In India, Where to Spend Philanthropic Funding?

The spirit of giving among Indian philanthropists is being stifled by uncertainties on how donations will be spent.

>> Study: Philanthropy is Weak in India

“In India, there’s a psychology of scarcity. So in India, the tipping point for philanthropy has yet to come,”  The Washington Post quoted Arpan Sheth, a partner at international consulting firm Bain, as saying. “There still has to be more institutions in place to make people feel more comfortable about giving. There is a significant amount of wealth creation. Now the question will be what to do with that wealth.”

Bain reports that the number of Indian billionaires increased from 27 in 2009 to 52 this year.

>> Indian Billionaires Urged to Follow Bill Gates’ Philanthropic Lead

Last month, India’s Tata Group donated USD50 million to Harvard Business School, just days after another Indian industrialist, Anand Mahindra, gave USD10 million to Harvard’s Humanities Center.

“There was a lot of criticism here, and Indians asked, ‘Why couldn’t you both give it to India?’” Sheth said. “But others felt like, ‘Well, the structure is there at Harvard.’ Everyone knows where the money will be well spent.” 

About the author

  • Ma. Rizza Leonzon

    As a former staff writer, Rizza focused mainly on business coverage, including key donors such as the Asian Development Bank and AusAID.