Azim Premji—A true nation builder

Hyderabad: It is said that a good deed brightens a dark world. Such is the example of Azim Hashim Premji who is the Chairman of Western India Products Ltd.(WIPRO), a business tycoon, investor engineer, and philanthropist.

In 2001 he formed Azim Premji Foundation for Education. This foundation is a unique organization. It has formed schools, colleges and universities and also teachers’ training college. From Uttarakhand, Rajasthan to Chattisgarh this organization is working in the remote villages of eight states. Lakhs of teachers and students are benefitted by this foundation. All this work is being done in close partnership with various State governments.

Recently, Azim Premji donated a huge amount of Rs 53,000 crore to this foundation. The total sum of this foundation has reached Rs 1,45,000 crore, which also includes his share of 67% from his WIPRO.

In 2010 his name was among the 20 most influential men in the world.

Azim Premji is different from other powerful and richest men in the world. He is indifferent to wealth and rich at heart. He pledged his wealth for the unprivileged.  

He says, “I strongly believe that those of us, who are privileged to have wealth, should contribute significantly to try and create a better world for the millions who are far less privileged.”

As of today, he is the second richest man in India, with a net worth of $22.6 billion. Recently Azim Premji and WIPRO Limited together committed Rs. 1,125 crores to fight coronavirus crisis.

He is a true nation builder. There were many who served the nation like Tata and Birla, but Azim Premji put our nation on a different path and took India to new heights.

Azim Hashim Premji was born on 24 July 1945 in a Muslim family in Mumbai. His father Mohamed Hashem Premji was a noted businessman and known as Rice King of Burma. After partition, when Jinnah invited Muhammed Hashim Premji to come to Pakistan, he turned down the request and chose to remain in India.

Azim Premji has a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering degree from Stanford University. He is married to Yasmeen. The couple have two children, Rishad and Tariq. Rishad is currently the Chief Strategy Officer of IT Business, Wipro.

In 2019, Azim Premji was the world’s largest contributor to philanthropy and was named as Asia’s most generous philanthropist

WIPRO was founded in 1945 by Azim Premji’s father Muhamed Hashem Premji. It is the third-largest company in India based in Bangalore. It is a diversified company that manufactures and sells products and services ranging from cooking oil and soaps to healthcare instruments and information technology (IT) consulting.

After the death of his father, Azim Premji took over the business and added software and IT services, which makeup nearly half of the company’s sales and has consistently outpaced the growth of Wipro’s other businesses. From 31 March 2013, he separated its non-IT businesses into a separate company named Wipro Enterprises Limited, to focus on core IT business. 

Azim Premji, India’s second richest man was the first Indian to sign ‘The Giving Pledge’ started by American billionaires, Bill Gates and Warren Buffet to commit at least 50% of their fortune to philanthropic work. Premji gave away shares worth almost $7.6 billion as donations. 

In 2005, the Government of India honoured him with the title of Padma Bhushan for his outstanding work in trade and commerce. He was awarded Padma Vibhushan in 2011, the second-highest civilian award by the Government of India.