The Global Wealth and Society programme seeks to identify the important role that the privileged have towards their respective society. In building this programme, we measure wealth, not by the amount of financial assets individuals amass but by the positive impact they create on society through sustainable projects. Projects that are close to their hearts and which they believe to affect their immediate society in a deep and profound manner.

Based on this philosophy of contribution and giving back to the society, we identify these individuals as “Champions of Philanthropy” as part of our Global Wealth and Society Awards Programme.

Over the next few weeks until early October, our research team will be adding new names to the list and will be reaching out to them as part of the awards evaluation process.

The list below profiles selected Champions and their shortlisted projects across Africa, the Americas, Asia, Europe and the Middle East . In doing so, the list also tracks the way they are investing and deploying their wealth to bring about positive impacts on the society that they operate in.

Ratan Tata

Former Chairman Tata Sons - India


ITE is a pedagogical framework to improve teaching and learning processes. It fosters 21st century skills and quality learning through projects in middle school children and adolescents in some of the most underprivileged geographies (91% rural). Students, mostly first-time computer users, create learning artifacts like weather charts and comparative charts on jute production or population density to deepen their learning of the subject matter. Currently, it served in 8 states, 209 schools & 25 learning centres, impacted over 26000 students and 2500 teachers

Nita Ambani

Chairperson and Founder, Reliance Foundation and Non-Executive Director, Reliance Industries - India


Bridge the development gap between rural and urban India. Committed to rural transformation, the programme works with small and marginal farmers and helps farming households that have limited livelihood options. RF BIJ has engaged directly with more than 62,000 families in more than 500 villages across 12 Indian states. RF BIJ has established the Centre of Excellence in Sustainable Agriculture in Mouda, Nagpur. The RF BIJ programme management system is ISO 9001:2015 compliant

Steve Hardgrave

Co-founder/CEO, Varthana - India


Varthana offers loans for infrastructure projects to affordable private schools in India and aims to expand access to and improve the quality of education in the country. Many schools utilize Varthana loans to renovate or expand infrastructure, such as the addition of a new library, playground, or lab. Other schools invest in teacher training programs, didactic materials, or improved learning solutions

Shiv Nadar

Founder and Chairman, HCL Technologies Limited - India


The Shiv Nadar Foundation was established in 1994 by Shiv Nadar. The Foundation is committed to the creation of a more equitable, merit-based society by empowering individuals through transformational education to bridge the socio-economic divide. To that purpose the Foundation has established institutions and programs in the underdeveloped disciplinary areas in India related to rural and urban education and art. The foundation pursues philosophy of 'Creative Philanthropy', a powerful which envisages creation of institutions that go beyond the lifetime of its founders and continue to impact future generations for many centuries to come.

Michael Bambang Hartono & Robert Budi Hartono

Managing Director, Co-Founders, Djarum Foundation - Indonesia


Scholarship and dedicatedathlete development program, coaching clinic to rural areas, Supporting badminton related world championship 5000 athletes fully sponsored until 2017. World's no 1 Mixed Double (Tantowi Ahmad/Lilyana Natsir) and one of World's no 1 Men's double (Kevin Sukamuljo) are from Djarum Foundation.

Dato' Sri Tahir

Founder of Mayapada Group and Co-Chair, Tahir Foundation - Indonesia


Collaborate with UN refugee center (UNHCR)to provide cash assistance program for education and shelter covering 2 million refugees, and 10000 jackets for winter. He is the first Asian to work with UNHCR. The Fondation also contributes in bridging the gaps in health services, increasing capacity of effective organizations and programs, and fostering innovative solutions to persistent healthcare access problems and supporting educational institutes to nurture brightest talent in Indonesia.

Akio Nitori

Chairman, Nitori Holdings - Japan


The main goal was to help graduate students from around Asia to attend Japan's top universities. In 2014 the foundation, which holds a 3.5% stake in Nitori worth more than $660 million, started making grants to colleges in the U.S., Taiwan and Vietnam for scholarships.

Yusaku Maezawa

President/Founder START TODAY CO., LTD. - Japan


With a mission to "support young artists as a pillar of the next generation of contemporary art, the Contemporary Art Foundation aims to contribute to the promotion of contemporary art by helping young artists and young musicians improve their skills. It also carries out activities such as holding contemporary art exhibitions, etc., to popularize and improve knowledge and education of contemporary art.

Manu Chandaria

Chairman and CEO, Comcraft Group - Kenya


Founded for over sixty years, Chandaria Foundation aims at helping the less privileged members of the society in eradication of Poverty alleviation and providing a sustainable environment for the community & the universe as a whole. The Foundation strives to elevate the community it lives in, through socio economic developments in Education, Health, Culture, Sports & Art, that are sustainable with a distinct bias in supporting children, handicap and the girl child as the family contributes as the voice of the voiceless.

Lee Joon Yong

Honary Chairman, Daelim Group - Korea


Foundation dedicated to the unification of the two Koreas with major focus on re-uniting families. Its Korean American Sharing Movement (KASM) empowers the future leaders of the Korean Peninsula. KASM cultivates leadership and understanding of building and developing human capacity.