Azim Premji is Chairman of Wipro Technologies, one of the largest software companies in India. He is an icon among Indian businessmen and his success story is a source of inspiration to a number of budding entrepreneurs. He born on July 24, 1945, Azim Hashim Premji was studying Electrical Engineering from Stanford University, USA when due to the sudden demise of his father; he was called upon to handle the family business. Azim Premji took over the reins of family business in 1966 at the age of 21. At the first annual general meeting of the company attended by Azim Premji, a shareholder doubted Premji's ability to handle business at such a young age and publicly advised him to sell his shareholding and give it to a more mature management. This spurred Azim Premji and made him all the more determined to make Wipro a success story. And the rest is history. When Azim Premji occupied the hot seat, Wipro dealt in hydrogenated cooking fats and later diversified to bakery fats, ethnic ingredient based toiletries, hair care soaps, baby toiletries, lighting products and hy.draulic cylinders. Thereafter Premji made a focused shift from soaps to software.

Under Azim Premji's leadership Wipro has metamorphosed from a Rs.70 million company in hydrogenated cooking fats to a pioneer in providing integrated business, technology and process solutions on a global delivery platform. Today, Wipro Technologies is the largest independent R&D service provider in the world. Azim Premji has several achievements to his credit. In 2000, Asia week magazine, voted Premji among the 20 most powerful men in the world. Azim Premji was among the 50 richest people in the world from 2001 to 2003 listed by Forbes. In April 2004, Times Magazine rated him among the 100 most influential people in the world by Time magazine. He is also the richest Indian for the past several years. In 2005, Government of India honored Azim Premji with Padma Bhushan. Under his stewardship, WIPRO has grown from a US$ 2 million hydrogenated cooking fat company to a US $1.76 billion IT- giant. Ranked among the top 100 Technology companies globally, Wipro is also the largest BPO services provider based in India. Premji was named as the Business Man of the Year 2000 by Business India and the Business Leader of the Year 2004 by the Economic Times. The TIME magazine listed him in 2004 as one of the 100 most influential people worldwide. In 2003, the Fortune magazine named him as one of the 25 most powerful business leaders outside the US. He was awarded honorary doctorates by many renowned institutions like the Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee and the Manipal Academy of Higher Education, besides serving on the Prime Minister's Committee for Trade and Industry in India.

In 2001, he founded Azim Premji Foundation, a non-profit organization, with a vision 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. In December 2010, Premji pledged to donate $2 billion for improving school education in India. This has been done by transferring 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.


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August 17, 2012 at 1:00 AM  

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