NEW DELHI — The Bharti family, led by industrialist Sunil Bharti Mittal announced Nov. 23 it would pledge 10 percent of its wealth, which is approximately Rs. 7,000 crore, including its three percent stake in the group flagship Bharti Airtel, towards supporting the activities of Bharti Foundation, the group's philanthropic arm.
"Today is a major milestone in the journey of the Bharti family. Being first generation entrepreneurs, we feel absolutely privileged that this nation gave us the opportunity to imagine and build world-class businesses."
"Bharti's DNA has always been about creating a deep positive impact on society through our businesses, and we are proud to have contributed to the India growth story," said Sunil Bharti Mittal, founder and chairman, Bharti Enterprises and chairman, Bharti Foundation.
Bharti Foundation Nov. 23 also announced its plans to set up the Satya Bharti University for Science and Technology to complement its existing programs in the area of education.
With this commitment of Rs. 7,000 crore, the Bharti family envisions to significantly step up the scope and reach of the Bharti Foundation's activities, and further enable the Foundation to develop and execute innovative development models to support the aspirations of India's underprivileged, including students of Satya Bharti Schools.
"We feel grateful every day for our good fortune and feel the instinctive and overwhelming urge to give back to the society and create opportunities for others," Mittal said.
Indian industrialists are increasingly donating to philanthropic causes. Recently, Infosys co-founder and Non-executive Chairman Nandan Nilekani and his wife Rohini recently signed the Giving Pledge initiative.
The Giving Pledge is a campaign founded in 2010 by Microsoft co-founder and philanthropist Bill Gates, his wife Melinda Gates, along with American business magnate and investor Warren Buffett that invites billionaires to donate a majority of their wealth to philanthropy.
The campaign also has other Indian billionaires like Wipro Chairman Azim Premji and Biocon Limited Chairman and Managing Director Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw pledging to donate part of their wealth towards philanthropic causes.
Led by a full time CEO and COO, the Bharti Foundation's team of over 200 highly qualified professionals and around 8,000 teachers work across multiple programs in the areas of education for around 240,000 underprivileged children in rural India.
Bharti Foundation has also supported the creation of the Bharti School of Telecommunication Technology & Management at IIT Delhi, Bharti Center for Communication at IIT Mumbai and Bharti Institute of Public Policy at ISB Mohali.
The company in a statement said the Satya Bharti University for Science and Technology will have a strong focus on future technologies such as artificial intelligence, robotics, augmented reality/virtual reality and the internet of things, in addition to offering degrees in electrical and electronics engineering and management.
"It will be a non-profit center of excellence and will offer free education to a large number of deserving youth from economically weaker sections."
"It will also promote and fund advanced research with global linkages. It intends to add leading global industry partners, like Facebook, Google, Apple, Microsoft and SoftBank among others," the statement added.
Making the announcement, Rakesh Bharti Mittal, vice-chairman, Bharti Enterprises and co-chairman, Bharti Foundation, said: "Having built a successful model for primary and senior schooling under Satya Bharti Schools, Bharti Family plans to build Satya Bharti University – a world-class institution, to support the higher education aspirations of India's youth. Our aspiration is to develop it into a center of excellence not just in India but globally."