Azim Hashim Premji, an Indian engineer, businessman and chairman of Wipro Limited, was born in 1945, July24, in Mumbai, India, to a Gujarati Khoja Shia Ithna-Asheri Muslim family. He is the son of M. H. Premji who had established Western India Products that would manufacture hydrogenated vegetable fats and oil, hair care soaps, and ethnic ingredient based toiletries.
He completed his schooling from St. Mary’s School, Mumbai and at the age of 21, attended Stanford University, California, to complete his studies in electrical engineering. However, he could not further his studies and had to return to take over the family business after the sudden death of his father in 1966.
After his joining in his father’s company, Western India Products ( he later renamed it to Wipro Technologies and Wipro Corporation) and started expanding it to developing light bulbs with general electric, baby care products and shampoos, powders and other consumer products. In 1975, it began manufacturing hydraulic cylinders and truck tippers. In 1980 the company entered into IT sector and under a special license from Sentinel, it started developing computer hardware, software and related items. Wipro’s has won PCMM Level 5 and SEI CMM level 5 certification and has remained among the world’s top 100 IT companies. It is also one of the world’s largest BPO companies and employs over 22,000 employees.
Awards and Recognition:
Business Week named him as one of the Greatest Entrepreneurs for making Wipro one of the world’s fastest developing companies.
In 2000, he received an honorary doctorate from the Manipal Academy of Higher Education.
In 2004, Time Magazine kept him among its 100 most influential people in the world.
In 2005, he was honored with Padma Bhushan.
In 2008, on 58th Convocation Ceremony of the University, Aligarh Muslim University honored him with a Doctor of Letters (D.Litt.).
In 2009, Wesleyan University in Middletown awarded him with an honorary doctorate for his philanthropic work.
Azim Premji has chiefly contributed to establish Azim Premji Foundation and has donated $2 billion worth shares.
According to Azim Premji Foundation, it “Aims at making a tangible impact on identified social issues by working in active partnership with the Government and other related sectors of society” and Programmers offered are mainly for “creating effective and scalable models that significantly improve the quality of learning in the school and ensure satisfactory ownership by the community in the management of the school”. This foundation “dedicates itself to the cause of Universalization of Elementary Education in India”. It has successfully improved the quality of general education, mainly in rural schools.
Forbes magazine named him the Bill Gates of India for his Charity work.
In 2011, he was the fifth richest man in India. According to Forbes Magazine 2011, he is the world’s 36th richest person with $13 billion fortune.
Azim Premji Quotes:
“In our way of working, we attach a great deal of importance to humility and honesty; With respect for human values, we promise to serve our customers with integrity.”
“We believe this combination of excellence in operations and strong execution of our strategy is critical to achieve our vision. We will continue to focus on both in future as well.”