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Do BRIC Nations require a “Rockefeller” to change the Socioeconomic Scenario

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John D. Rockefeller is known for his immense wealth. It made “rich as a Rockefeller” a day-to-day used proverb to signify or symbolize people with extreme wealth.

Rockefeller was the founder of Standard Oil and the richest person in history. He donated immense wealth in the past for the well being of the society and also required a team of philanthropy specialists to distribute his wealth among the poor’s for that matter. This led to the formation of Rockefeller Foundation in 1913 “to promote the well-being of mankind throughout the world.”

Riches of the  Developed and Developing Economies

Moving on to the discrimination of, we see that the earlier age in the countries like the United States created titans like Andrew Carnegie, Rockefeller, etc. on the other hand the success of emerging economies like India, China, Brazil (also collectively known as the BRIC nations) produced numerous multimillionaires and multibillionaires. According to a recent survey conducted by the Forbes magazine to analyze the executive class of people with high net worth, it was found that there is head on competition among the BRIC nations to produce such men. BRIC nations combined are home to 276 billionaires, which is almost a quarter of the world’s total.

Read on GWI  Which Country will emerge as the Winner in the Race to be the Largest Economy.

Philanthropy Approach

The focus has shifted from the hard core business to what is called “the business of benevolence.” In order to deal with the developing world’s socioeconomic challenges it is very important that the philanthropy is given due space. Philanthropy is again considered to be one of the most powerful tools not because of the contributions to the society in monetary form, but something which is beyond money. If we talk about some of the prominent donors of today’s world, we see that they are none other than prominent citizens which is all because of their own business success. The business exposure give them a chance to get familiar to the countries’ economic condition and could very well help in the policy issues of the nation so as to change the national agenda. These people not only invest financially, but also with expertise in their connected field help the projects get a boost and support to grow. The consulting expertise and the case studies of their own personal business as live examples help the current projects make a strategic change to reach the ultimate goal.

Percentage of Population below the minimum Threshold level

If we take a quick look into the data released by World Bank we find that among the BRIC nations, 22% of rural Chinese live on less than $1.25 per day, which is far fewer than in the past but still remains a matter of concern. In India the percentage is quite high to 34% who are living in rural area and around 29% living in urban areas. These huge population live below the mentioned minimum threshold level. In case of Brazil too, despite the acclaimed programs started by philanthropist and other business tycoon like Bolsa Familia, poorest 10% continue to earn less than 1% of all income. The theory of bottom of pyramid holds pretty well in these nations where the richest 10% earn some 55 times as much of the wealth and down the pyramid the volume increases with a decrease in income level. In such alarming scenario for the BRIC nations, it is important to understand that the organized philanthropy can play a central role in helping those who remain poor in increasingly rich societies.

Programs like community charity, etc. has a long history in developed nations where the number of people with immense wealth have increased since Rockefeller. These people have always involved themselves for the community, but as far as the developing economies are concerned such people are created recently in a span of some 20 years, but their mindset is yet to change.


Niraj Satnalika

Niraj is an MBA in International Business (Finance). Prior to this he completed B.Tech in Electronics and Instrumentation. He is currently working with Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), Kolkata in capacity of Consultant. Satnalika is actively involved with an NGO and works towards promoting education among the underprivileged.

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