Hatari Electric founder Joon among top philanthropists in Asia

AMONG THE 15 Asian philanthropists cited by Forbes Asia magazine in its annual Heroes of Philanthropy list for having demonstrated a strong personal commitment to causes such as education and environment is just one honouree from Thailand and that is Mr. Joon Wanavit, 85, founder of Hatari Electric Company, Sanook.com said.

Also mentioned were Canva’s cofounders Melanie Perkins and Cliff Obrecht in Australia who last year pledged the majority of their shares in their $26 billion (valuation) graphic design platform to support charitable initiatives.

Japan’s Hiroshi Mikitani, the founder of e-commerce giant Rakuten, too was listed for donating to humanitarian aid amid global crises such as the war in Ukraine. 

And on his birthday in June, India’s richest person, Gautam Adani, pledged a whopping $7.7 billion to programmes related to healthcare, education and skill development.

Nine of this year’s 15 selected philanthropists were new entrants with previous honorees considered if they made recent significant contributions. Among them were Ronnie and Gerald Chan, the Hong Kong billionaire siblings who in October gifted $100 million to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) to establish a new school for design. This comes on the heels of last year’s $175 million donation to the University of Massachusetts.

Joon was praised for delighting the Thai people after he and the Wanavit family donated 900 million baht to the Ramathibodi Foundation.

The foundation thanked him and also revealed that Joon and his family had been supporting various projects since 2008 and their donations had now reached over 1.3 billion baht.


Mr. Joon Wanavit and his family as well as the 900 million baht donation cheque he signed. Photos: Sanook.com

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