The Czar of Indian IT industry, Azim Premji today completed 50 years of leading Wipro. A known philanthropist, Premji is accredited for driving Wipro through diversification and growth. Twice has he been listed among the most influential people by TIME magazine, while the University of Mysore has conferred the honorary doctorate to him. Premji owns 73% percent of Wipro and also owns a private equity fund, PremjiInvest, which manages his $2 billion worth of personal portfolio.
Driven by the moral that an organization should be deeply committed to its value, Premji placed values at the core of Wipro. His belief that an ordinary man can do something extraordinary has shaped many leaders and leading teams. By combining the expertise in technology and an understanding of the customer, Wipro continues to pioneer under Premji’s reign.
The tech tycoon is worth $16 billion and has been named by Forbes as one of the 25 most powerful business leaders. He was the first recipient of Faraday Medal, while in December 2013, Economic Times bestowed him with Life Time Achievement Award. The Czar has given almost half of his stake holding in Wipro to philanthropy. In 2015, he had earmarked 39% of his stake for charitable trust and by doing so, had pumped an additional Rs 530 crore into Azim Premji Trust corpus. Premji became 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.
Premji was born in Mumbai on July 24, 1945. His father, Mohamed Hashem Premji was a famous businessman and was also reffered to as the ‘Rice King of Burma’. He is married to Yasmeen Premji and has two sons- Tariq and Rashid.