Billionaire Agarwal to Donate Most of Wealth After Meeting GatesNetty Ismail and Firat Kayakiran
Anil Agarwal, the billionaire founder of Vedanta Resources Plc, said he and his family decided to donate 75 percent of their wealth to charity after meeting Bill Gates, the world’s richest person.
Agarwal has a fortune of $3.3 billion that includes an almost 70 percent stake in London-listed mining and energy group Vedanta, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. Gates, the co-founder of Microsoft Corp., has a fortune valued at $84.7 billion.
“What we earn must be returned for the greater good of society,” the 62-year-old said at an event yesterday to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Vedanta’s listing on the London Stock Exchange. “Life is not only about wealth.”
Interest in charitable giving is growing in Asia. In 2013, Azim Premji, chairman of Bangalore-based software exporter Wipro Ltd., became the first Indian to join the Giving Pledge program, which seeks to encourage the world’s wealthiest people to give away half of their wealth to charity.
The program was founded by Gates and U.S. investor Warren Buffett, the world’s 3rd-richest person with $67.3 billion, according to the index.
Agarwal said Gates and his wife, Melinda, discussed their philanthropic causes with him in Seattle last summer.
“After that, I had a meeting with my family and we decided to donate 75 percent of our wealth,” the Indian billionaire said.