Indian biz leaders talk philanthropy with Bill Gates
A large group of Indian business heads met Microsoft founder Bill Gates on Friday over a private dinner meeting at Taj West End Hotel in Bangalore.
The meeting was co-hosted by a foundation of Wipro Chairman Azim Premji, Tata group Chairman Ratan Tata and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The objective of the meeting was to create an awareness and involvement among the rich Indian industrialists to help the society at large through philanthropy.
Health care, sanitation, education, water and agriculture were identified as focus areas for major improvement.
The meeting was held in complete secrecy with a total ban on media. The Gates Foundation issued a statement saying: “This is a private discussion of philanthropy and social service in India. It is an opportunity for a great group of philanthropists to share ideas and experiences about giving with each other. Out of respect for their privacy, we will not be sharing the names of attendees.”
But Deccan Herald got a good glimpse of the proceedings and discussions of the meeting from one of the industrialists who attended the meet.
The general agreement about philanthropy among the attendees was that if wealth and education are not shared, they are useless. Most participants shared their experiences and the challenges faced while pursuing the act of charity.
“All of us are doing something or the other to help the society. But these are oasis of excellence and ‘how to scale up such work’ emerged as the greatest challenge from the discussion,” the source said.
To this effect, Premji and others emphasised that the PPP (public private partnership) model is the most effective mode for a wholesome approach to philanthropy.
“A number of business leaders and philanthropists met in Bangalore today (Friday) to discuss a range of issues related to philanthropy. The group expressed belief that philanthropy and social service are integral to the development of any society. The meeting was focused on sharing ideas on philanthropy and not about any pledges,” said a statement from Azim Premji Foundation.
Some of the prominent industrialists and philanthropists who attended the meet, apart from the hosts, were: Infosys Vice-Chairman Kris Gopalakrishnan, UID Chairman Nadan Nilekani with wife Rohini Nilekani, GVK group Chairman G V Krishna Reddy, Tata group Vice-Chairman Cyrus Mistry, Biocon Chairperson Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, Piramal group chairman Ajay Piramal, Jindal Steel & Power Chairman Naveen Jindal, Apollo Hospitals ED Suneeta Reddy, Wockhardt group Chairman Habil Khorakiwala, Poonawala group Chairman Cyrus Poonawalla, Rajashree Birla, well known investor Rakesh Jhunjhunwalla and Narayana Hrudayalaya Founder Devi Shetty.