Amit Chandra believes in Jamsetji Tata's philosophy that the enlightened corporation serves not just investors, but society more broadly. Few have embodied this sentiment more fully than Amit, who takes what Forbes India calls a "portfolio approach" to putting his time and money into a range of initiatives that advance social impact.
Amit received his engineering degree from Bombay University and his MBA from Boston College. Before joining Bain Capital as a managing director in 2008, he spent most of his career with Larsen & Toubro, India's leading construction firm, and DSP Merrill Lynch, one of India's biggest investment banks.
The seed of philanthropy was sowed early in Amit's life, when his mother encouraged him to give time to support others. Today, inspired by The Atlantic Philanthropies founder Chuck Feeney's "giving while living" approach to philanthropy, Amit and his wife Archana aim to donate about 90 percent of their wealth to social causes. This includes helping to build Ashoka University and SRCC Children's Hospital, working on finding sustainable solutions for drought alleviation and income improvement in Maharashtra, and supporting the work of Tata Trusts, GiveIndia, and Akanksha Foundation.
Amit and Archana have also invested in the betterment of the Musahar community, an extremely disadvantaged group of bonded laborers in the state of Bihar (by building a school for them in Patna), and in Design for Change, a global movement that empowers children to solve problems facing their communities. He also helped support building the "Joy of Giving" ("DaanUtsav") movement, where for one week out of the year, millions of Indians donate their money, time, or skills to social causes of their choosing.
Most critically, Amit avidly promotes philanthropy among India's entrepreneurs and professionals. "I am shameless about pestering people and getting them involved," he told Forbes India. "We have a network of friends looking for good projects. In some ways, it's like looking for good companies to invest in."
Amit Chandra's Videos
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- Amit Chandra says that philanthropy is not charity
- Philanthropy can help build the nation, according to Amit Chandra
- Amit Chandra says India's giving culture is resurgent
- Philanthropy in India can be propelled, says Amit Chandra
- Amit Chandra's advice to new philanthropists: start the journey
- Measuring success has changed over time for Amit Chandra
- Amit Chandra says that self-discovery has been a benefit of his giving