Indian business tycoon, philanthropist & chairman of Wipro Limited Azim Hashim Premji Rare Phtos. Azim Premji is Chairman of Wipro Technologies, one of the largest software companies in India. He is an icon among Indian businessmen and his success story is a source of inspiration to a number of budding entrepreneurs.
Born on July 24, 1945, Azim Hashim Premji was studying Electrical Engineering from Stanford University, USA when due to the sudden demise of his father, he was called upon to handle the family business. Azim Premji took over the reins of family business in 1966 at the age of 21.
Azim Premji is the Chairman of Wipro, one of the largest software companies in India. Its headquarters are in Bengaluru, the Indian Silicon City.
Azim Premji was rated the richest person in the country from 1999 to 2005 by Forbes.
His wealth in 2006 was estimated at US$14.8 Billion which places him as the fifth richest Indian. Azim H. Premji was born to M.H. Hasham Premji.
His grandfather was the rice king of Burma. His father had declined an invitation from M.A.Jinnah to go to Pakistan. Premji attended St. Mary`s School I.C.S.E. in Mazagaon, Mumbai.
He was just finishing his undergraduate engineering studies at Stanford University in 1966 when his father passed away.
He immediately returned to India where he took over the family`s fledgling vegetable oil business, Western Indian Vegetable Products Limited (now called Wipro). Premji started off with a simple vision: to build an organization on a foundation of values.
He eventually received permission to take correspondence art courses to complete the requirements for his bachelor`s degree in Electrical Engineering. Premji has been recognized by BusinessWeek as one of the Greatest Entrepreneurs of All Time for his vision and leadership that has been responsible for Wipro emerging as one of the world`s fastest growing companies.
Premji is the only Indian to make it to the list. In 2000, he was conferred an honorary doctorate by the Manipal Academy of Higher Education.
He was also declared the Businessman of the Year 2000 by Business India and is featured in the Business Weeks all-time top 30 entrepreneurs of the world in 2007.
He is a member of the Prime Minister`s Advisory Committee for Information Technology in India.
As of October 6, 2007, he is the 5th richest Indian, with a net worth of $13.6 billion. Azim Premji Foundation was set up with financial resources contributed by Azim Premji.
Programmes of the Azim Premji Foundation focus on 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.
At the first annual general meeting of the company attended by Azeem Premji, a shareholder doubted Premji’s ability to handle business at such a young age and publicly advised him to sell his shareholding and give it to a more mature management. This spurred Azim Premji and made him all the more determined to make Wipro a success story. And the rest is history.
When Azim Premji occupied the hot seat, Wipro dealt in hydrogenated cooking fats and later diversified to bakery fats, ethnic ingredient based toiletries, hair care soaps, baby toiletries, lighting products and hydraulic cylinders. Thereafter Premji made a focused shift from soaps to software.
Under Azim Premji’s leadership Wipro has metamorphosed from a Rs.70 million company in hydrogenated cooking fats to a pioneer in providing integrated business, technology and process solutions on a global delivery platform. Today, Wipro Technologies is the largest independent R&D service provider in the world.
Azim Premji has several achievements to his credit. In 2000, Asiaweek magazine, voted Premji among the 20 most powerful men in the world. Azim Premji was among the 50 richest people in the world from 2001 to 2003 listed by Forbes. In April 2004, Times Magazine, rated him among the 100 most influential people in the world by Time magazine. He is also the richest Indian for the past several years. In 2005,Government of India honored Azim Premji with Padma Bhushan.