Adani, Richest Asian, Pledges $7.7 Billion for Social Causes

Gautam Adani, Asia’s richest person, and his family have pledged to donate 600 billion rupees ($7.7 billion) to a slew of social causes, to mark his 60th birthday.

Adani spoke to Bloomberg Thursday, saying that the Adani Foundation will manage the donation for strengthening health care, education, and skill development. “This is one of the largest transfers made to a foundation in Indian corporate history,” he said, adding that this commitment also honors the birth centenary year of his father, Shantilal Adani.

Indian billionaire Adani, who is 60 years old, has joined the ranks of Warren Buffett and Mark Zuckerberg, who both have large amounts of their wealth dedicated to philanthropy. Adani’s pledge is almost half of what Bill Gates and Melinda French Gates donated to their foundation in 2021.

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Azim Premji (former chairman of Wipro Ltd.) has the largest charitable trust at $21 Billion. Tata Trusts is overseen by Ratan Tata who is chairman emeritus at Tata Sons Ltd. According to an EdelGive Foundation report, Tata Trusts made current donations in excess of $102 Billion.

With a net worth of almost $92 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, Adani has added a little more $15 billion to his wealth this year on the back of a runaway rally in his companies’ shares, making him the biggest wealth gainer globally.

“We will invite three expert committees in coming months to formalize strategy and decide allocation of funds in these three areas,” he said. Adani family members will serve as support roles on the committees. The tycoon also said that there was a plan to include one or two additional focus areas in the future.

Adani started as an agri-trading company in 1988. It has since grown into a large conglomerate which includes coal trading and mining. Recently, the Adani group has expanded to green energy, airports and data centers, as well as cement. Its billionaire-founder has also committed to invest a total of $70 billion by 2030 to make his group the world’s largest renewable-energy producer.

Priti Adani Adani’s wife founded the Adani Foundation in 1996. It has been working on programs for rural India. According to the website, it has served more than 3.7million people in 249 villages in 16 Indian states.

Adani hails from the western Indian state of Gujarat — like the country’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his fellow billionaire Mukesh Ambani — and has grown his businesses exponentially in the past decade by dovetailing his business strategies to the government’s nation-building priorities.

A college dropout, Adani first tried his luck in Mumbai’s diamond industry in the early 1980s before returning to Gujarat to help run his brother’s plastics business. Adani Enterprises Ltd., which he started in 1988 was an agri-trading business that has evolved into the company’s flagship.

Adani’s recent empire-building exercise has seen him enter new lines of businesses such as media, digital services and sports as well as bring in investors, including TotalEnergies SE and Abu Dhabi-based International Holding Company PJSC.

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