Asia's richest man Adani donating $10b to social causes

MUMBAI • Mr Gautam Adani, Asia's richest person, and his family have pledged to donate 600 billion rupees (S$10 billion) to a slew of social causes, to mark his 60th birthday.

The donation will be managed by the Adani Foundation for bolstering healthcare, education and skill development, Mr Adani told Bloomberg in an interview.

"This is one of the largest transfers made to a foundation in Indian corporate history," he said yesterday, and this commitment also honours the birth centenary year of his father, Mr Shantilal Adani.

The Indian tycoon, a first-generation entrepreneur who turns 60 today, joins the ranks of global billionaires like Meta Platforms boss Mark Zuckerberg and Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett who have committed large parts of their wealth to philanthropy.

Mr Adani's pledge is almost half of what Mr Bill Gates and Ms Melinda French Gates donated to their foundation in 2021.

Among Indian tycoons, Mr Azim Premji, former chairman of Wipro, has a charitable trust with the largest endowment estimated at US$21 billion (S$29 billion), while Tata Trusts, overseen by Mr Ratan Tata, chairman emeritus of Tata Sons, made donations of over US$102 billion at current value, according to a 2021 report by Hurun India and EdelGive Foundation.

With a net worth of almost US$92 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, Mr Adani has added a little more than US$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 formalise strategy and decide allocation of funds in these three areas," he said. The committees will have members from the Adani family in supporting roles, the tycoon said, adding that the plan is to add one or two more focus areas in the coming months.

The Adani group, which started off with a small agri-trading firm in 1988, has now spawned into a conglomerate that spans coal trading, mining, logistics, power generation and distribution.

More recently, it has had forays into green energy, airports, data centres and cement.

Its billionaire-founder has also committed to invest a total of US$70 billion by 2030 to make his group the world's largest renewable-energy producer.


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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 24, 2022, with the headline Asia's richest man Adani donating $10b to social causes. Subscribe