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Devote portion of wealth for society and public good: Premji

Rich Indians should try to devote a portion of their wealth for the society and public good, urged Azim Premji, Chairman of Wipro.

“Mahatma Gandhi’s idea that wealth should be for the people and there must be a trusteeship to it is something I believed in very strongly. There is just so much a family or an individual can consume,” said Premji after receiving the MMA Amalgamations Business Leadership Award 2019, instituted in memory of S Anantharamakrishnan, Founder Chairman of Amalgamations Pvt Ltd. He also delivered the Anantharamakrishnan Memorial Lecture.

“Ultimately, if people are very wealthy, they have to have certain trusteeship for that wealth and use it for public good. This is very important. I would endure everyone here with massive wealth to be willing to devote a substantial part of that for the public good,” he added.

“Everyone has a duty to contribute to the society. Practice of moral leadership will help in this, and will also help in business. We need to work together to develop the India that we have envisioned in our Constitution, an idea that is equitable, humane and sustainable,” he added.

“The success of Wipro is not my success, but of the many people in leadership and in the levels below leadership who have devoted their lives and commitments for the success. The same applies to the foundation [Azim Premji Foundation]. The kind of devotion and sacrifices of the people are really outstanding. It is far beyond the compliments that you people gave me today. It was my mother and Mahatma Gandhi who influenced my thinking and action on what to do with the privilege of my wealth,” he added.

“The more I do, the more I realise how much more complex doing philanthropy is when compared to running a business. Issues are much more subtle; convictions are much more difficult to drive home and incentives that you give to people is not in money but in recognition… Our success in business has taught us many things. But on social issues, we have to start all afresh,” he added.

“In my last 20 years of work in education, the teachers who are often blamed in the government for being careless and for dereliction of duty, are the most committed people I have come across,” he said.

Mallika Srinivasan, Chairman, Tractors and Farm Equipment Ltd, emphasised the role played by nation builders like Anantharamakrishnan (her grandfather) in building an industrial India. She also outlined the objectives and legacy of the MMA-Amalgamations Business Leadership Award, the importance of ethics and value in modelling institutions of excellence and the exemplary life of Premji.

A Krishnamoorthy, Chairman, Amalgamations Pvt Ltd, read the citation and gave the award to Premji.

N Vaghul, Former Chairman of ICICI Bank and Vikram S Kirloskar, CMD, Kirloskar Systems Ltd offered their felicitations.

Source: The Hindu