The 5th Annual First Givers Club Summit took place in the morning of 20th September at the Four Seasons hotel in Mumbai. The summit witnessed more than double the size of gathering than that seen in the previous events, with over 140 philanthropists, primarily comprising of professionals from different sectors including corporate, private equity funds, law and consulting firms. It was heartening to see young boys and girls in their teens who had come down with their parents to listen and to learn about the giving philosophy.
Mr. N. Vaghul, Chairman, GiveIndia, set the pace for the day with an impassioned talk about how compassion plays an important role in philanthropy. He emphasized the need to stand up and take action to the problems faced by society and not just depend on the government to help solve them. This was followed by a panel discussion on Lessons in philanthropy. It was a star studded panel comprising of Mr. Ashish Dhawan, Co-Founder, ChrysCapital and Founder, Central Square Foundation, Ms. Zia Mody, Co-Founder and Managing Partner, AZB & Partners, Mr. R. Sundar, Executive Director, Mastek and was moderated by Mr. Venkat Krishnan N, Director, GiveIndia. Zia Mody shared her insights on the value of giving money versus value of providing networks/ connections to raise funds, when and at what stage of their life can one decide to give at a significant level. Ashish Dhawan shared his learnings that shaped his ultra-fine focus in Education and the importance of maintaining focus, while R Sundar spoke about how he arrived at the right fit for himself with Sankara Eye Care.
Topping this eclectic panel would have been hard for anyone but not for our next speaker as he did it with aplomb. An inspiration to many, Mr. Bill Gates, Co-Chair, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation came on the stage in conversation with Mr. Amit Chandra, who himself gives close to 75% of his earnings to charity, took the audience through his philanthropic journey. Mr Gates further shared with the gathering his thoughts on how one can have the greatest impact in their investments of time & money.
The summit was unique in the sense that it was a highly participative and interactive affair with the panel discussion getting interspersed with questions which spoke about the audiences’ affinity towards causes and their method of giving. Philanthropists from Dasra, Caring Friends, Samhita and Social Venture Partners also joined the meeting displaying active collaboration between nonprofits working in the philanthropy space.
GiveIndia also organised a quiz which tested the Social Quotient of the audience. Mr. Ramesh Mangaleswaran, Director, McKinsey India, won the quiz and Rs.2 lakh from GiveIndia which will be donated to MBA Foundation, the charity he supports. There were also many valuable contributions made by other FGC members. The gathering stirred up several riveting discussions and lived up to its promise of improving the understanding of philanthropy, leaving the business glitterati better from the experience.
A detailed pdf for your perusal – 5th Annual Summit Report