Tata Trusts, which holds a majority stake in the Tata group holding company Tata Sons, has changed its DNA -- from merely funding funding projects, it has become an enabler of social initiatives, joining hands with foundations, research institutions and the government.
"No longer are we merely the funders of initiatives; we have widened our view on the nature of our philanthropic interventions to become enablers. The redefining of our approach and our purpose -- an exercise that began in 2014 -- has resulted in Tata Trusts shifting from only grant-giving to also include direct implementation," says Ratan Tata, Chairman of Tata Trusts. "It has led to partnerships with like-minded foundations, research institutions and the government. It has given us the capability to influence the discourse on India's social development agenda. It has broadened the canvas of our operations," Tata says in the annual report of Trusts.
Tata Trusts has completed 125 years of community service. The total disbursal made by Sir Ratan Tata trusts & Allied Trusts during the last financial year was Rs 636.79 crore, largely as grants and endowments. Sir Dorabji Tata Trust & Allied Trusts have made a disbursal of Rs 318.03 crore. Tata Trusts partners with the government in Swachh Bharat Mission, in addition to its engagements in skill development, nutrition, digital governance and child protection. The Trusts had partnered with GE Healthcare in 2016 to train 10,000 youth in various technical areas of healthcare over a three-year period. The partnership focuses on bridging the skills gap in healthcare technical or operating staff.
Strategy and long-term goals, technology and innovation, collaboration and cooperation, sustainability and scalability are now more crucial than ever before for Tata Trusts, says Tata.
In healthcare, Tata says, the efforts of Trusts is concentrated on delivery systems and quality care, particularly in the context of cancer and infectious diseases. "Patient-centric is the watchword here, and our programmes in this space are augmented through collaborations, the building of medical institutions and information networks, the provision of state-of-the-art equipment and the support of research programmes," he says.
In the last financial year, the income of Tata Trusts has risen by 333 per cent to Rs 6,948 crore from Rs 1,606 crore despite the fall in dividend income from Tata Sons. One key reason for former chairman of Tata group Cyrus Mistry's ouster in 2016 was the displeasure of Tata Trusts in not receiving enough dividends on its shares. The financial highlights in the two annual reports of Sir Ratan Tata trusts & Allied Trusts and Sir Dorabji Tata Trust & Allied Trusts show that the expenditure of the Trusts is same as that of the income.
The dividend income of Sir Ratan Tata Trust has fallen to Rs 57.6 lakh in 2016-17, compared to Rs 228.82 crore. For Navajbai Ratan Tata Trust, the dividend income fell to Rs 18.33 crore from Rs 249.56 crore. Sir Dorabji Tata Trust's dividend income went down to Rs 2.53 crore from Rs 272.43 crore, while its Allied Trusts reported a slip to Rs 30.66 crore from Rs 541.72 crore. The major expenditure of the trusts comes under 'expenditure on objects of the Trust (including grant related expenses)' category. Tata Education & Development Trust, Bai Hirabai JN Tata Navsari Charitable Institution and Sarvajanik Seva Trust are the allied Trusts of Sir Ratan Tata Trust.
Tata Education & Development Trust has the highest liabilities at Rs 5,201.18 crore as on March 31, 2017. It's largely reflected in the assets category as investment. The investments of the trust stood at Rs 4,813.11 crore.