Infosys donates £250,000 for Mahatma Gandhi statue in London

Infosys, India’s second largest information technology (IT) services company, has donated £250,000 around Rs 2.3 crore) towards the statue of Mahatma Gandhi that was unveiled in London’s Parliament Square on Saturday, according to the Gandhi Statue Memorial Trust website. While Infosys confirmed that it had made the donation, the company did not comment on the amount of the contribution.

According to the Trust’s website, Infosys’ donation is the highest that has been received so far.

“Mahatma Gandhi encouraged Indians to spin and weave their own cloth – using the traditional spinning wheel or charkha – and wear clothing made from this homespun fabric. The charkha became both the tool and symbol of a national revolution built on the tenets of human creativity and entrepreneurship. Much like computing technology, today, serves as the modern Indian’s charkha – amplifying individual abilities, and collective capability, (just as the charkha did many decades ago) making extraordinary makers out of ordinary people, helping enterprises in the UK and the world over weave dreams into reality,” Infosys Chief Executive Officer Vishal Sikka said in a statement.

Earlier this year, Infosys co-founder N R Narayana Murthy and his family donated £200,000 towards the Mahatma Gandhi statue. The trust’s website lists Lakshmi Mittal family, Bajaj Auto Chairman Rahul Bajaj, and hotelier Vivek Chadha, among the donors.

The targeted budget for the project was reportedly projected at £750,000. The unveiling of the 9-feet bronze statue marks 100 years since Gandhi returned to India from South Africa to join the struggle for the country’s independence.

This is the first time a non-Briton has been represented in London in this way, and so the event marks a very special relationship between India and UK, Infosys said.

The Bengaluru-headquartered company has an employee base of around 8,500 in Europe, which includes around 3,000 in UK. The company gets nearly one billion dollar revenue from business in UK. Infosys works for clients like BT, Vodafone, UCAS (the UK university clearing body), GSK, AstraZeneca, Unilever and Diageo, in the region.

The company recently recruited apprentices (after completion of an 18 month training program) in UK and has strategic partnerships with Queen’s University Belfast, Cambridge and Southampton universities. The company also said it has hired over 20 graduates in UK this year as part of its worldwide program to bring around 200 persons to enhance its business development teams. The company has also taken over 100 students from UK to India for a summer internship.