Myself and Sir Richard Branson, two leading international businessmen and committed philanthropists, met recently when I was a guest on Sir Richard’s Necker Island. Our discussions centred around the culture of giving and the duty of those who have the ability to create great wealth to help those who are less able to create it.
Sir Richard Branson’s charitable activities started early, as did his business empire. At the age of 17, Sir Richard started his first charity ‘Student Valley Charity’ and in 2013, he became the latest billionaire to join Bill Gates’ $500bn philanthropy club Giving Pledge.
As the founder and Chairman of Kohli Ventures, I hope to be known as an ardent philanthropist and for my work in restoring sight through cornea transplants and mobile eye clinics. I was recently ranked number two (after Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook) by Forbes magazine in its 2014 ‘Top 15 Entrepreneurs that Give Back to the Community’ feature.
Commenting afterwards on the meeting, I said:
“Sir Richard Branson is the epitome of a great entrepreneur – he has vision, he has created a global empire that has had an impact on many lives and he is a committed philanthropist. Our conversation was very stimulating and, whilst our charitable activities are in different fields, we share a common ethos – to give is to gain as there is no greater reward than to know that your actions have changed the life of another.”
Further information on The Tej Kohli Foundation is available at:www.tejkohlifoundation.com