Jamsetji Tata tops global philanthropy list
- Jamsetji Tata, founder of India’s Tata Group, is the world’s biggest philanthropist
- Azim Premji was the first Indian to sign the Giving Pledge in 2010 and since then Premji transferred 67 per cent of Wipro to the Azim Premji Endowment fund
Mumbai: WITH total donations of $102.4 bn, Jamsetji Tata of India tops 2021 Edelgive Hurun Philanthropists Of The Century, which was released on Wednesday. The list shows a ranking of the world's most generous individuals from the past century.
With total donations value estimated at $102.4bn, Mumbai-based Jamsetji Tata (1839- 1904), was the world's biggest philanthropist of the last century. The total philanthropic value of Tata is made up of 66 per cent of Tata Sons, estimated at $100bn, solely based on the value of listed entities.
Tata made his fortune in the 1870s after floating Central India Spinning Weaving and Manufacturing Company and set up the JN Tata Endowment in 1892 for higher education, which was the beginning of Tata Trusts. Jawaharlal Nehru, India's first Prime Minister, often mentioned him as the 'One Man Planning Commission'.
Anas Rahman Junaid, MD and Chief Researcher of Hurun India said, "It is a proud moment to see an Indian top the 2021 EdelGive Hurun Philanthropists of the Century." The world's 50 most generous individuals in the last century came from five countries, overwhelmingly led by the US with 39, followed by 5 from the UK, 3 from China, 2 from India and 1 from Portugal and Switzerland.
Their donations amounted to $832bn, of which $503bn is in foundations today and $329bn has been disbursed in the last century.
Vidya Shah, executive chairperson of EdelGive Foundation, said "The report lays down a narrative, indicating the path that the philanthropic sector has taken to get here/to this point, and charts the course that it may likely take moving forward."
Rupert Hoogewerf, chairman and chief researcher of Hurun Report, said, "Whilst American and European philanthropists may have dominated the thinking of philanthropy over the last century, Jamsetji Tata, founder of India's Tata Group, is the world's biggest philanthropist."
Azim Premji was the first Indian to sign the Giving Pledge in 2010 and since then Premji transferred 67 per cent of Wipro to the Azim Premji Endowment fund. Established in 2001, the Azim Premji Foundation supports the elementary education system in rural government schools in India and has a value of $21bn. The Azim Premji Foundation together with Wipro has donated $150mn towards combating Covid-19, the report says.
Three individuals added more than $50bn in a single year, led by Elon Musk with $151bn, on the back of the rise of e-cars, whilst e-commerce billionaires Jeff Bezos of Amazon and Colin Huang of Pinduoduo added $50bn each. At this rate, expect to see fifty or more break through the $100bn mark within the next five years, he added
How many billionaires are there in the world? Well, the world today has probably 7,500 billionaires, up 1,000 on last year.
There are 696 billionaires in the USA, for example, suggesting the true number should be at least double that, perhaps as many as 1,500. In China, we have found over 1000, but the actual number is probably closer to 2,500.
'Bill & Melinda Gates' are amongst the most respected names in modern philanthropy. With total donations of $74.6bn, Bill Gates & Melinda French Gates are second in the 2021 EdelGive Hurun Philanthropists of the Century. Their total philanthropic value is the sum of the current endowment of the value of the foundation at $49.8bn together with their cumulative donations of $24.8bn.
The couple established the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in 2010 with a focus on public health, education and climate change, the same year that they created with Warren Buffett the 'Giving Pledge', a movement encouraging billionaires to donate the majority of their wealth to charity. As of 2021, there are 220 pledgers from 25 countries. Despite the recent announcement of their divorce, the couple will remain co-chairs and trustees of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation with 'no changes' to their roles or the organisation.
With donations totalling $56.7bn, Henry Wellcome (1853-1936) of the UK is in 3rd spot in the 2021 EdelGive Hurun Philanthropists of the Century. Wellcome, who made his initial wealth in pharmaceuticals in the late 1800s set up the Wellcome Trust on his death in 1936, to support health care causes. In 1995, the Wellcome Trust sold Wellcome Plc to GlaxoSmithKline and became a financially independent trust.
Donations are the sum of the current endowment value of Wellcome Trust ($38.4bn) and cumulative donations to date of US$18.3bn. Film tycoon Howard Hughes (1905-1976) was 4th spot in the 2021 EdelGive Hurun Philanthropists of the Century. Hughes established the Howard Hughes Medical Institute in1953 to support biomedical research. In 1985, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute sold the Hughes Aircraft Company for $5.2bn, becoming the richest single philanthropic endowment surpassing Ford Foundation.