Friday, November 25, 2011

Azim Premji

Azim Hashim Premji (born 24 July 1945) is an Indian business tycoon and philanthropist who is the chairman of Wipro Limited, guiding the company through four decades of diversification and growth to emerge as one of the Indian leader in the software industry. According to Forbes, he is currently the third wealthiest Indian, and 36th richest in the world, with a personal wealth of US$16.8 billion in 2011. In 2000, he was voted among the 20 most powerful men in the world by Asiaweek. He has twice been listed among the 100 most influential people by TIME Magazine, once in 2004 and more recently in 2011. Premji owns 74% of Wipro Limited, which started off manufacturing hydrogenated cooking fats along with consumer products. It grew from a company of US $2.5 million to a giant of almost $7 billion under Premji's leadership. Wipro Technologies, the Global IT Business of the company, is one of India's largest software companies and is ranked among the top 100 technology companies globally.

Business expansion
When Azim Premji took over as its head, Wipro dealt in hydrogenated cooking fats and later diversified to bakery fats, ethnic ingredient based toiletries, hair care soaps, baby toiletries, lighting products, and hydraulic cylinders. Thereafter Premji made a focused shift from soaps to software. The Amalner-based vanaspathi manufacturing company, the Western India Products later became Wipro Products Ltd and Wipro Limited subsequently. Under Premji’s leadership Wipro embarked on an ambitious phase of expansion and diversification. The Company began manufacturing light bulbs with and other consumer products including soaps, baby care products, shampoos, powder etc.

In the 1980s Wipro entered the IT field, taking advantage of the exit of IBM from the Indian market in 1975. Thus, Wipro started manufacturing computer hardware, software development and related items, under a special license from Sentinel. As a result, the $1.5 million company in hydrogenated cooking fats grew within a few decades to an over $6 billion diversified, integrated corporation in services, medical systems, technology products and consumer items with offices worldwide. The company’s IT division became the world's first to win SEI CMM level 5 and PCMM Level 5 (People Capability Maturity Model) certification, the latest in quality standards. A large percentage of the company’s revenues are generated by the IT division. Wipro works with leading Fortune 500 companies. Wipro also has a joint venture in Medical Systems with General Electric company.

Wipro Consumer Care launched brands like Santoor and the Wipro Shikakai in 1986; Santoor Talc and Wipro Baby Soft in 1991; Santoor Facewash, Wipro Sanjeevani Honey and Wipro Safewash in 2004; Santoor Handwash in 2006; Wipro Sweet 'n' Healthy and Chandrika Handwash in 2007 and Santoor Deo in 2010.

Wipro Consumer Care acquired brands like Glucovita in 2003; Chandrika in 2004; North West in 2006; Unza in 2007; Enchanteurand Romano in 2008 and Yardley in 2009 and Aramusk in 2011.

Azim Premji founded Wipro Lighting and Wipro GE Medical Systems in 1991; Wipro Net in 1999; netKracker in 2000; Wipro Water in 2008; and Wipro EcoEnergy in 2009.

Azim Premji is married to Yasmeen.The couple have two children, Rishad and Tariq. Rishad is married to Aditi and is currently the Chief Strategy Officer of IT Business, Wipro. Tariq Premji is dating Manisha Koirala,rumors say that.

Premji is known for his modesty and frugality in spite of his wealth. Also, for his integrity as he does not give or take bribes and his company has a no tolerance policy on bribery.

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