Wipro chairman Azim Premji and Arghyam Foundation chairperson Rohini Nilekani have come together to fund and support independent media ventures in the country, through an entity called Independent and Public Spirited Media Trust. The objective is to fund independent media outfits who provide content which are socially relevant. This is largely going to be a not-for-profit venture and the commitment would be largely through grants.
The formation of such a venture has been in the works for quite sometime now and this new trust is also likely to have representation of individuals from other fields such as judiciary, regulatory bodies, venture capital and media. The venture is likely to have a corpus of around R100 crore and it is going to be operational in a couple of weeks’ time.
In response to an e-mail query from FE, Anurag Behar, CEO, Azim Premji Foundation, said, “Mr Premji and several others are going to support independent public spirited media; for this an independent organization has been set up.
That organization is in the process of setting up a website – which will have the information of interest to you; this will be up in a couple of weeks.”
The Wipro chairman has been very active on the philanthropy front with strong commitment towards education in the country. He has already earmarked 39% of his shareholding in Wipro for his not for profit venture – Azim Premji Foundation – which is largely focused on lifting the standards of education in the country especially in the primary segment.
Besides, the Foundation also has a university called Premji University which is primarily focused on training the teaching community and conducting research. Rohini Nilekani, wife of Infosys co-founder Nandan Nilekani, too is actively involved in social ventures through her trust Arghyam. The trust is focused on projects in the areas of water and sanitation. It has also made several grants to support thinktanks working in those areas.