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Azim Premji: "The Indian Bill Gates"

June 19, 2010, 12:00 AM
Following in the spirit of U.S. tech mogul Bill Gates, billionaire Azim Premji, the Chairman of Wipro and the second richest man in India, announced recently that he plans to give most of his fortune to charity. "If one has been blessed, or have been fortunate enough to have got much more than normal wealthy, it is but natural that one expects a certain fiduciary responsibility in terms of how that wealth is applied used and leveraged for purposes of society."

In his Big Think interview Premji also weighs in on the question of why philanthropy isn't as developed in India as it is in North America. "The concept of the strong linkage to the family is breaking down in Western nations," he says. When Indians decide not to give money to family members, they have to ask themselves, "Do you take it to the grave, or do you donate it to some more worthwhile purpose?"

Premji also says he's not worried about India's rapid economic growth: "The job of nation building, the job of nation leadership in a difficult, complex coalition has worked. What more maturity can you expect from a democracy?" he says. 

As for China, its economy has become a bubble, but Premji thinks the Chinese government "is seriously considering whether they should firm the Chinese currency because of international pressure, but also because the economy is heating up too much in terms of flow through exports."

Azim Premji: "The Indian Bi...

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