26th August, 2004
IF equity can be the best mode of investment, why not it be the best form of donation to God?
That seems to be the view of Mr K.V. Ramani, Chairman of the Chennai-based Future Software. Mr Ramani has donated equity shares worth over Rs 100 crore to Shirdi Sai Trust, a religious trust dedicated to Sai Baba. And Mr Ramani himself runs the trust.
The shares donated are of software company Hughes Software and it accounts for 6.13 per cent of the company’s equity. Mr Ramani was one of the original promoters of Hughes Software.
In a notice to stock exchanges Hughes Software Systems said that Shirdi Sai Trust has informed the company that it has received by way of donation, 18,00,000 equity shares from Digital Holdings Private Ltd and 2,85,334 equity shares from Digital Networks (India) Private Ltd aggregating to 20,85,334 equity shares, being approximately 6.13 per cent of the company’s equity.
Mr Ramani owns both the donor companies. Based on the current market price of Rs 533, the total value of these donations works out to around Rs 110 crore.
Mr Ramani told Business Line that, “God has given me more money than I need. That is why I am donating practically all of my holdings in Hughes Software to the Shirdi Sai Trust.”
He said the trust helps economically deprived people in either gaining education or providing emergency medical help. “We have been doing this for the last 8-9 years and support physically challenged children and children from families that have single parents who cannot afford education for their children.”
The trust also supports people who require emergency medical help but cannot afford it. “We send the money to the educational institution or to the hospital and not to the individual so that the money is not misused. The Trust supported about 1,000 students last year and about 300 to 400 medical emergencies.”
He added, “The trust does not collect donations from anyone. It is entirely my money and the additional sum in the corpus will help expand our activities. I manage the Trust. I believe that this is money given by God and should go back to God.”
The open offer Flextronics for acquiring shares of Hughes Software at Rs 548 is currently on and closes on September 15.