Wipro Chairman Premji pledges 34 percent of company shares for philanthropy

FILE PHOTO: Wipro Chairman Azim Premji attends the Saudi-India Forum in New Delhi, India, February 20, 2018. REUTERS/Anushree Fadnavis

(Reuters) - Wipro Ltd Chairman Azim Premji has pledged about 34 percent of the company’s shares controlled by him toward philanthropy, the Azim Premji Foundation said on Wednesday.

The commitment, worth 527.50 billion rupees ($7.5 billion), would take the total value of the endowment corpus contributed by Premji to 1.45 trillion rupees ($21 billion), it said.

Premji and entities controlled by him hold about 74 percent stake in Wipro, according to exchange data.

Premji, India’s second richest man, was instrumental in turning Wipro from a vegetable oil manufacturer to a software services company nearly four decades ago.

Azim Premji Foundation is a not-for profit organization that works in the field of education and runs a university in Bengaluru.

Shares of the Bengaluru-headquartered software services exporter closed at 257.90 rupees on Wednesday.

Reporting By Arnab Paul in Bengaluru; Editing by Shreejay Sinha