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30 Inspiring Facts We Bet You Never Knew About Azim Premji

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Azim Premji, the chairman of Wipro Limited, is informally known as the Czar of the Indian Information Technology Industry. For over a decade, he had been constantly ranked as one among the most influential people and also as one of the most powerful person in the world by several magazines. Here are some really interesting facts to know about the Indian business tycoon:

  1.  He is currently the second richest person in India, who owns 73% percent of Wipro, while over $2 billion worth of his personal portfolio is managed by his own private equity fund Premji Invest.
  2.  He is said to have guided Wipro through four decades of diversification and growth to finally emerge as one of the global leaders in the software industry.
  3.  Premji has been named as one among the most generous billionaires in the world, for his philanthropic activities, having given away $21 billion to his charitable foundation.
  4.  In the year 2013, Premji signed The Giving Pledge, agreeing to give away at least half of his wealth, becoming the first Indian billionaire to join the other hundreds of billionaires.
  5.  In fact, he is the third non-American after Richard Branson and David Sainsbury to join this philanthropy club of billionaries who have signed the campaign led by Warren Buffett and Bill Gates.
  6.  He claimed in April 2013 to have given away more than 25 percent of his personal wealth to the charity. However, in July 2015, he added another 18 percent of his stake in Wipro to the contribution, bringing his donation to be 39 percent in total.
  7.  He was the recipient of the most prestigious award given by the Government of India - Padma Bhushan, for his outstanding work in trade and commerce, in the year 2005.
  8.  Premji inherited Western Indian Vegetable Products Ltd, which produced hydrogenated cooking oil, after his father's death and transformed it into Wipro, a IT Consulting and System Integration services company.
  9.  He was voted as one among the 20 most powerful men in the world by Asiaweek in the year 2010.
  10.  He has twice been ranked in the list of 100 most influential people by the TIME magazine, once in the year 2004 and then again in the year 2011.
  11.  He was conferred an honorary doctorate by the Manipal Academy of Higher Education in the year 2000, while he was awarded an honorary doctorate from Wesleyan University in Connecticut for his outstanding philanthropic work, in 2009.
  12.  Premji was awarded the Padma Vibhushan, the second highest civilian award by the Government of India, in the year 2011.
  13.  Azim Hashim Premji was born on July 24, 1945 into a Nizari Ismaili Shia Muslim family to Mohamed Hashem Premji in Bombay.
  14.  During the 1947 British India partition of India and Pakistan, the senior Premji was invited to come to Pakistan, but the family chose to stay back in India.
  15.  He did his Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from Standford Univeristy, though in the year 1966, shortly before graduation, he had to return to India to take over the family business, following the unexpected death of his father. He, however, completed his study years later.
  16.  His father's company Western Indian Vegetable Products Ltd, dealt with vegetable products and refined oils under the brand name Sunflower Vanaspati, along with a laundry soap named 787, a byproduct of oil manufacture.
  17.  Premji first diversified the company to bakery fats, ethnic ingredient based toiletries, hair care soaps, baby toiletries, lighting products, and hydraulic cylinders.
  18.  Later in the 1980s, he changed the company name to Wipro and started manufacturing minicomputers under technological collaboration with an American company Sentinel Computer Corporation.
  19.  Premji is married to Yasmeen and has two children, both sons - Rishad Premji and Tariq Premji. His first son Rishad is currently the Chief Strategy Officer of IT Business, Wipro, while his second son is also a member of the board in the company.
  20.  He has been recognized as one of the Greatest Entrepreneurs for being responsible for Wipro emerging as one of the world's fastest growing companies, by Business Week.
  21.  He was honored with the Lakshya Business Visionary Award by National Institute of Industrial Engineering, Mumbai, in the year 2006.
  22.  He was ranked at #9 in the India's "50 Most Powerful People" list by the India Today magazine in April 2017.
  23.  He was the recipient of the Economics Times Lifetime Achievement Award, conferred in the field of business, corporate and government policies, economies in India, in the year 2013.
  24.  He founded the Azim Premji Foundation, a non-profit organization, in the year 2001, with the focus on achieving quality universal education.
  25.  He pledged to donate US$2 billion, by transferring 213 million equity shares of Wipro Ltd, to the Azim Premji Trust, for improving school education in India in December 2010.
  26.  He is said to have pledged an additional 34 percent of Wipro stock, currently valued at $7.5 billion, held by him to the foundation in March 2019.
  27.  The donation of $2 billion in 2010, was at that time, the largest of its kind in India. With his donation of another $7.5 billion, the endowment was raised to $21 billion.
  28.  His Azim Premji Foundation works in the area of elementary education with the potential for systemic change in India's 1.3 million government-run schools.
  29.  The organization currently functions across Karnataka, Uttarakhand, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Puducherry, Andhra Pradesh, Bihar and Madhya Pradesh and several other states of India.
  30.  He established the Azim Premji University under an Act of the Karnataka Legislative Assembly to run programs to develop education and development professionals.
  31.  Azim Premji Net Worth: $5 Billion

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