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India: "The Philanthropy Conundrum" - Tehelka magazine says India's 4 richest industrialists do not do enough for the poor

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28 February 2009

A Tale Of Two Countries [India]

Author: Harish Bijoor, CEO, Harish Bijoor Consults, in Tehelka [India]

[D]oes Rich India do enough for the poor? The answer is a resounding NO!...Mostly, it’s...a wee bit of cheque-book philanthropy, usually for CSR brownie points. Look deeply into one defining ratio in the books of companies: net profit to that of CSR expenditure. The percentage looks very-very nano in most.

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28 February 2009

The Philanthropy Conundrum [India]

Author: Shantanu Guha Ray, Tehelka [India]

These are India’s newly-anointed royals...who have just figured in the Forbes list of the world’s most powerful billionaires... — Mukesh Ambani, who heads India’s largest company by market cap [Reliance], his younger brother Anil, steel magnate LN Mittal [of Arcelor Mittal] and telecom czar Sunil Bharti Mittal [of Bharti Airtel]...But...many wondered what the richest people in India...have actually done for the nation’s poor...?...Forget what corporate India as a whole is doing — because it certainly isn’t much — and let’s concentrate on the level of philanthropy visible from the fab four only...[Reliance] insiders merely say that the bulk of Reliance’s social awareness work happens in and around Jamnagar, where it has built the world’s biggest grassroots refinery...Bharti Foundation was recently set up to help underprivileged children gain access to quality school education across India... [Arcelor Mittal] spokesperson Abhinav Kanchan would not offer any amount for India but says the Group’s CSR activities started with the merger of Arcelor and Mittal in September 2006...

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