Nikhil Kamath, a co-founder of Zerodha, achieved the distinction of being the youngest Indian to join ‘The Giving Pledge’ earlier this year. He expressed that his inspiration to donate a significant portion of his wealth to philanthropic causes came from influential Bengaluru-based entrepreneurs and fellow pledgers such as Nandan Nilekani, the co-founder of Infosys, Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, the founder of Biocon, and Azim Premji, the founder of Wipro.
Zerodha co-founder said that his surroundings in Bengaluru, alongside the presence of other signatories of The Giving Pledge, motivated him to maximise the impact of the money he has accumulated.
“So, there are four people in India who have signed The Giving Pledge- the other three happen to be really good friends of mine. And Bangaloreans will resonate with this — all of them are from Bangalore. All four of us are friends. Me and Kiran live in the same apartment… we all tend to meet once in a month for dinner or travel together,” Business Today quoted Kamath as saying.
“When you are growing up, you are looking around you… in the societal construct around you, you meet three or four people, somebody who’s more popular, someone who has more money and subconsciously you want to be like that person,” Nikhil Kamath said, referring to Azim Premji, Nandan Nilekani and Kiran Mazumdar Shaw.
He then added that he would rather spend the money on causes that he believes in rather than leave it in banks.
“I think everybody should realise the importance and understand the concept of mortality…I am 37 and if the average lifespan of an Indian is 72 years old, I have 35 years left. There is no value in leaving money in the banks… so I would rather give it to things I believe in. So rather than leaving the money I have earned in the last 20 years and what I would earn in the next 20 years to a bank or institution like that… I would rather make the most of it,” Kamath said.
The co-founder of Zerodha intends to contribute to domains like climate change, energy, education, and health. Additionally, the 37-year-old is involved with his own foundation, the Young Indian Philanthropic Pledge (YIPP), which partners with leaders in the startup ecosystem to donate a minimum of 25 percent of their net worth to philanthropic initiatives.
The individuals associated with The Giving Pledge, initiated by investors Bill Gates and Warren Buffett, allocate a significant portion of their wealth to charitable endeavours.