Azim Premji – Business man
Azim Hashim Premji was born on 24th of July 1945. He is an Indian business tycoon and philanthropist, He is the chairman of Wipro Limited, he guided the company through four decades of diversification and growth to emerge as one of the Top Indian leaders in the software industry. According to Forbes, he is currently the fourth wealthiest Indian, and the 61st richest in the world, with a personal wealth of $15.3 billion as per the data in 2014. In 2000, he was voted among the 20 most powerful men in the world by Asiaweek magazine. Twice he has been listed among the 100 most influential people by TIME Magazine, once in 2004 and more recently in 2011. Premji owns 75% percent of Wipro and also owns a private equity fund, PremjiInvest, which manages his $1 billion personal portfolio.
Azim was born in Mumbai India in a Muslim family originally hailing from Kutch in Gujarat. His grandfather was a noted businessman and was known as Rice King of Burma. He has a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering degree (equivalent to a Bachelor of Engineering degree) from Stanford University, USA. He is married to Yasmeen. The couple have two children, Rishad and Tariq. Rishad is currently the Chief Strategy Officer of IT Business, Azim premji returned to India from Standford university in 1966, after the death of his father. He has to discontinue his engineering course to take charge of Wipro, Then the company was named Western Indian Vegetable Products, Which mainly dealt with manufacturing hydrogenerated oil. Later he went into diversification of the company to Bakery fats, Ethnic ingrdeient based toileteries, hair care soaps, Hydraulic cylinders etc. In the 80′s he remaned the company as wipro, recognising the importance of the emerging IT field and entered the high-technology sector by manufacturing minicomputers under technological collaboration with an American company named Sentinel Computer Corporation.He shifted focusing from soaps to software.
He has been recognized by the Business Week as one of the Greatest Entrepreneurs for being responsible for the growth of Wipro emerging as one of the world’s fastest growing companies. He was conferred an honorary doctorate by the Manipal Academy of Higher Education in the year 2000. In the year 2006, Azim Premji was awarded Lakshya Business Visionary by National Institute of Industrial Engineering. Later in 2009, he was awarded an honorary doctorate from Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut for his outstanding philanthropic work.The Government of India honoured him with the title of Padma Bhushan for his outstanding work in trade and commerce in the year 2005. And in 2011 he has been awarded Padma Vibhushan, the second highest civilian award by the Government of India.In 2013 He received the ET Lifetime Achievement Award.
In the year 2001, he founded an NGO and named it Azim Premji Foundation, with an aim to significantly contribute to achieving quality universal education that facilitates a just, equitable, humane and sustainable society. The Foundation works in the area of elementary education to pilot and develop ‘proofs of concept’ that have a potential for systemic change in India’s 1.3 million government-run schools. A specific focus is on working in rural areas where the majority of these schools exist. This choice to work with elementary education (Class I to VIII) in rural government-run is a response to evidence of educational attainment in India.The foundation has worked largely in rural areas and helps contribute to the improvement of quality of school education. The NGO which started functioning in 2001 currently functions across Karnataka, Uttarakhand, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Pondicherry, Andhra Pradesh, Bihar and Madhya Pradesh and is in close partnership with various state governments.
He pledged to donate $2 billion for improving school education in India in the year 2010. He transfered 213 million equity shares of Wipro Ltd, held by a few entities controlled by him, to the Azim Premji Trust. This donation is the largest of its kind in India. Azim Premji has become the first Indian to sign up for the 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 wealth to philanthropic causes. He is the third non-American after Richard Branson and David Sainsbury to join this philanthropy club.
Website : http://www.azimpremjifoundation.org/