Listen to Pankaj Dinodia, 3rd Generation of a Family Business and MBA Student at Harvard Business School share his thoughts on philanthropy. In an affluent family business, owners have to decide whether or not to give back to the community. Philanthropy in a family business can help build a positive brand image in a community, as well as introduce the idea of philanthropy to the rising generation.
There is always a tussle, you know, when you start making a lot of money. Do you sort of stop the engine and start enjoying the money and the wealth that you have created, or do you keep the engine going and generate more and more wealth and success so that you can then serve society? A lot of these big families from the money that they have generated like the Buffets, and the Gates of the world have decided to go down the philanthropy route, which is very exciting for a country like India, because which has typically not seen a lot of these institutions being funded and you know, big families being supportive to…always seem to do philanthropy in their own way, to their own village, but not on a grand scale, verses now you know, there are big families in India. Let us say they decide to set up a factory. They will create three thousand jobs overnight. They will set up schools, they will set up hospitals, they will use their money around to build a community, and to you know not only take care of their own business interests but also the community around them. So I think that is becoming a growing trend in India as well. From the philanthropy side, the way we function on that end is through advising clients that are in those sectors and are not charging them a fee. So we have certain clients here on the philanthropic front that we service whether it is doing free taxation work for them, doing their annual audits, charging them you know, a very little token amount of fee, or doing it for free. That is the current contribution, and I think it is only going to grow as time progresses, Hunger, poverty, education are very big issues that face and challenge India these days. I personally sat on the board for a school for children of special needs, and I have been very involved with fundraising for that over the years. It was a simple conversation where the founder of the school once said, “You raise all this capital for everybody else in the world, but will you not come help this Auntie whose helped you since you were a little boy?” and I said “You have my word, till you realize every dream that you have for this school, I will contribute whatever time, money, effort that I can to help you realize your dreams,” and I have been true to my word, and when I move back I want to try and play an active role in helping her grow that.