A year ago, Bain & Company published the first edition of the India Philanthropy Report. We were surprised by the chord that it struck and the conversation it provoked about the state of philanthropy in the country. Our perspective last year was that private giving in India—both individual and corporate—lagged significantly behind global benchmarks, largely for valid economic, cultural and systemic reasons. As we set out this year to revisit the issues raised more than a year ago, we decided to take a different approach and speak to private donors to better understand their perspective.
As part of our research for the India Philanthropy Report 2011, we interviewed and surveyed more than 20 philanthropists and experts on philanthropy in India. We also conducted a survey of more than 300 wealthy individuals in three major cities across India, including nearly 100 high-net-worth individuals (HNWIs) with assets of more than $1 million (excluding primary residence, collectibles and consumables). This year, our research has focused only on private donations, not government contributions, because private giving defines philanthropy globally. This ground-level view has provided critical insights into the current state of Indian philanthropy.
Although the human conditions in India remain difficult for many, we can confidently say that, over the course of last year, the attitude towards giving has started to shift. Our research charts a significant trend: wealthy individuals are giving more—and intend to give even more—as major obstacles are addressed. As a percentage of the gross domestic product (GDP), private charitable giving has increased 50% since 2006. This is a significant achievement.