Azim Premji is a business tycoon, investor, philanthropist and a former chairman of Wipro.
He is famously known as the Bill Gates of India.
Azim Hashim Premji (Azim Premji) was born on 24 July 1945 into a Shia Muslim family in Mumbai, Maharashtra, India.
In 1945, his father Mohamed Hashem Premji founded a company by the name Western India Products Limited in Amalner, in Jalgaon district of Maharashtra.
In this company, sunflower vanaspati and detergent soaps were being manufactured.
In 1947, India got independence.
But this happiness was short lived due to the partition of India into two parts.
Pakistan was partitioned from India and many Muslim families migrated to Pakistan from India.
Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the founder of Pakistan called Mohamed Hashem Premji to settle in Pakistan.
But Mohamed Hashem Premji decided not to abandon his beloved motherland India, so he stayed back in India.
Azim Premji completed his schooling in the St. Mary’s school in Mumbai.
After his schooling, Mohamed Hashem Premji admitted his son to Stanford University.
Azim Premji was surprised to see the vast usage of computers in America, at that moment he realised the importance of Information Technology (IT) and was saddened to see India missing the powerful IT bandwagon.
Life takes an unexpected turn-
The 21 year old Azim Premji was studying engineering in Stanford University, California.
In 1966, he received shocking news that his father, Mohamed Premji had passed away.
This made Azim Premji return to India in haste.
Azim Premji wanted to provide job security to the employees of Western India Products Limited, so he decided to abandon his studies.
So he became the chairperson of Western India Products Limited.
Obtaining inspiration from insults-
But Azim Premji’s decision of becoming the chairperson was opposed by the shareholders of the company who cited his inexperience in business.
Many shareholders believed that Azim Premji was incapable and inefficient in managing the business.
Once in an annual meeting, a shareholder openly questioned Azim Premji about his management capabilities and even suggested him to resign from his position and appoint someone who is more experienced than him.
This incident changed the mind-set of Azim Premji, who once doubted himself but now he took the insults of the shareholders as a challenge, and decided to prove them wrong by proving himself.
Azim Premji requested the shareholders to give him a chance, so that he can prove his capabilities and also promised them that he will definitely run the company in a very profitable manner.
Beginning of real work-
So, from that day Azim Premji worked with a new zest towards his company and expanded the business even further.
He also launched many new products like toiletries, childcare and hair care products, hydraulic cylinders, etc.
The most beneficial habit-
In the 1980s, Azim Premji realised the importance of the rapidly emerging Information Technology.
His habit of staying updated by reading books greatly helped him and his company.
Azim Premji used to update his products and launch new products according to the latest market trends and used to learn about the latest trends by reading.
Even now, he reads a lot of books.
Wipro Information Technology Limited-
In 1980, Azim Premji renamed Western India Products Limited as Wipro.
During those times, India was very backward in the IT field; he grasped the potential of IT and this made him establish Wipro Information Technology in 1981.
This company collaborated with America’s Sentinel Computer Corporation and started manufacturing mini-computers.
Now, Wipro is successfully operating in 110 countries and employs more than 160,000 employees.
A charitable person-
Azim Premji donated a whopping $2.2 billion to the Azim Premji Foundation for education in India.
The first Indian-
Azim Premji is the first Indian to sign up for the The Giving Pledge foundation, the foundation founded by Bill Gates and Warren Buffett which encourages the rich to donate for the poor.
In 2013, Azim Premji donated more than 25 per cent of his wealth.
He founded Azim Premji Foundation in 2001, with the aim of helping poor and unprivileged across India.
Azim Premji donated over 21 billion dollars through his Azim Premji foundation.
The motto of this trust is to achieve quality universal education that facilitates a just, equitable, humane and sustainable society.
Helping the education sector-
Azim Premji foundation employs over a thousand people and is working with more than 3,50,000 government schools across rural India for improving the education.
Now, this foundation is working along with the governments of different Indian states like Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Pondicherry, etc.
This foundation has built Azim Premji University in Bengaluru, Karnataka.
According to the Time magazine in 2004 and 2011, Azim Premji is one of the most influential people in the world.
He has also been awarded India’s highest civilian awards, Padma Bhushan and Padma Vibhushan.
Leading a simple life-
Even after becoming a billionaire, he leads a very simple life.
Azim Premji prefers to travel in the economy class and prefers stays in the company rest houses, avoiding the expensive hotels.
Current position of Wipro-
Wipro is India’s third largest IT Company and operates in many different locations all over the country.
Azim Premji took the Indian IT industry to the global level and so he is famously known as the Czar of the Indian IT industry.
Wipro also runs the very popular brands like Santoor, Chandrika, Glucovita, Safewash, Baby Soft and North-west switches.
This company also provides industrial waste water solutions.
Additionally, this company also manufactures LED bulbs, aeroplane actuators (through its Wipro infrastructure engineering founded in 1976) and 3D printing transmitters used in space machines.
Azim Premji’s personal investment fund is over $2 billion.
Spreading wings across the world-
In October 1981, Wipro got listed in the New York Stock Exchange.
Wipro is one of the few handful Indian companies to get listed in NYSE.
In the USA, Wipro also owns a company in San Francisco by name, Cooper which specialises in User Experience designing.
Wipro is also involved in providing smart AI solutions through its Wipro Innovation Centre, in Silicon Valley, California.
Appirio, a cloud servicing company is also owned by Wipro and is headquartered in Indianapolis.
Wipro owns Topcoder, a marketplace for developers and a financial consulting company by the name Opus.
Wipro USA is located in 40 locations, in 23 states of America.
Wipro also runs Health Plan Services, a Florida based Insurance services provider.
And Wipro also manufactures aviation parts through its Wipro Givon located in Everett, Washington.
In addition to all these, Azim Premji also invested in numerous other companies, some of which include looker, Yapstone, Signifyd, Anaplan and Apttus.
Wipro runs three business centres in Canada and also provides information technology solutions to the Toronto Pearson international airport.
Wipro also runs hydraulics manufacturing facilities in numerous locations in various countries which include Finland, Sweden and Romania.
This company also runs IT development centres in around 15 European countries.
Wipro is also the technology partner for the famed Chelsea Football club.
In 2009, Wipro acquired the famous brand Yardley.
Yardley products are sold in 40 countries.
Wipro acquired the designing firm Designit in 2015.
Here, Wipro runs cellent AG, an IT service management company.
Wipro has its delivery centres in many countries in South America, like in Columbia, Chile, Argentina, and Brazil.
Wipro also operates Wipro do Brasil Industrial SA, a hydraulics manufacturing company.
In Africa, Wipro runs delivery centres in eight countries, which consists Kenya, Nigeria, Zambia, etc.
In South Africa, Wipro is providing internship programs for college students hailing from unprivileged communities.
And Wipro is also working closely with the government in providing libraries and computers to the rural schools.
Here, Wipro acquired Syfte, a big design agency and Wipro also runs IT development centres in four locations in Australia.
Wipro also stepped its foot in Indonesia, Japan and Philippines through establishing its IT centres.
Wipro further expanded to the Middle East and Bangladesh.
In 2016, Wipro took on Zhongshan Ma Er, a FMCG leader in China.
Wipro also owns other notable brands like Enear, etc.
Here, Wipro acquired UNZA, a consumer goods company in 2007.
Wipro also operates Safi, a very popular skin and tooth care brand.
Wipro also functions through its countless brands like Romano, Enchanteur, Vitalis and Bio essence.
Here, Wipro jointly founded a women’s business park in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
Wipro manufactures aerospace parts through its Wipro Givon, in Kiryat Bialik.
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