Rohini Nilekani sells Infosys shares worth Rs 164 crore for philanthropy

Rohini Nilekani, social worker and wife of Infosys co-founder and UIDAI chairman Nandan Nilekani, joins Wipro chairman Azim Premji in giving big bucks to philanthropy.

Rohini has sold 5.77 lakh shares in Infosys Technologies to raise about Rs 164 crore for philanthropic work. Rohini is the founder of Arghyam, a public charitable foundation working in the field of sustainable water management among vulnerable communities.

In a filing to the stock exchanges, the Bangalore-headquartered software giant said Rohini, who is also a promoter in the company, sold the shares between July 16-19 for a total of Rs 163,51,83,925.

Rohini will still hold 1.31 per cent stake in Infosys which is about 75,01,174 shares, the statement said.

As of June 30, 2013, her stake in the firm was 1.41 per cent or 80,78,174 shares. Her husband and Infosys's former CEO Nandan Nilekani also owned 83,45,870 shares, or 1.45 per cent stake in the Bangalore- based firm.

Nilekani, along with Infosys's executive chairman NR Narayana Murthy and six other engineers, had co-founded Infosys in 1981. The company, founded with Murthy's wife Sudha's savings, has now a market capitalisation of Rs 1.72 lakh crore.

Rohini said in the statement: "For the past several years, I have undertaken philanthropic initiatives in multiple sectors such as education, water, environment and governance, among others. The proceeds of the sale of share, post tax, will be deployed towards these and other philanthropic contributions, over time."

There is a growing trend among global rich to contribute to philanthropy. Only few Indian businessmen have shown kindness, though.

In February this year, Wipro chairman Azim Premji gave away shares worth Rs 12,300 crore to fund a non-profit education initiative close to his heart.

With this donation, his total commitment to Azim Premji Foundation had risen to Rs 20,000 crore. Premji was also the first Indian to sign up for the Giving Pledge initiative by the world's richest families to donate at least half of their wealth to charity.

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