Azim Premji is one of India's leading business tycoons and former chairman of Wipro Limited inherited the control of Wipro at the age of 21 in 1966. He was born on July 24, 1945 in Mumbai, also known as the Czar of the Indian IT industry. His father Mohamed Premji was also known as the Rice king of Burma.
During his tenure, Azim Premji steered Wipro's diversification, transitioning the company from vegetable oil production to becoming a prominent provider of IT services, software solutions, and consulting services.
At the age of 21, Azim Premji was studying for a Bachelor of Science degree from Stanford University. Due to the sudden demise of his father, he left his education & started operating Wipro. He completed his degree over 30 years later.
Azim Premji and son Rishad Premji |
In 2019, Azim Premji handed over Wipro's chairmanship to his son, Rishad Premji, after transforming the company into a global IT services giant with a presence in over 50 countries.
In addition to his business ventures, Azim Premji is renowned for his philanthropy, donating a substantial portion of his wealth to education and social causes through the Azim Premji Foundation.
During FY20 and FY21, Premji became India's most generous philanthropist, leading the charts by contributing Rs 22 crore per day, totaling Rs 7,904 crore in FY20, and in FY21, he donated Rs 9,713 crore or Rs 27 crore daily.
However, in FY22, according to the India Philanthropy Report 2023 by Dasra and Bain & Co., Premji dropped to the second position with a yearly donation of Rs 484 crore.
Renowned for his philanthropy, Premji has contributed a remarkable $21 billion to his charitable foundation. During the first wave of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020, the Azim Premji Foundation pledged a substantial $150 million to aid the victims of the crisis.
Azim Premji Foundation
In 2001, Azim Premji founded the Azim Premji Foundation, a non-profit organization with the mission of improving the quality and equity of India's public school system. Operating across seven Indian states, the Foundation collaborates with over 350,000 schools. Additionally, it manages Azim Premji University, dedicated to teaching and research initiatives in education and various fields of human development.
As of May 2023, Azim Premji holds the 223rd spot on Forbes' list of the world's wealthiest individuals, with an estimated net worth of $9.1 billion.