Azim Premji, often dubbed India’s most generous billionaire, is the visionary behind Wipro’s transformation from a modest hydrogenated cooking fat company to a global IT giant.

Early Life:

Born in 1945 in Mumbai, Azim Hashim Premji was destined for business, being the son of the founder of Western India Vegetable Products. However, a turning point arrived when his father died unexpectedly in 1966. At just 21 and studying engineering at Stanford University, Premji had to abandon his studies to take over the family business.

From Vegetable Oil to Virtual Solutions:

Faced with the responsibility of a business in his early twenties, Premji expanded Wipro into new industries. The 1980s tech boom saw an opportunity, and Premji pivoted Wipro from consumer goods to software and IT services. The gamble paid off. Wipro soon became one of India’s top tech firms and a symbol of the nation’s IT prowess.

Major Achievements:

  • Transforming Wipro: From a consumer goods company to an IT behemoth.
  • Philanthropic Ventures: Pledged a significant part of his wealth to philanthropic causes, especially in education. His foundation, the Azim Premji Foundation, has transformed education for millions in India.
  • Recognition: Honored with Padma Bhushan (2005) and Padma Vibhushan (2011) by the Government of India for his work in trade and commerce.


Though largely seen as an ethically-driven businessman, Premji’s Wipro faced challenges with cultural adjustments in its overseas acquisitions and allegations of visa violations in the US. However, under Premji’s leadership, Wipro often addressed issues transparently, setting standards for corporate governance.

Legacy/Current Status:

Azim Premji’s legacy is two-fold: In business, he’s seen as the pioneer who showcased India’s IT potential to the world. In philanthropy, his commitments to improving education and other causes in India set him apart as one of the most charitable billionaires globally. Currently, even after stepping down from the day-to-day operations of Wipro, he continues to influence through his foundation and philanthropic endeavors.

Quick Facts:

  • Net Worth: $9 billion (as of 2022)
  • Key Companies: Wipro, Azim Premji Foundation
  • Notable Quote: “The important thing about outsourcing or global sourcing is that it becomes a very powerful tool to leverage talent, improve productivity and reduce work cycles.”
  • Did You Know?: Azim Premji is often referred to as the “Czar of the Indian IT Industry.”


Azim Premji’s story, marked by a profound dedication to both tech and charity, is an inspiration. As Wipro continues to thrive and his philanthropic endeavors touch countless lives, one is left to wonder: Can the confluence of tech and charity pave the way for a better world?

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