Azim Premji: Founder Chairman of Wipro

Megha Rani Megha Rani
Jan 15, 2021 5 min read
Azim Premji: Founder Chairman of Wipro

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Azim Premji is an Indian businessman who is known for establishing Wipro Limited. He served as the Chairman of Wipro and currently his son sits at the position. However, he retained his position as a non-executive member of the board and Founder Chairman. Apart from that, he is an Investor, Engineer and a Philanthropist. He is popularly known as Czar of the Indian IT Industry. He was named among the 20 most powerful men in the world by Asiaweek in 2010. TIME Magazine named him twice in the list of 100 most influential people, in the year 2004 and 2011. For years, he has been listed repetitively one among the 500 Most Influential Muslims of the world. He was ranked nineteenth in India's Richest 2019 list by Forbes with an estimated net worth of $6.5 billion. Β 

Azim Premji- Biography

Name Azim Hashim Premji
Born 24 July, 1945
Birthplace Bombay, India
Age 76 (2021)
Nationality Indian
Education Stanford University
Profession Entrepreneur, Philanthropist
Position Founder & Ex- Chairman, Wipro
Net worth $ 7.3 billion (2019)
Father Muhammed Hashem Premji
Spouse Yasmeen
Children Rishad Premji, Tariq

Azim Premji- Personal Life
Azim Premji- Education
Azim Premji- Professional Life
Azim Premji- Wipro Limited
Azim Premji- Wipro Enterprises
Azim Premji- Philanthropist
Azim Premji- Honors & Awards


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Azim Premji- Personal Life

Azim was born in a Gujarati Muslim family in Bombay. His father, Muhammed Hashem Premji was known as Rice King of Burma. The founder of Pakistan, Muhammad Ali Jinnah invited Azim's father to come to Pakistan but he chose to remain in India.

He got married to Yasmeen and the couple bear two children, Rishad and Tariq. Rishad Premji currently serves as the Chairman of Wipro.

Azim Premji- Education

Azim pursued Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering degree from Stanford University. At age 21, he returned to India as his father died in 1966.

Azim Premji- Professional Life

After returning to India, he took the charge of Wipro that was established by his father in December 1945 in Amalner, Maharashtra. The company was initially named "Western India Palm Refined Oil Limited" and later abbreviated to "Wipro".

The company initially manufactured vegetable and refined oils under the trade named of Kisan, Sunflower, and Came. After Azim took the responsibilities of Wipro, the company started focusing in the IT and computing sector within two to three years.

In 1977, the company was formerly known as Wipro Products Limited and then to Wipro Limited in 1982. The company continued to grow, prominently with the launch of Ralak, a Tulsi based family soap and Wipro Jasmine, a toilet soap. This is how the company expanded with respect to the forthcoming years.


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Azim Premji- Wipro Limited

Wipro Logo

Azim serves as the Founder Chairman of Wipro Limited. Currently, his son Rishad serves as the Chairman of Wipro, which he succeeded Β in July 2019. Prior to that, Azim served as the Chairman of Wipro for four decades of diversification and growth.

He cordially leaded Wipro from manufacturing basic soap products to the making it a Β high-technology sector company. He eventually evolved as one of the global leaders in the software industry. Wipro is headquartered in Bangalore, Karnataka, India.

Under the guidance of Azim, Wipro entered the high-technology zone of manufacturing minicomputers in collaboration with an American company, Sentine Computer Corporation. This is how he brought a drastic change to the company by shifting its focus from soaps to software.

Azim Premji- Wipro Enterprises

Wipro separated its non-IT businesses from the privately owned Wipro Enterprises in 2013. The subsidiaries of Wipro are as follows:-

| Subsidiaries of Wipro |
|---|---|
| Western India Products Limited |
| Wipro GE Medical Systems |
| Wipro Consumer Care and Lighting |
| Wipro Infrastructure Engineering |

Azim Premji- Philanthropist

In 2013, Azim signed The Giving Pledge, vowing to donate at least half of his wealth. He started his non-profit organization, Β Azim Premji Foundation with an aim of spreading education in India. He started his organisation with a $2.2 billion donation. He topped EdelGive Hurun India Philanthropy List for the year 2020.


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Azim Premji- Honors & Awards

  • He has been recognized as one of the Greatest Entrepreneurs for evolving Wipro one of the fastest growing companies in the world by Business Week.
  • He received an honorary doctorate in 2000 by the Manipal Academy of Higher Education
  • He was conferred with Lakshya Business Visionary by National Institute of Industrial Engineering, Mumbai in 2006
  • He received an honorary doctorate from Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut in 2009 for his commendable philanthropic work
  • He was conferred with an honorary doctorate from Mysore University in 2015
  • The Government of India honored him with the Padma Bhushan owing to his marvelous contributions in trade and commerce (2005)
  • He was honored with Padma Vibhushan, which is the second highest civilian award by the Government of India (2011)
  • India Today magazine named him in India's 50 Most powerful people list of 2017 with a 9th rank (April 2017)
  • He got Chevalier de la Legion d'Honneur, the highest French civilian distinction by the French Government (2018)
  • Forbes listed him among the Heroes of Philanthropy list of 30 altruists in the Asia-Pacific region (December 2019)

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