Business tycoon

... Azim Premji Kutchh

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More about Azim Premji

Education

:21-year-old Azim Premji returned home from Stanford University, where he was studying engineering, to take charge of Wipro. The company, which was called Western Indian Vegetable Products at the time, dealt in hydrogenated oil manufacturing but Azim Premji later diversified the company to bakery fats, ethnic ingredient based toiletries, hair care soaps, baby toiletries, lighting products, and hydraulic cylinders. In the 1980s, the young entrepreneur, recognising the importance of the emerging IT field, took advantage of the vacuum left behind by the expulsion of IBM from India, changed the company name to Wipro and entered the high-technology sector by manufacturing minicomputers under technological collaboration with an American company SentinelComputer Corporation.Thereafter Premji made a focused shift from soaps to software.

Life story

In 1945, Muhammed HashimPremji incorporated Western Indian Vegetable Products Ltd, based at Amalner, a small town in the Jalgaon district of Maharashtra. It used to manufacture cooking oil under the brand name Sunflower Vanaspati, and a laundry soap called 787, a byproduct of oil manufacture. In 1966, on the news of his father’s death, the then 21-year-old Azim Premji returned home from Stanford University, where he was studying engineering, to take charge of Wipro. The company, which was called Western Indian Vegetable Products at the time, dealt in hydrogenated oil manufacturing but Azim Premji later diversified the company to bakery fats, ethnic ingredient based toiletries, hair care soaps, baby toiletries, lighting products, and hydraulic cylinders. In the 1980s, the young entrepreneur, recognising the importance of the emerging IT field, took advantage of the vacuum left behind by the expulsion of IBM from India, changed the company name to Wipro and entered the high-technology sector by manufacturing minicomputers under technological collaboration with an American company Sentinel Computer Corporation.

Then after Premji made a focused shift from soaps to software.

Famous For

:Azim Premji Foundation And University In 2001, he founded Azim Premji Foundation, a non-profit organisation, with a vision to significantly contribute to achieving quality universal education that facilitates a just, equitable, humane and sustainable society. The 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. A specific focus is on working in rural areas where the majority of these schools exist. This choice to work with elementary education (Class I to VIII) in rural government-run is a response to evidence of educational attainment in India.
The non-profit organisation set up by Premji in 2001 currently functions across Karnataka, Uttarakhand, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Pondicherry, Andhra Pradesh, Bihar and Madhya Pradesh, in close partnership with various state governments. The foundation has worked largely in rural areas, to help contribute to the improvement of quality and equity of school education.
In December 2010, he 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.
The Azim Premji University was established under an act of the Karnataka Legislative Assembly to run programmes to develop education and development professionals, offer alternative models for educational change and also invest in educational research to continuously stretch the boundaries of educational thinking.

Achievement

Azim Premji has become the first Indian to sign up for The Giving Pledge, a campaign led by Warren Buffett and Bill Gates, to encourage the wealthiest people to make a commitment to give most of their wealth to philanthropic causes. He is the third non-American after Richard Branson and David Sainsbury to join this philanthropy club.

“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”— Azim Premji (AP).

In April 2013 he said that he has already given more than 25 per cent of his personal wealth to charity and has also planned to give away the rest of 25% in the next 5 years.

In July 2015, he gave away an additional 18% of his stake in Wipro, taking his total contribution so far to 39%.

Awards

Premji has been recognised by Business Week as one of the Greatest Entrepreneurs for being responsible for Wipro emerging as one of the world’s fastest growing companies.

In 2000, he was conferred an honorary doctorate by the Manipal Academy of Higher Education. In 2006, Azim Premji was awarded Lakshya Business Visionary by National Institute of Industrial Engineering, Mumbai.In 2009, he was awarded an honorary doctorate from Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut for his outstanding philanthropic work.In 2015, Mysore University conferred an honorary doctorate on him.

In 2005, the Government of India honoured him with the title of Padma Bhushan for his outstanding work in trade and commerce.

In 2011, he has been awarded Padma Vibhushan, the second highest civilian award by the Government of India.

In 2013, he received the ET Lifetime Achievement Award.

In 2015, University of Mysore conferred the honorary doctorate to Azim Premji. Listen to the citation read out at the 95th convocation held on 17 April 2015 Dr.AzimPremji-University of Mysore convocation-2015 on YouTube.