Premji Foundation to scale up to 5,000 people
Azim Premji Foundation, which currently has 800 people spread across the country, engaged in some of the most disadvantaged regions of the country, and others at the Azim Premji University in Bangalore plans to scale up to 4,000-5,000 people over the next five years.
In a letter for the first international 'Giving Pledge’ group on Tuesday, reaffirming his commitment towards philanthropy, Wipro Chairman Premji said, “I am committed to transferring more of my wealth to scale up the endowment of the foundation.”
He added that the developments of the past two years have given him confidence in their scaled up and institutional strategy and even as they execute the strategy, he is aware that ensuring stable funding source is critical for its success.
Recollecting his past experiences that led him into philanthropy, Premji said that in 1966 he had to drop out from his studies at Stanford on him father’s untimely death (though he did finally complete Engineering Degree in 2000) and came back to India to run the small family business.
“I was 21 and over the next 30 odd years, I focused on building Wipro into a successful professionally run organisation. As Wipro became a globally successful IT Services firm, I began to seriously consider what I should do with my wealth, which had accrued from the success and market capitalization of the company,” Premji noted. In 2009, Premji added, they reviewed the experience and strategy at the foundation and decided to scale up their work and deepen support to the public schooling system by creating institutions.
This includes institutions at the district and stat-level which work on capacity development of teachers and other people in the public education system, and also on other related academic and managerial issues.
“To enable this strategy I donated about 8.7 per cent (then valued at approximately $2 billion) of the total stock of Wipro Limited out of my personal holdings to create an Endowment of the Foundation in December 2010,” Premji explained.