Azim Hashim Premji is a business man and an Indian billionaire, investor and humanitarian. He is also the chairman of the Wipro Limited which is commonly regarded as a Czar of the Indian IT industry.
Azim Hashim Premji was born on July 24th, 1945 in India and is a tycoon, philanthropist, and an investor. Azim supervised the Wipro foundation for over four decades of growth and excellence, which finally transformed into one of the global leaders in the Software Industry. Azim Hashim Premji was voted among the top 20 most powerful men in the world in 201 by Asiaweek. Mr. Premji has been listed twice to be among the 100 most influential people by Time Magazine, and 2004 and 20011 respectively. He possesses up to 73% of Wipro and also has a private equity fund called Prejilmvest, and manages his $2 billion worth of personal portfolio. Azim donated 25% of his personal wealth to charity and has also promised to donate the rest of the 25% in the next 5 years.
During the1940’s, Muhammed Hashim Premji introduced Western Indian Vegetable Products Ltd, located in a small town in the Jalagaon district of Maharashtra called Amalner. The company used to manufacture cooking oil under the brand name Sunflower Vanaspati, as well as laundry soap, which is a byproduct of the Sunflower oil manufactured. Azim attended the Stanford University in 1967, where he studied engineering in order to lead Wipro.
Wipro at that time was called Western Indian Vegetable Products as they specialized in hydrogen oil manufacturing, but Aim later helped the company allocate their resources towards the production of bakery fats, baby toiletries, lighting products, cosmetics.
During the 80’s, young Azim had the vision to emerge the IT field and take advantage of the vacuum left behind by the expulsion of IBM from India, which made his change the company name to Wipro. Headed by such an innovational and brilliant mind, the company managed to penetrate into the high-tech sector by manufacturing minicomputers through a joint corporation with an American company called Sentinel Computer Corporation
Mr. Premji has become the first Indian to sign up for The Giving Pledge, a cooperation led by the richest people including Bill Gates and Warren Buffet to make a pledge and donate most of their riches for magnanimous causes.
“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 (AP)
Awards and achievements
- First Indian recipient of the Faraday Medal
- In 2005, the Government of India honored him with the title ofPadma Bhushan for his outstanding work in trade and commerce.
- In 2011, he has been awardedPadma Vibhushan, the second highest civilian award by the Government of India.
- In 2013, he received theET Lifetime Achievement Award.
- In 2012, France bestowed upon him the “Legion of Honor” and Forbes India honored him with its inaugural “Outstanding Philanthropist of the Year”.
- He was honored with the Asian Business Leaders Award by Asia House (UK) in October 2013 for his “impressive business credentials and his significant efforts to inspire a commitment in others to improving society.”