If anyone personifies India's economic transformation, it is Azim Premji, chairman of the information-technology powerhouse Wipro Ltd.
A pioneer of India's IT-outsourcing industry, Premji helped unleash a generation of skilled technical professionals who make up India's growing middle class.
Inspired by his belief that a strong educational system is essential to sustaining the economic growth needed to pull millions of Indian citizens out of poverty, Premji, 65, is deeply involved in efforts to provide universal primary education in India. The Azim Premji Foundation supports programs that reach more than 2.5 million children.
But it may be his pioneering leadership in India's nascent field of philanthropy that will be Premji's lasting legacy. His recent $2 billion donation to his foundation was the largest charitable contribution in the history of modern India.
Ultimately, how he approaches philanthropy could prove to be just as important as how much he gives. His philanthropic work has been characterized by collaboration and transparency. He is setting a remarkable example for those who have benefited so enormously from India's economic expansion and are looking for ways to give back.
Gates is a co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the chairman of Microsoft
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