Azim Premji | The success story of one of the top business leaders in India
Azim Premji is an Indian business tycoon, investor, philanthropist, and engineer. He was the chairman of Wipro Limited. Known as the Czar of the Indian IT industry, he is responsible for guiding Wipro through 40 years of growth and, become one of the leaders in the software industry. Premji is one of the richest people in India with an estimated net worth of US$32.8 billion. Time magazine listed him among the 100 most influential people two times. Additionally, he is known for his philanthropy. Azim Premji agreed to give away at least half of his wealth by signing the Giving Pledge. Eventually, his success story is truly inspiring.
Early life and career
Premji was born in Bombay in a Gujarati Muslim family. His father, Muhammed Hashim Premji was a noted businessman and called the “Rice king of Burma”. In 1966, on the news of his father’s death, 21-year-old Azim Premji returned home from Stanford University to take charge of Wipro. Initially, the company dealt with hydrogenated oil manufacturing. After Premji took over, he diversified the company to bakery fats, ethnic ingredient-based toiletries, hair care soaps, baby toiletries, lighting products, and hydraulic cylinders.
In the 1980s, the young entrepreneur realized the importance of the emerging IT field in India. Premji took advantage of the space left behind by the expulsion of IBM from India and changed the company name to Wipro from Western Indian Vegetable Products. He entered the technology sector and started manufacturing minicomputers in collaboration with an American company. Hence, shifted the company’s focus from soaps to software. This played a key role in making Premji one of the richest Indians and put the company among the top global leaders. In 2005 Premji received the Padma Bhushan from the Government of India. According to Forbes, he is currently the third richest Indian with a net worth of USD 16.8 billion.
Azim Premji Foundation
In 2020, Azim Premji topped the list of philanthropists in India with ₹ 7,904 crores in donations. In 2001, he founded Azim Premji Foundation, a non-profit organization. He pledged to donate US$2 billion to improving school education in India in 2010. In addition, Premji pledged an additional 34% of Wipro stock held by him to the foundation in March 2019. He is also the first Indian to sign up for the Giving Pledge. It is a campaign to encourage the wealthiest people to make a commitment to give most of their wealth to philanthropic causes. Premji once said, “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.”
Lessons we can learn
Under Azim Premji’s guidance, Wipro became one of the leading companies in the software sector. Premji topped the list of “India’s most generous” on 10 November 2020. He is a source of inspiration to various entrepreneurs all around the world. Premji believes that if you are privileged then you must help the underprivileged people of our society. His foundation’s main goal is to provide education to the children living in rural India. People all around the world can take inspiration from him and donate money to good causes. By giving back, we not only help society but also feel happier and healthier.
Not only as a Great businessman but also as a philanthropist, Premji donated for covid-19 4th pandemic around Rs.9713 crore. As a new project, he is investing 300cr in setting up large consumer care soap and fabric conditioner manufacturing factory, currently in Maheshwaram, Rangareddy district Telangana. So, He retains his position as a top philanthropist, as he donated Rs 22 crore per day, according to EdelGive Hurun India Philanthropy List 2020.
Quick Facts About Azim Premji
|Also Known As||Azim Hasham Premji|
|Age (2021)||76 years (24 July 1945)|
|Net Worth||1,120 crores USD|
|Founder||Azim Premji Foundation, Mission10X|
What is Azim Premji's net worth?
1,120 crores USD