This Article is From Aug 03, 2013

Rohini Nilekani raises Rs 164 crore for philanthropy by selling Infosys shares

Rohini Nilekani has raised Rs 163.5 crore by selling 5.77 lakh shares in Infosys, India's second biggest outsourcer, for philanthropic work. The shares were sold between July 16 and 19, according to a statement on the Bombay Stock Exchange.

"For the past several years, I have taken philanthropic initiatives in multiple sectors such as education, water, environment and governance among others. The proceeds of the sale of shares, post tax, will be deployed towards these and other philanthropic contributions, over time," Ms Nilekani said in a signed statement on the BSE.

After the share sale, Ms Nilekani's stake in Infosys has come down from 1.61 per cent (nearly 81 lakh shares) to 1.31 per cent (75 lakh shares).

Ms Nilekani is the wife of Infosys co-founder Nandan Nilekani, who is currently the chairman of the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI).

Mr Nilekani founded Infosys with NR Narayana Murthy and five others in 1981. He was the chief executive of Infosys from March 2002 to April 2007.

Ms Nilekani has been involved in philanthropy through her foundation Arghyam (meaning, 'offering' in Sanskrit), which grants funds for groundwater and sanitation projects. The foundation's work rests upon a personal endowment from Ms Nilekani.

Arghyam has made grants to recipients in 22 states of India since 2005, the year of its founding.

Ms Nilekani is among India's growing list of "givers" who have pledged a significant portion of their wealth towards philanthropy.

India's over $100 billion IT industry is known for prominent philanthropy. Earlier this year, IT major Wipro chairman Azim Premji had signed up for Giving Pledge, committing a substantial part of his wealth to philanthropy.

(Read: I have given a quarter of my wealth to charity: Azim Premji)

Giving Pledge, founded by Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates and billionaire investor Warren Buffett, describes itself as "a commitment by the world's wealthiest individuals and families to dedicate the majority of their wealth to philanthropy".

Four Indian business leaders -- Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, P.N.C. Menon, Vineet Nayar and Ronnie Screwvala -- were listed in Forbes' annual list of 'Heroes of Philanthropy' in 2013.

(Also read: Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, Vineet Nayar, 2 others on Forbes philanthropy list)