in 1966 following his father’s death, recalled the “significant influence” his mother had in shaping his attitude to philanthropy. Despite being a medical doctor, she chose to help build and run for 50 years a charitable hospital for children afflicted by polio and cerebral palsy, in Mumbai.