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Forbes' philanthropy list has Rohini Nilekani, Ajay Piramal on board

Nandan Nilekani's wife, one of the notable altruists, has given away about $40 million over the years for philanthropy

Press Trust of India  |  Singapore 

Ajay Piramal & Rohini Nilekani

Four Indians, including Rohini Nilekani and Ajay Piramal, have made it to the latest annual Forbes list of ‘Heroes of Philanthropy in Asia Pacific’ among billionaires and business people.

The list, comprising 48 persons, also includes four each from Australia, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan and Thailand. Releasing the list, Forbes said that these 48 persons have contributed to the society with their “generosity” and include billionaires as also the “less well-known business people”.

Listing 55-year old Rohini Nilekani, wife of Infosys co-founder Nandan Nilekani, as one of the notable altruists, Forbes said she has given away about $40 million over the years for philanthropy.

  • $40 mn : Rohini Nilekani (wife of Infosys co-founder Nandan Nilekani)
  • $12 mn : Ashish Dhawan (former banker)
  • $6 mn : Ajay Piramal (Chairman, Piramal Group)
  • $3.3 mn : Desh Bandhu Gupta (Chairman, Lupin)

“She set up Arghyam, which supports projects to protect groundwater and improve sanitation in India. She has also donated funds from sale of her Infosys shares...,” it added. Besides, she plans to donate $1.7 million to India’s oldest think-tank New Delhi based National Council of Applied Economic Research (NCAER).

About 58-year-old Ajay Piramal, a serial entrepreneur and pharma tycoon, Forbes said he has donated $ six million over the past four years to his Piramal Foundation.

75-year old Desh Bandhu Gupta, Founder and Chairman of drug-maker Lupin, is also among the four Indians on this Forbes list. Endowing his charitable foundation past year with $3.3 million, Gupta has earmarked another $20 million to be spent over the next five years.

Youngest among the four Indians is 45-year Ashish Dhawan, a Harvard MBA and former Goldman Sachs banker. Dhawan, who stepped down from private equity major ChrysCapital in 2012 to set up Central Square Foundation, has pledged $8.5 million to the foundation. He has also donated $3.5 million to the newly established Ashoka University, which aims to provide a world-class, liberal arts education at an affordable cost. Others on the list include Malaysian airline major AirAsia chief Anthony Fernandes, Australian billionaires Andrew Forrest and James Packer, Indonesia’s business leader Tahir and Japan’s Hiroshi Mikitani, who is the chairman and chief operating officer of Rakuten.

First Published: Fri, June 27 2014. 00:49 IST