Nandan Nilekani, Nikhil Kamath on Forbes Asia Heroes of Philanthropy List


PTI, Nov 30, 2023, 1:40 PM IST

Nandan Nilekani, co-founder of Infosys, K P Singh, chairman emeritus at DLF, and Nikhil Kamath, co-founder of Zerodha, have been named on the 17th edition of Forbes Asia’s Heroes of Philanthropy list released on Thursday.

The unranked list ”highlights business leaders who are donating from their fortunes and giving personal time and attention to their select causes”, Forbes said in a press release.

The annual list, which spotlights 15 philanthropists, does not include corporate philanthropy except for privately-held companies where the individual is a majority owner.

Nandan Nilekani, co-founder and chairman of tech giant Infosys, have made it to the list for donating Rs 3.2 billion (USD 38 million) to his alma mater IIT Bombay in June, Forbes said, adding that the gift will be made over a period of five years.

This was to mark his 50-year association with the technology institute, where he studied electrical engineering as an undergraduate.

Since 1999, Nilekani has given Rs 4 billion in total to the institute. In the past year, he donated an additional Rs 1.6 billion to educational causes.

Singh, who stepped down as chairman of DLF in 2020, in August divested his remaining direct stake in the real estate firm to fund philanthropic causes, Forbes said citing the company.

He garnered Rs 7.3 billion from the disposal of his 0.59 per cent shareholding in the Delhi-based property developer.

The 92-year-old Singh, who has an estimated fortune of USD 14 billion, splits his time between London and Dubai.

After previously setting up the K.P. Singh Foundation Trust and the K.P. Singh Charitable Foundation Trust, Singh launched the KP Singh Foundation in 2020.

Kamath, who made it into the Forbes’ philanthropy list, joined the Giving Pledge initiative in June.

In his pledge letter, the 37-year-old co-founder of discount broking firm Zerodha, wrote he is mainly interested in climate change, energy, education, and health as well as the foundation’s mission to create a more equitable society.

Kamath’s YouTube podcast series ‘WTF is’ has been giving away up to Rs 10 million (USD 120,000) — contributed by Kamath and business leaders who are guests on his show — to a charity picked by audience members, Forbes said.

Kamath, who has an estimated net worth of USD 1.1 billion, plans to increase episode donations to Rs 40 million, it added.

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