MUMBAI: Billionaire investor Rakesh Jhunjhunwala, often referred to as India’s Warren Buffet for his investment strategy, has decided to pledge one-fourth of his wealth for charity – marking yet another common-ground with the legendary American investment guru.
Besides his investment acumen, Buffett is also known for his philanthropy and recently asked wealthy Indians to give away part of their wealth towards charity.
However, Jhunjhunwala said that his decision was personal and might not have anything to do with Buffett’s pledge.
Replying to emailed queries from media, 51-year old Jhunjhunwala said that he would donate 25 per cent of his wealth and the inspiration has come from his father, who was an income tax official.
“I have made a pledge to myself that I shall donate 25 per cent of my wealth in my lifetime. I am already supporting some causes and the other causes will be known once I start supporting them,” Jhunjhunwala said.
Asked about his inspiration, Jhunjhunwala attributed his decision to the teachings of his late father, who would not have been able to complete his BCom degree had it not been for the timely help from his friend.
“My biggest inspirations are the teachings of my late father. It also arises from the realisation that the giver of wealth is God and he casts upon us the responsibility that this wealth be used for good social purpose,” he said.
“The fact that I have far lesser wealth then people think but far more than I need and that my children will be very well provided even if I reduce their share in my wealth and spend it on charity,” he added.
Recently, he had said that he treats charity as his fourth child and would want his wealth to be divided equally among all his children.
On whether he was inspired by Buffet, he said, “I am affected by every human I interact with, but finally it’s my own decision and I have been inspired more by my late father.”
Though Jhunjhunwala refused to quantify his net worth, it has been estimated at over USD 1 billion in the past in rankings like Forbes Rich List. He is said to have started investing with an initial capital of USD 100.
Jhunjhunwala said, “I feel every Indian should do what their conscience and their pocket allow them to do.”
He joins the likes of Buffett, Bill Gates and a litany of many other westerners and his countrymen like Azim Premji of Wipro, HCL’s Shiv Nadar and GM Rao of the GMR Group.
Nadar has pledged to give 10 per cent of his wealth to charity, while Premji has transferred 8.7 per cent of his stake to his education-focused charity Azim Premji Foundation.
The GMR Group founder Rao has also pledged 12.5 per cent of stake in the business to a family-run foundation.