Azim Premji Biography

The software czar of India Azim Premji is the Chairman of Wipro Technologies, one of the largest software companies in India. One of the richest Indians worldwide, Premji was born on July 24, 1945. When he was studying Electrical Engineering at Stanford University in the United States, he had to rush back and take over the mantle of the family's business on the sudden demise of his father. In those days, Wipro dealt with hydrogenated cooking fats, bakery fats, toiletries, hair care soaps, baby toiletries etc. Under Premji, the company shifted from soaps to software.

Under his stewardship, WIPRO has grown from a US$ 2 million hydrogenated cooking fat company to a US $1.76 billion IT- giant. Ranked among the top 100 Technology companies globally, Wipro is also the largest BPO services provider based in India. Premji was named as the Business Man of the Year 2000 by Business India and the Business Leader of the Year 2004 by the Economic Times. The TIME magazine listed him in 2004 as one of the 100 most influential people worldwide. In 2003, the Fortune magazine named him as one of the 25 most powerful business leaders outside the US.

He was awarded honorary doctorates by many renowned institutions like the Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee and the Manipal Academy of Higher Education, besides serving on the Prime Minister's Committee for Trade and Industry in India. He founded the Azim Premji foundation in 2001, a not-for-profit organization to help the poor and the downtrodden. He received the Padma Bhushan award from the Union Government in 2005.