Azim Premji, the Czar of Indian IT Industry

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Czar of the Indian IT Industry, Azim Premji

Azim Hashim Premji is an Indian business tycoon, investor, engineer, philanthropist, and the founder and chairman of Wipro Limited. Known as the Czar of the Indian IT Industry, the man has guided the company through four decades of diversification and growth. Today, Wipro is the world leader in the software industry and the company’s value as of 2021 is US$12 billion! Born July 24, 1945, Azim Premji, a graduate in electrical engineering from Stanford University, has been at the helm of Wipro Limited since 2007 and has turned a $2 million hydrogenated cooking fat company into an IT, BPO, and R&D services organization, generating revenue of $8.5 billion presently in 58 countries. Through this blog, we will explore the life journey of Azim Premji, his philanthropic initiatives, and how he has achieved milestones as an Indian tech magnate!

Full Name Azim Hashim Premji
Born July 24, 1945
Nationality Indian
Education Stanford University
Occupation Founder Chairman of Wipro Limited
Real-Time Net Worth $9.4 Billion as of (7/23/2021)
Azim Premji
Source: The Giving Pledge
YpuTube: Study IQ Education

Azim Premji’s Early Life and Education

Azim Premji was born in a Gujarati-Muslim family in Bombay, Maharashtra in 1945. His father was also a noted businessman and was known as a Rice King of Burma. His father was invited by the founder of Pakistan to Muhammad Ali Jinnah to move to Pakistan, he turned down the request and decided to remain in India. Azim Premji studied at Stanford University with an electrical engineering degree. He is married to his wife Yasmeen and has two children named Rashid Premji and Tariq. In 2019, Premji’s son Rashid succeeded his father as Wipro’s executive chairman. 

Credits: Stanford Graduate School of Business

Start of a Billion-Dollar Tech Giant 

In 1945, Mohamed Premji founded Western Indian Vegetable Products Ltd., based at Amalner, a small town in the Jalgaon district of Maharashtra. The company manufactured cooking oil and laundry soap. In 1966, 21-year-old Premji returned to his hometown after leaving his studies at Stanford on the news of his father’s death. He decided to take charge of Wipro Limited. Later, The company named Western Indian Vegetables Products Ltd. was diversified to bakery fats, hair cair soaps, baby toiletries, lighting products. He then realized the importance of the emerging IT field and changed the name of IBM to Wipro and entered the high technology sector. In the 1970s and 1980s, the company under the management of Premji made a strategic shift from lifestyle products to software. 

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Philanthropic Initiatives 

YouTube: India Today

Azim Premji Foundation 

In 2001, Premji founded Azim Premji Foundation, a non-profit organization. In 2010, he pledged to donate $ 2 Billion USD to improve education in India. He has done this by 213 million equity shares of Wipro Ltd. In 2019, Premji pledged an additional 34% of Wipro stock held by him to the foundation. In May 2020, the Azim Premji Foundation collaborated with the National Centre for Biological Sciences and the Institute for Stem Science and Regenerative Medicine for augmenting testing infrastructure to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic. 

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The Giving Pledge 

Azim Premji signed up for the Giving Pledge, a campaign led by Warren Buffett and Bill Gates to encourage the wealthiest people to make a commitment to give most of their philanthropic causes. In 2013, he gave an additional 25% and in 2015, he gave away an additional 18% of his stake in Wipro. In 2019, Azim Premji became the top Indian Philanthropist. In 2020, he topped the EdelGive Hurun India Philanthropy List. 

“I strongly believe that those of us, who are privileged to have wealth, should contribute significantly to try and create a better world for the millions who are far less privileged.” – Azim Premji

YouTube: World of Miscellaneous 

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Recognition & Awards

Premji has been recognized by Business Week as one of the “Greatest Entrepreneurs” for emerging Wipro Limited as one of the world’s fastest-growing companies. 

  • In 2000, Honorary doctorate by the Manipal Academy of Higher Education
  • In 2006, Awarded Lakshya Business Visionary by the National Institute of Industrial Engineering, Mumbai
  • In 2009, Honorary doctorate by Wesleyan University & Connecticut by Philanthropic Work
  • In 2015, Honorary doctorate by Mysore University
  • In 2005, Awarded Padma Bhushan 
  • In 2006, Awarded Padma Vibhushan 

Famous Book on Azim Premji

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Azim Premji: the man beyond the billions
Courtesy: Amazon.com

Azim Premji: The Man Beyond the Billions

Most Generous Indian

The founder, and chairman of IT major Wipro is a prominent figure in the Indian media. Recently, the philanthropist raised his concerns against the idea of promoting school students to the next class and attention towards lost schooling days owing to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. Wipro’s philanthropic arm has committed an additional 1000 crore of grants over and above the INR 1,125 crore support it had announced in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic last year. 

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Wipro has risen to tremendous heights with Azim Premji, it is the 9th largest employer in India. The chairman of Wipro has not only transformed the IT industry but has been a prominent and serving member of our community. Businesses have a responsibility to employ ethical, fair, and ecologically sensitive business practices, and to engage with fundamental societal issues, Azim Premji proved this with his philanthropy and business acumen! For more motivating and encouraging stories, keep following Leverage Edu on Facebook, Youtube, Instagram and LinkedIn

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