(Our Bureau, June 22) Kochouseph Chittilappilly, chairman emeritus, V Guard Industries Limited, sold 50 lakh shares valued at ₹132 crore ($17.8 million) to fund his philanthropic pursuits under the aegis of K Chittilappilly Foundation (KCF). In February this year, he sold 40 lakh shares worth ₹90 crore. Some of his charity projects include medical help for the poor, meeting housing needs for those below the poverty line, supporting women-led Self-Help Groups with micro enterprises, and assisting charitable organizations with a proven track record.
About a decade ago, when Chittilappilly was 60 and still at the helm of his business, he had donated his kidney to a 42-year-old truck driver. This set him apart from the CSR initiatives undertaken by other companies. Today, the company is helmed by his son Mithun, who studied Management at the University of Melbourne and proceeded to work with companies such as Deloitte and HP, before joining V Guard.
Incidentally, Chittilappilly, who is a billionaire today, had started out with a small voltage stabilizer business with just two employees and a capital of ₹1,00,000 from his father back in 1977. Today, the electrical appliances company has an annual turnover of nearly ₹3,000 crore and has diversified into amusement parks and real estate as well.
“Creating wealth is not success. Success is in building an enterprise or a product, marketing it and making it tick. We work not just to create wealth, but to create more and more success stories,” he said.
This leads us to ask: How many rich Indians make a deliberate effort to give back to society like Chittilappilly? And who’s more generous: Indians here or those living abroad?