Tuesday, July 15, 2008

The Ambani family feud .. and philanthropy lessons ..

I read in the newspapers yesterday that the the fourth wealthiest, the sixth and the eighth wealthiest person in the world among the top ten are from India. They are respectively  Lakshmi Mittal, Anil Ambani and Mukesh Ambani.

I also read somewhere that Innovative, enterprising, illustrious, hardworking first time businessmen, build business empires. The next generation seeing the hardships and sufferings  their parents took to build those mighty empires, carry on with the businesses and the third generation, born with gold spoons in their mouth, are set to squander them. This is a truth of history and this truth gets repeated in history. In some cases it carries on for two or three generations before the family glory and wealth comes crumbling down.

I am really impressed by what Rockefeller did in the US. While on his deathbed he called his children near him and told them of the wealth he had amassed from the society. The society was kind enough to give him the opportunity to serve them and thus whatever he owns belongs in turn to the society. And most of that he gave back .... It is the greatest philanthropic exercise of the early world, which saw the birth of the Rockefeller Foundation. The Rockefeller foundation has since helped build hospitals, schools all around the world in the developing and less developed countries.

Warren Buffet, the world's richest person as per Forbes list 2008, has been doing this philanthropy, though to a limited scale, nonetheless doing it... He has good company these days, Billy boy and his wife Melinda ...

Finally the rich have come to realise that the only way posterity will remember them is not by the wealth they create, amass or snatch from the society, but how much of it they have shared back with the society... like Rockefeller did ....

If only the Ambanis too realised this truth of life !!


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