Azim Hashim Premji is an Indian business tycoon and philanthropist, who is the Chairman of Wipro Limited. He was born on 24th July, 1945 in Mumbai, then part of British India. He took over the reign of his family run business at a young age of 21,due to the demise of his father M H Premji.He left engineering from Stanford University, California and entered into the business which dealt in hydrogenated oil manufacturing. The biggest hurdle before him was to win the confidence of the shareholders. Initially company moved from vanaspathi manufacturingto bakery fats, hair care soaps and lighting products. In 1975, Wipro Fluid Power business unit started manufacturing hydraulic cylinders and truck tippers. During 1980s, Premji’ s clear vision and proper planning helped him in realising the importance of the emerging IT field and entered into the IT business by taking advantage of the expulsion of IBM from the Indian market.
It was Azim Premji’ scommitment, determination, opportunity obsession, leadership qualities, ability to use failures as a way of learning and ability to adapt which helped him in guiding the company through four decades of diversification. He took the vegetable oil business to one of the largest IT service provider in the country called ‘WIPRO’. A large percentage of company’s revenue are generated from the IT division and net worth of company is US $ 15.3 billion as of 2014. Premji is an absolute workaholic and he believes that work is the only mantra to attain success and survival in a competitive world. Few secrets of his success are his perseverance coupled with knowledge, looking forward for applying thoughts and to reach the zenith of success and leadership.
In addition to the above qualities, one most important aspect of his life that need to be discussed is philanthropy. In 2001, Premji established the Azim Premji Foundation, a non-for-profit organisation with a vision to provide quality primary education to every child of the nation. The foundation became successful in reaching out to over 2.5 million children in more than 20000 schools across India. He also established University and multiple field level institutions to improve education and research. Premji is also known for making the largest donation in India in December 2010, by pledging to donate$2 billion for ameliorating school education in India.
Azim Premji even topped the Forbes list of “Richest Indians” from 1999 to 2005. Government of India also honoured him with the title of Padma Bhushan and Padma Vibhushan in 2005 and 2011 respectively. Thus, on the basis of the above facts I believe that Azim Premji is the greatest leader and philanthropist that India has ever got.