Meet India’s top 10 billionaires who donate money for social good

India has produced a number of billionaires even as family businesses have passed down from generation to generation.

However, the difference in quality of life and economic freedom between the rich and poor in the country is huge. One wishes there was a way to trickle down the wealth in a few hands to those in dire need of it. A few billionaires in India are doing just that, extending their helping hands to those in need.

There were 21 self-made and 17 inherited entrepreneurs in the Hurun list. Mumbai houses the most number of philanthropists at 12, followed by Bengaluru (6) and Ahmedabad (4).

Here are the top 10 Indian philanthropists in terms of amount donated from October 1, 2017, to September 31, 2018.

Shiv Nadar (Rs 770 crore) 

Net worth: Rs 1480 crore

Padma Bhushan awardee Shiv Nadar co-founded HCL in 1976 to make calculators and microprocessors, which went on to become a multinational IT company. Currently, Chairman of HCL, Nadar also runs the Shiv Nadar Foundation that pursues creative philanthropy. Among other things, the foundation supports rural education and provides scholarships for underprivileged students to study abroad. The 74-years-old also founded the SSN College of Engineering in Chennai in 1996 and gifted Rs 1 million worth of HCL shares to the college.

Mukesh Ambani (Rs 437 crore)

Net worth: Rs 4820 crore 

The 62-year-old Chairman and Managing Director of Reliance Industries was born into the ultra-rich Ambani family. His father Dhirubhai Ambani founded Reliance Industries in 1966 as a small textile manufacturer, and over the years, the company diversified into businesses across sectors, including textiles, telecommunications, and energy.

Mukhesh Ambani, who was named the richest Asian by Forbes in 2018, has invested in sectors like education, social, rural development, and healthcare through Reliance Foundation which is headed by his wife Nita Ambani. Established in 2010, it also undertakes activities like urban renewal, and art and culture. Last year, when Kerala was hit by monsoon flood, he donated Rs 71 crore in cash and supplies. 

Ajay Piramal and family (Rs 200 crore) 

Net worth: Rs 420 crore 

Ajay Piramal chairs Piramal Enterprises, a conglomerate that specialises in pharma, healthcare, and financial services. The group struck its biggest deal in 2010 when Abbott Labs bought Piramal’s pharma arm for $3.8 billion. The group participates in philanthropic activities through the Piramal Foundation, initiating projects in areas of healthcare, education, livelihood creation, and youth empowerment. His wife Swati is vice-chairman and their children Nandini and Anand serve on the board. 

Azim Premji and family ( Rs 113 crore)

Net worth: Rs 480 crore 

Seventy-four-year-old tech magnate Azim Hashim Premji is the Chairman of IT company Wipro and was listed among the 100 most influential people for two years by TIME magazine. 

In 2013, he signed The Giving Pledge to donate at least half of his wealth, a campaign started by Bill Gates and Warren Buffett. 

So far, he has donated $21 billion to Azim Premji Foundation, an education-focused non-profit he founded in 2001.