Facebook co-founder and one of world’s youngest billionaires Mark Zuckerberg has been in the news for his and his wife’s (Priscilla Chan) announcement that they will give away to charity (99% of their shares which is worth currently about $45 Billion). This announcement was made by the couple on the occasion of the birth of their daughter, Maxima Chan.
The aim of their charity is ‘to advance human potential and promote equality for children in the next generation’ by focusing on personalized learning, curing diseases, connecting people and building strong communities.
It is amazing how in the new economy, there are younger and younger billionaires emerging from different parts of the world. There are other young billionaires like Evan Spiegel (Snapchat), Sean Kelly (Healthy Human Vending) etc. who have tasted success at a very young age. Unlike their older counterparts that is focused on accumulating wealth and leaving a fortune for their children, they are more focused on leaving the world a better place for their and other children. In this light, I see Zuckerbergs’ announcement as remarkable.
On the other hand, India happens to also be a new economy and it is producing younger and younger billionaires like Bansal’s, Bahls and others. Will this generation change the older norms about inheritance that seems to run deeply in the Indian culture, as in, handing over a fortune to their children after one’s death.
The Zuckerbergs are a whiff of fresh air as they set up a broader vision on giving back to the world. I wonder if the new generation of billionaires in India like Bansals, Bahls and others will follow the footsteps of Zuckerbergs’ or theAmbanis, Birla’s, Modi’s etc.?
What do you think? Share your thoughts with me.
Sanjay Puri has been working on Indian-American issues and facilitating stronger US-India relations through USINPAC (US India Political Action Committee and AUSIB (Alliance for US India Business), two bipartisan organizations that he chairs.