Azim Premji was in his 20s when he took over his father’s vegetable oils business. Back in the 1970s, the firm, then only just diversifying into manufacturing soaps, set out to hire from one of the top B-schools in the country, but had to return empty-handed—for nobody, as Premji once recounted, had heard of them.
The Wipro story—the transformation of a family business into a professionally-run one and, then, its early bet on infotech as the future—is one of India’s corporate legends.
Premji, 72, who has been at Wipro’s helm for half a century, believes owners of corporates are trustees of the wealth that has to drive social causes. He is among India’s most generous businessmen, having pledged 39 per cent of Wipro’s shares for philanthropic initiatives.
Premji, Best Socially Conscious Entrepreneur at the Outlook Speakout Awards 2017, feels we are doing far too little when it comes to caring for our environment. “Issues of...