Azim Premji Biography: Early Life, Family, Education, Career, Philanthropy and Recognitions
Azim Hashim Premji, the Founder Chairman of Wipro Limited is an Indian business tycoon, investor, engineer, and philanthropist. He is also known as the Czar of the Indian IT Industry. Under Azim Premji's guidance for four decades, Wipro emerged as one of the global leaders in the software industry.
Azim Premji: Early life, Family and Education
Azim Hashim Premji was born on July 24, 1945, in Mumbai (then Bombay) to a Muslim family. His father Mohamed Hashim Premji was known as the Rice King of Burma. The founder of Pakistan, Muhammad Ali Jinnah, invited Premji's father to live in Pakistan which the later turned down and chose to remain in India.
In 1945, Azim Premji's father, Muhammad Hashim Premji established Western Indian Vegetable Products Ltd. in Amalner, Maharashtra. The company manufactured Sunflower Vanaspathi (cooking oil) and a laundry soap 787 (a byproduct of cooking oil).
Azim Premji is a graduate in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University, USA. Premji married to Yasmeen and the couple has two sons-- Rishad Premji and Tariq Premji. Currently, the elder son Rishad is the Chairman of Wipro Limited.
Azim Premji in Business
In 1966, Azim Premji after his father's death returned to India from the USA and took the charge of Wipro. The Western Indian Vegetable Products company was later diversified by Azim Premji into the company manufacturing bakery fats, ethnic ingredient based toiletries, hair care soaps, baby toiletries, lighting products, and hydraulic cylinders.
In the 1980s, after the expulsion of IBM from India, recognized the importance of the IT industry and changed his company name to Wipro. He entered into IT industry and manufactured minicomputers under technological collaboration with an American company Sentinel Computer Corporation.
Azim Premji: Philanthropy
My father has always believed that he was a trustee of his wealth and never it’s owner. Being part of the communities in which we live and work is also a core part of Wipro. pic.twitter.com/TiDL58S23M— Rishad Premji (@RishadPremji) November 11, 2020
1- In the year 2011, Azim Premji established a non-profit organization known as Azim Premji Foundation. In December 2010, Azim Premji pledged to donate 2 billion USD for improving the conditions of school education in India. For this, Azim Premji transferred 213 million equity shares of Wipro Ltd. held by him to the Azim Premji Foundation. This is one of the largest donations in India.
2- In March 2019, Azim Premji pledged 34% shares of Wipro held by him to Azim Premji Foundation. The Azim Premji Foundation has warned the citizens against the fake messages claiming to be the foundation and requesting donations for the trust.
3- Azim Premji was the first Indian to sign 'The Giving Pledge' led by Warren Buffet and Bill Gates. This pledge was to encourage the wealthiest people around the globe to commit most of their wealth to philanthropy.
4- In April 2013, Azim Premji stated that he has already given more than 25% of his wealth to charity.
5- In July 2015, Azim Premji gave away 18% of his stake in Wipro totalling his contribution so far to 39%.
6- On November 11, 2020, Azim Premji tops the seventh edition of EdelGive Hurun India Philanthropy List 2020 with a donation of ₹7,904 crores.
EdelGive Hurun India Philanthropy List 2020
EdelGive Foundation and Hurun India have jointly released the seventh edition of EdelGive Hurun India Philanthropy List 2020 having 112 names.
Azim Premji: Recognitions
1- Business Week has recognised Azim Premji as one of the Greatest Entrepreneurs after Wipro emerges as one of the world's fastest-growing companies.
2- In 2000, Azim Premji was awarded an honorary doctorate by the Manipal Academy of Higher Education.
3- In 2006, Azim Premji was awarded Lakshya Business Visionary by National Institute of Industrial Engineering, Mumbai.
4- In 2009, Azim Premji has conferred an honorary doctorate from Wesleyan University in Connecticut for his outstanding philanthropic work.
5- In 2015, Mysore University conferred an Azim Premji an honorary doctorate.
6- In 2005, the Government of India awarded Azim Premji with Padma Bhushan for his work in trade and commerce.
7- In 2011, Azim Premji was awarded Padma Vibhushan (second highest civilian award) by the Government of India.
8- In 2017, Azim Premji ranked 9th in India's most powerful people of 2017 list by India Today magazine.
Azim Premji is one of the wealthiest people of India and is more famous for his philanthropic work. He has also received several awards-- Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan, etc. Azim Premji has transformed Wipro under his leadership from a $2 million cooking fat company into a conglomerate.