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Azim Hashim Premji

Azim Hashim Premji: The Kanjoos Billionaire.

Azim Premji

Azim Hashim Premji (born 24 July 1945) is an Indian business tycoon, investor, engineer, and philanthropist, who was the chairman of Wipro Limited. Premji remains a non-executive member of the board and founder chairman. He is informally known as the Czar of the Indian IT Industry. He was responsible for guiding Wipro through four decades of diversification and growth, to finally emerge as one of the global leaders in the software industry. In 2010, 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. For years, he has been regularly listed one among the 500 Most Influential Muslims. But People called him kanjoos billionaire, where other billionaires spend their money on levis lifestyle Mr. Azim Hashim Premji Spend almost 34% of his income to develop India. 

He is one of the richest people in India with an estimated net worth of US$32.8 billion according to Bloomberg Billionaires Index. In 2013, he agreed to give away at least half of his wealth by signing the Giving Pledge. Premji started with a $2.2 billion donation to the Azim Premji Foundation, focusing on India's education. He topped the EdelGive Hurun India Philanthropy List for 2020.

Early life and education of Premji.

Premji was born in Bombay, India in a Gujarati Muslim family. His father was a noted businessman and was known as Rice King of Burma. Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the founder of Pakistan, invited his father Muhammed Hashem Premji to come to Pakistan, he turned down the request and choose to remain in India.

Premji has a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering degree from Stanford University. He is married to Yasmeen. The couple has two children, Rishad and Tariq. Rishad Premji is currently the chief strategy officer of IT business, Wipro.

Azim Premji

Founder chairman, Wipro limited.

Birth details

July 24, 1945, Mumbai.




Business leader.


Electrical engineering, Stanford University.

Net worth

$6.1 billion (as of May 15, 2020).

Azim Premji's assets

Wipro ltd, Premji Invest, Azim Premji Foundation (non-profit).


Parent(s):- Mohamed Hashem Premji.
Spouse(s):- Yasmeen Premji.
Children:- Rishad Premji, Tariq Premji.
Daughter-in-low:- Aditi Premji.
Grand Children:- Rohaan Premji, Rhea Premji.

Azim Hashim Premji Career.

In 1945, Muhammed Hashim Premji incorporated Western Indian Vegetable Products Ltd, based at Amalner, a small town in the Jalgaon district of Maharashtra. It used to manufacture cooking oil under the brand name Sunflower Vanaspati, and a laundry soap called 787, a byproduct of oil manufacture. In 1966, on the news of his father's death, the then 21-year-old Azim Premji returned home from Stanford University, where he was studying engineering, to take charge of Wipro. The company, which was called Western Indian Vegetable Products at the time, dealt in hydrogenated oil manufacturing but Azim Premji later diversified the company to bakery fats, ethnic ingredient-based toiletries, hair care soaps, baby toiletries, lighting products, and hydraulic cylinders. 

In the 1980s, the young entrepreneur, recognizing the importance of the emerging IT field, took advantage of the vacuum left behind by the expulsion of IBM from India, changed the company name to Wipro, and entered the high-technology sector by manufacturing minicomputers in technological collaboration with an American company Sentinel Computer Corporation. Thereafter Premji made a focused shift from soaps to software.


  • In 1966, a 21-year-old Azim Hasham Premji had to abort engineering studies at Stanford University when he was forced to return to India following his father’s death.
  • Premji Senior ran a hydrogenated fat company called Western Indian Vegetable Products Ltd. which Azim had to take over on his return.
  • He soon began diversifying the product range of the company including light bulbs, soaps, toiletries, hydraulic cylinders, etc. to its offerings.
  • The company was renamed Wipro in 1977.
  • During the 1980s he shifted his focus primarily to computers/technology, and Wipro started manufacturing computer hardware in collaboration with several international companies.
  • After manufacturing microcomputers in partnership with Sentinel Computers, the company soon began developing software solutions as well.
  • Wipro soon became a well-known name in the industry and started exporting software solutions to the US market.
  • In the 1990s, the company further diversified its portfolio and became one of the frontrunners in the IT hardware and offshore IT services sector.
  • As technology boomed, Wipro’s stocks became highly valuable during the late ‘90s, making Azim Premji a billionaire and one of the richest persons in India by the end of the decade.
  • In July 2019, Premji stepped down as the chairman and managing director of the company at the age of 74.
  • He turned a $2 million cooking oil business into a $25 billion multinational conglomerate in his tenure.
  • He has been honored with the prestigious Padma Bhushan in 2005 and Padma Vibhushan in 2011 for his contributions to the Indian business sector.
  • As of March 31, 2020, the Premji family owns 74.04% shares of Wipro Ltd.


  • Premji has been recognized by Business Week as one of the "Greatest Entrepreneurs" for being responsible for Wipro emerging as one of the world's fastest-growing companies.
  • In 2000, he was conferred an honorary doctorate by the Manipal Academy of Higher Education.
  • In 2005, the Government of India honored him with the title of Padma Bhushan for his outstanding work in trade and commerce.
  • In 2006, Azim Premji was awarded Lakshya Business Visionary by the National Institute of Industrial Engineering, Mumbai. 
  • In 2009, he was awarded an honorary doctorate from Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut for his outstanding philanthropic work. 
  • In 2011, he has been awarded Padma Vibhushan, the second-highest civilian award by the Government of India.
  • In 2015, Mysore University conferred an honorary doctorate on him.
  • In April 2017, India Today magazine ranked him 9th in India's 50 Most powerful people of 2017 list.
  • In 2018, Premji was conferred with Chevalier de la L├ęgion d'Honneur (Knight of the Legion of Honour) – the highest French civilian distinction by the French Government.
  • In December 2019, Premji was cited by Forbes magazine as one of the "Heroes of Philanthropy list of 30 altruists" in the Asia-Pacific region.
  • In 2019 Forbes put Premji on the list of the world's most generous philanthropists outside of the US.


In 2001, he founded Azim Premji Foundation, a non-profit organization.

In December 2010, he pledged to donate US$2 billion for improving school education in India. This has been done by transferring 213 million equity shares of Wipro Ltd, held by a few entities controlled by him, to the Azim Premji Trust. This donation is the largest of its kind in India. 

In April 2013, Azim Premji stated that he has already given more than 25% of his wealth to charity.

In July 2015, Azim Premji gave away 18% of his stake in Wipro totaling his contribution so far to 39%.

In March 2019, Premji pledged an additional 34% of Wipro stock held by him to the foundation. At a current value of about US$7.5 billion, this allocation will bring the total endowment from him to the foundation to US$21 billion.

In May 2020, the Azim Premji Foundation collaborated with the National Centre for Biological Sciences, and the Institute for Stem Cell Science and Regenerative Medicine for augmenting testing infrastructure to deal with the coronavirus pandemic.

Azim Premji was the first Indian to sign 'The Giving Pledge' led by Warren Buffet and Bill Gates. This pledge was to encourage the wealthiest people around the globe to commit most of their wealth to philanthropy.

On 2020, November 11,  Azim Premji tops the seventh edition of EdelGive Hurun India Philanthropy List 2020 with a donation of ₹7,904 crores.

The foundation has warned against scam emails that claim to be from the foundation and falsely request donations.

The Giving Pledge.

Premji has said that being rich "did not thrill" him. He became the first Indian to sign up for the Giving Pledge, a campaign led by Warren Buffett and Bill Gates, to encourage the wealthiest people to make a commitment to give most of their wealth to philanthropic causes. He is the third non-American after Richard Branson and David Sainsbury to join this club.

  • I strongly believe that those who are privileged to have wealth should contribute significantly to try and create a better world for the millions who are far less privileged.
  • In April 2013 he said that he has already given more than 25 percent of his personal wealth to charity.
  • In July 2015, he gave away an additional 18% of his stake in Wipro, taking his total contribution so far to 39%.
  • The first Indian to sign the Giving Pledge, his lifetime giving now stands at US$21 billion. In April 2019, Azim Premji became the top Indian philanthropist.

EdelGive Hurun India Philanthropy List

Azim Premji topped the list of "India's most generous" released by Hurun India and EdelGive on 10 November 2020. He donated ₹7,904 crores in the financial year 2019-20 which is a 17-fold jump from the ₹453 crores donated in FY19. Education is the primary cause for his donations.