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Azim Premji encourages techies to donate more for charity

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Bengaluru: As software professionals (techies) are well paid, they should give more for charity, Wipro czar Azim Premji said at a fireside chat with Biocon chairperson Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw at a B-school event on Saturday.

IT firms and their employees spend more time on helping victims of national calamities, but their contribution to charity is disappointing though they are well paid and can afford to give more,

The event was held as part of the Indian Institute of Management-Bangalore (IIM-B) alumni leadership meet.

Shaw is also chairperson of the IIM-B’s board of governors since February 2014, succeeding Reliance Industries chairman Mukesh Ambani.

As one of India’s top billionaires, Premji pledged his personal shares valued at $8.5 billion to charity and philanthropic activities through a not-for-profit foundation named after him.

I have always considered wealth as a fiduciary responsibility and the reason why I gave my wealth is that was the right thing to do in a country ridden with poverty, misappropriation of funds and many disadvantaged people,

Azim Premji Foundation works in eight states funding a whopping 350,000 state-run schools to improve the quality of teaching and learning for an overall improvement of the primary education across the country.

My biggest regret is that I started too late, 14-15 years back in a small way in promoting education and government schools. We have demonstrated scale in the past four-five years because we felt a need to uplift the quality of education in government schools.

Asked how to inspire people to donate for genuine causes, the IT czar said most of the people were aware of their social responsibilities and need not be told to donate.

I think the reason why wealthy Indians don’t give as much as Americans is their families are larger and a majority of them believe they should bequeath their wealth to their children.

“Such a thinking of leaving wealth fully to children acts as a deterrent. But I think the new generation of the wealthy is more generous, especially in southern India,” Premji noted out during the interaction.

On how to convince the rich or wealthy to donate beyond family, he admitted that it was a long-drawn process, as men have to convince their wives in giving away because the latter are socially more sensitive and have time to lead philanthropic initiatives while their husbands are busy making money.

“People who want to get into philanthropy have to first set up an organisation, institutionalise it and commit an irreversible endowment. It is important to do actively than passively. Lay a foundation with one of your trusted people who had demonstrated leadership and full commitment,” Premji concluded. (IANS)

(Picture Courtesy:www.samachar.com)

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Forbes Rich List 2017: Acharya Balkrishna of Patanjali Named as 19th Richest Indian

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Acharya Balkrishna
Acharya Balkrishna. Wikimedia

Oct 05, 2017: Patanjali Ayurveda’s Acharya Balkrishna, the partner of yoga acharya Ramdev, has bagged the nineteenth position this year in the Forbes magazine’s Annual India Rich List 2017 with total assets of $6.55 billion (Rs. 43,000 crores).

Reliance Industries Ltd. foreman Mukesh Ambani managed India’s wealthiest position for the tenth straight year as his total assets swelled to $38 billion (Rs. 2.5 trillion), while Anil Ambani was positioned much lower at the 45th place with $3.15 billion.

Sun Pharma’s Dilip Shanghvi moved down from his previous second place to the ninth.

Also Read: British-Indian Actor Kunal Nayyar Ranks Fourth on Forbes Magazines List of World’s Highest-Paid TV Actors 

Wipro’s Azim Premji held the second position with total assets of $19 billion, climbing two spots from a year ago.

The Hinduja brothers are at the third position with $18.4 billion, while Lakshmi Mittal is presently positioned fourth ($16.5 billion) and Pallonji Mistry fifth ($16 billion).

Forbes said the rundown was arranged utilizing shareholding and budgetary data secured from the families and people, stock trades, investigators and administrative offices.

 

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Strong demand for IT services, effect of falling oil prices still to be felt: Azim Premji

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By NewsGram Staff Writer

There was a strong demand for IT services in Europe and the US where the economy gained a lot of strength, Wipro chairman and IT czar Azim Premji said on Wednesday.

“With the US economy gaining lot of strength, we are seeing strong demand for IT services globally, particularly in continental Europe,” Premji told reporters on the margins of the software major’s 69th annual general meeting here.

Noting that digital technology has emerged as a major trend in IT services, Premji said the company was investing substantially in digital domain in a big way to capitalise on the opportunities unfolding in the sector worldwide.

“We have a venture fund to invest in early stage tech start-ups. We also have enough strength (funds) in the balance sheet for strategic acquisitions,” Premji said.

Admitting that sharp fall in crude oil prices helped the country in reducing its import bill and the trade deficit, the Wipro chairman said the growth was still not felt on the ground.

“Fall in oil prices has helped country but the jury is still out on the growth of the GDP (gross domestic product). We need to, however, give the government more time,” Premji said.

Earlier, in his address at the AGM, Premji told the shareholders that he gave away nearly 40 percent of his equity holding in the company to philanthropy in two transactions, including 21 percent earlier to the Azim Premji Foundation and Azim Premji Philanthropic Initiative.

“I have given up an additional 18 percent of my equity stake in the company for charity to earmark 39 percent of my holding (valued at Rs.53,284 crore) to the charitable trust,” Premji said, drawing applause from the investors.

The 69-year-old IT czar is the first Indian to sign the Giving Pledge, sponsored by billionaires Warren Buffet and Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates to invite the world’s richest to donate majority of their wealth to charity.

“Over the last 15 years, I have tried to put this belief into action through my personal philanthropic work,” Premji told the shareholders.

(With inputs from IANS)

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Friends just on paper? US denied L-1B visa to more than 50% Indians during 2012-2014

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By Newsgram Staff Writer

Data released by the Virginia-based National Foundation for American Policy (NFAP), a non-profit and non-partisan public policy research organization focusing on trade, immigration and related issues has shown that 56% of Indians were denied L-1B visa by the US as opposed to the average denial rate of 13% for other countries.

L-1B, a kind of non- immigrant visa with a stay period of up to 5 years, can be used by US employers to transfer employees with specific skills and knowledge from their offices abroad to those in the US. Indian companies with US subsidiaries can also make use of this visa. The biggest users of L-1B visas are Indian IT companies like TCS, Infosys and Wipro.

NFAP’s data shows that the rejection rate for Chinese and Mexican nationals is less than half, 22% and 21% respectively, of that of Indians.

Of the 25,296 Indians who applied for the visa between 2012 and 2014, 14,104 got rejected.

Visa rejection rates which shot up after the 2007-08 global financial crisis have yet not come down though the unemployment rate in the US is dropping sharply.

In early 2012, the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) officials had proposed new guidelines to review and update the definition for L-1B petitions. “The new proposed guidance never materialized and, based on reports from employers and attorneys, inconsistent decision-making, as well as high levels of denials and requests for evidence have continued,” the NFAP report said.