Despite being one among the richest man in India, he is quite down to earth person; he often takes a rickshaw from the airport despite owning many cars. He also ensures his employees switch of electricity when not in use, and minimum papers are used. No, he is not miser he loves the idea of Eco-friendly.
It’s not for lack of choice.
Premji was pursuing Electrical Engineering from Stanford University, USA when he took over the reins of his family business in 1966. Initially, he was written off to hold the herculean task and was publically suggested to sell his property and provide it into additional mature hands.
This propelled Premji to create Wipro a successful story! And the rest is history.
Wipro at the start dealt in all kinds of hydrogenated fats however it later forayed into bakery fats, ethnic ingredients, mostly toiletries, hair care soaps, baby toiletries, lighting products and hydraulic cylinders.
In 1970s, Wipro made a focused shift from soaps to software services taking advantage of the expulsion of IBM from the Indian market. This played a key role in making Premji one of the richest Indians and put the company among the top global leaders.
The acceleration of WIPRO:
Under his ready steerage, Wipro has metamorphosed from an Rs.70 million company in hydrogenated fats to a pioneer in providing integrated business, technology and process solutions on a global delivery platform.
Wipro Technologies is the largest independent R&D service supplier within the world and is stratified among the highest one hundred technology firms globally.
The IT division’s Success:
The company’s most sought after IT division became the world’s 1st to win SEI CMM level five and PCMM Level five (People Capability Maturity Model) certification, the newest in quality standards.
A large share of the company’s revenues is generated by the IT division.
It has collaborated with leading world firms, such as Alcatel, Nokia, Cisco, Ericsson and Nortel and has a joint venture in Medical Systems with General Electric company.
Premji and the Awards:
In 2005 Premji was conferred the Padma Bhushan by the Government of India. According to Forbes, he is currently the second richest Indian with a personal wealth of USD 21.5 billion.
In the year 2011, he was awarded with the prestigious Padma Vibhushan, the second highest civilian award.
A down-to-earth Boss:
Premji is thought for his modesty and prudence in spite of his staggering wealth.
He drives a Toyota Corolla and flies in the economy category, prefers to stay in company guest houses rather than luxury hotels.
The Azim Premji Foundation:
In 2001, after he took the oath 10 years before to donate to charity, he founded Azim Premji Foundation as CSR.
The Foundation award degrees in teacher training and is also involved in computer-based assessment in Andhra Pradesh, a learning guarantee programme, and a policy planning unit in Karnataka.
In 2010, Premji pledged to gift USD two billion for up faculty education in Asian nation, the first of its kind by any Indian billionaire.
At the age of 65, Premji still continues to guide Wipro through four decades of diversification to emerge as one of the leading brands in the software industry. He may be a living icon among Indian businessmen and is a supply of inspiration to a variety of budding entrepreneurs.
Biggest Philanthropist of India:
Azim Premji Foundation is a not-for-profit organization formed 9 years ago and is funded single-handedly by him.
It is established with a vision to contribute to general changes in Indian education that facilitate a simple, equitable, humane and sustainable society.
Active since 2001, the Foundation has engaged with over 2.5 million children in 20,000 schools across 13 States through a dedicated workforce of over 250 professionals and hundreds and thousands of paid volunteers. Premji is amongst those rare breeds of Asian entrepreneurs who have successfully put their wealth for philanthropic use.
Azim Premji’s “MY LESSONS IN LIFE” :
- The first thing I have learnt is that we should have a tendency to always begin with our strengths.
- The second lesson I have learnt is that a Rupee earned is of far more value than five found.
- The third lesson I have learnt is that nobody can bat at 100 each time.
- Life has many challenges. You win some and lose some. You must enjoy winning.
- The fourth lesson I have learnt is the importance of humility.
- The fifth lesson I learnt is that we must always strive for excellence.
- The sixth lesson I have learnt is never to give up in the face of adversity.
- The seven lesson I have learnt is that while you must be open to change, do not compromise on your values.
- And the final lesson learnt is that we should have faith in our own ideas though everybody tells us that we are wrong.
On the day of him stepping down as the Company Chairman, Next Big Brand Team bids him adieu and wishes him good health ahead.