Soap to Software: Inspiring and Interesting story of Azim Premji - My Empty Mind

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Soap to Software: Inspiring and Interesting story of Azim Premji

From Soap to Software, Azim Premji raised this company from US $2 million in 1960's to a brand worth US $8.25 billion in providing integrated business and technology solutions to the worldIn 1945, Mohamed Hashem Premji, father of Azim Premji started Wipro as Western India Vegetable Products Ltd.His father was a well known businessman and was known as Rice King of Burma. After partition Jinnah invited his father to come to Pakistan, he refused the request and chose to remain in India.

In 1966, Mohamed Hashem Premji died of a heart attack. After sudden demise of his father there was some discontent in shareholders and people advised to sell his shareholding thinking that he was not mature enough to handle it alone. Premji was just 21 back then, he left studies and took control of the company which then use to deal with soaps and oils. 

The Czar of the Indian IT Industry

From Soaps and oil Premji made a paradigm shift in company’s approach, policy and direction. He broadened company scope of business and renamed the company to Wipro Products Ltd in 1977 and in 1982 the company was renamed Wipro Ltd. During 1980 IBM was removed from India, the young entrepreneur then saw the potential in the Software sector and jumped into the IT space.
Forbes ranks him as the second-wealthiest Indian, with a net worth of $17 billion. In 2011, he has been awarded Padma Vishushan, India’s second highest civilian honor. Business Week selected him as one of the 30 World's Greatest Entrepreneurs.  He was also named one of the 100 most influential people in the world.


Src:- President's Secretariat (GODL-India) [GODL-India (https://data.gov.in/sites/default/files/Gazette_Notification_OGDL.pdf)] 

Currently Premji is the second richest person in India with an estimated net worth of US$21.5 billion (as of May 2019). He is also well known for his philanthropy, recently he agreed to give away at least half of his wealth by signing The Giving Pledge.

His Mantra of Success

One thing you will notice in Premji if you happen to meet him once, a thing you will never miss to notice in his behavior is respect towards hard work and honesty. He is true to his word and honest toward his work. He appreciates people who resonate with these qualities because as per him Hard work and basic honesty are the core of one’s values.

On the Graduation Day of Indian School of Business in 2014, he said,

“Innovations, big ideas, being different, all have a place – and sometimes can be very important. However what really builds and sustains success, are the much ignored ordinary things. The three ordinary things that we often don’t pay enough attention to, but which I believe are the drivers of all success are hard-work, perseverance, and basic honesty. Everything was built with steady, painstaking work.”


Interesting Story of a Security Person: 

An interesting story which has been talked about Premji is that of a security person who dared to stop Premji from entering into his own Wipro Campus, reason behind that was Premji didnt have Wipro ID card with him on that particular day. The Security Person was doing his job by not allowing anybody without ID card or proper permission to enter Wipro campus. That incident didn't make Premji angry rather he appreciated the commitment and honesty shown by the security person towards his job. Premji asked about his qualification and got to know that he is a graduate, immediately he was promoted to a right job which he deserved as per his qualification. 

This is just an example, but this shows how much Premji Values honesty and commitment towards job.

Charity King

In 2001, he founded an NGO named Azim Premji Foundation. In December 2010, he pledged to donate US$2 billion for improving school education in India and transferred 213 million equity shares of Wipro Ltd to the Azim Premji Trust. This donation is the largest of its kind in India. In March 2019, Premji pledged an additional 34% of Wipro stock held by him to the foundation.


He is certainly a business tycoon, an investor and philanthropist but above all he is a great man.




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