05 August, 2021

Azim H. Premji, Wipro

In 2010 and 2013, the Wipro chairman ­donated a total of more than Rs 28,000 crore to Azim Premji Foundation—one of the highest ­philanthropic contributions ever by an Indian.

Photograph by Jitender Gupta
Azim H. Premji, Wipro
  • Azim Premji’s net worth is over Rs 1 lakh crore


Azim Premji’s isn’t a rags-to-riches story, but it is definitely one where bold moves had to be made, several times and at the right moments. In the late 1960s, for the scion of a vanaspati ghee—hydrogenated vegetable oil—manufacturer, it was not quite the usual thing to try and adopt professional management. But, at the family business, which operated out of a factory not far from Mumbai, Premji took it upon himself to professionalise.

It was not commonplace for the heads of such enterprises to prepare for the ‘new economy’, but Premji had a nose for sensing opportunities around the corner. That is how Wipro traversed from ghee to cosmetics to information technology. Keeping a close watch on when India’s doors close or open to foreign businesses, Premji made his moves—the outsourcing foray, the first minicomputer and so on. Clearly, Wipro was not just snapping up opportunities. These were also leaps of...

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