Azim Premji is an Indian business magnate and philanthropist, who is recognized as the chairman of Wipro Limited. With a net worth of $12.2 billion, Azim is the 41st richest person of the world.
Premji was born on 24th July 1945 in Bombay Presidency, British India. He attained a degree in Electrical engineering from Stanford University. He had not even completed graduation his father died and Premji had to delay his plans of further studies to help out in the family business ‘Western Vegetable Indian Products’, which was situated in Bombay. In the 1980s Premji changed the soap and oil producing company to a global player. Under the outstanding management of Premji, Wipro rose to new heights. He used his perceptive vision, innovative marketing strategies and clever tactics to boost the company sales and profits. Premji was undoubtedly a clever business man. Instead of hiring family members in the company he opted for graduated in the relevant fields to do the required jobs.
Premji created Wipro Fluid Power which was a manufacturer of truck tippers and hydraulics. However the thirst for success kept him searching for the right niche. He sought the opportunity in 1979 when IBM continued their business activities in India without permission. He turned his attention to the computer industry and soon Wipro became the world’s prominent computer producers. After that he began development of software which takes up a large part of profits of Wipro Corporation even today. The company also manufactures medical computer systems along with office technology products globally. Wipro was valued at $662 million and is worth much more now.
Premji ranks among the world’s wealthiest people according to Forbes magazine. He is the 2nd richest man in India. Despite all the wealth, Premji is a very humble and down to earth personality. He is also a very generous philanthropist. It is reported that in 2001 he contributed a large amount of his wealth in the establishment of the Azim Premji Foundation, which is a non-profit organization that focuses primarily making improvements in children’s education. He is also the first Indian to have signed the Giving Pledge which means that he will donate most of his wealth for humanitarian causes.
Premji has been given many awards and honors. He received an honorary doctorate by the Manipal Academy of Higher Education in 2000. He was recognized as one of the Greatest Entrepreneurs by Business Week for making Wipro one of the world’s fastest growing companies. In 2005 the government of India honored him with the Padma Bhushan for his excellence in areas of trade and commerce. He got the honorary degree from Aligarh Muslim University in 2008 on their 58th Convocation Ceremony. He also received an honorary degree in 2009 from Wesleyan University for his immense philanthropic work. In 2011 he was given the Padma Vibhushan which is the second highest honor given by the Indian government. He was ranked among the twenty most powerful men of the world AsiaWeek in 2000 and among the hundred most influential people by Time magazine.