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Azim Premji- The man who donated more than 21 Billion Dollars.

Vinit singh is a computer science student pursuing his B.Tech degree in Bharath institute of higher education and research, Chennai, India

Azim Premji, Founder of Wipro

Azim Premji, Founder of Wipro

Early life

Azim Hashim Premji is an Indian business tycoon, Philanthropist, Investor, leader, engineer and co-founder of Wipro industries. Azim Premji was born on 24 July 1945 in Bombay (now Mumbai). He was born in a Gujarati Muslim family. His father Muhammad Hashem Premji was a noted businessman as was also knows as the Rice King of Burma. Muhammad Ali Jinnah who was the founder of Pakistan invited Azim Premji's father to come to Pakistan. which he turned down instantly and chose to remain in India. Azim completed his schooling at St Mary's School, Mumbai. He has a Bachelor of Science in electrical engineering college from Stanford University, United States of America. Azim Premji was married to Yasmeen. The couple has two children, Rishad and Tariq Premji.



Career.

Wipro was started by Azim Premji's father. Muhammed Hashim Premji formed a legal corporation Western Indian Vegetable Products Ltd in a small town in the Jalgaon district of Maharashtra. Under the brand name of sunflower vanaspati oil, he used to manufacture edible cooking oil and also used to manufacture a soap called 787 which was a by-product of oil manufacture. When his father died in 1966, 21-year-old Azim returned from Stanford University where he was pursuing his engineering to take charge of Wipro. The shift from soaps to software happened gradually. The company was only dealing in hydrogenated oil manufacturing but then Azim diversified the company to bakery fats, lighting products, ethnic ingredient based toiletries, baby toiletries hair care soaps, and hydraulic cylinders. In the 1980s, when this brilliant entrepreneur recognized the importance of the emerging IT field, he then changed the company name to WIPRO and entered the high-technology sector. He took advantage of the vacuum left behind by the expulsion of IBM from India and with the collaboration of an American company, Sentinal computer, he started manufacturing minicomputers.

Recognitions.

Azim Premji has been conferred with many honours and awards. Few have been listed below.

  • Azim Premji has been listed twice as the top 100 most influential people by Time magazine in the year 2004 and 2011.
  • He is also known as the Czar of the Indian IT Industry.
  • He received an honorary doctorate from the Manipal Academy of higher education in the year 2000.
  • He was awarded Lakshya Business Visionary by the National Institute of Industry Engineering, Mumbai in 2006.
  • In 2009, for his outstanding philanthropic work, he was awarded an honorary doctorate from Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut.
  • In 2015, an honorary doctorate was conferred on him by Mysore University.
  • He was honoured with the title of Padma Bhushan for his outstanding work in trade and commerce by the government of India in the year 2005.
  • In 2011, he was awarded Padma Vibhushan which is the second-highest civilian award in India.
  • He was ranked the 9th most powerful person in India in 2017.
  • In 2018, French Government conferred him with the highest French civilian distinction - Chevalier de la Legion d'Honneur.
  • Premji was cited as one of the "Heroes of Philanthropy list of 30 altruists" in the Asia-Pacific region by Forbes Magazine.


Donations.

Azim Premji is one of the biggest philanthropists all over the world and is also knows for his regular donation to different charities and non-governmental organisations.

  • In 2020 he donated 7,904 Crore Rupees or 1 Billion Dollars. That is almost 22 Crores per day.
  • He already has donated 52 thousand Crores or 7.5 Billion Dollars which is 34 per cent of his shares.
  • In 2010, he pledged to donate 2 Billion Dollars for improving school education.
  • He, in 2013, donated 25 per cent of his personal wealth to a charity.
  • His lifetime donation stands for more than 21 Billion Dollars or more than 150 thousand Crore Rupees.

He also has donated 1500 Crore for covid relief. Azim Premji became the first Indian to take 'The giving pledge' which is led by warren buffet and bill gates according to which extremely wealthy people are encouraged to donate the majority of their wealth to different charitable causes. He has donated ten times more than Mukesh Ambani who is the richest person in India.


Foundations.

Azim Premji founded the Azim Premji Foundation which is a non-governmental organisation in 2001. Premji started this foundation with an initial donation of 2.2 billion dollars. This foundation aimed to improve the quality of elementary education in rural and remote regions throughout India. This foundation has also extended aid to computer education to more than 16000 schools all over India. This foundation has focused on providing free education to underprivileged students right from the beginning. This organisation is now working with 1700+ employees and in 48+ districts across 6 states and 1 union territory. This foundation also set up a university in Bangalore in 2010 which provides free higher education with inclusion and quality. Premji not only has made donations to his own foundation but also has made donations to many other organisations working for the welfare of society. The history of this foundation can be divided into three phases. In the first phase which was from 2001 to 2002, the foundation decided to work in the area of public education and on the issues of equity and quality. In the second phase(2002-2009), this foundation worked with the collaboration of the state government and increase the range of work including assessment, school textbook development, curriculum reform, policy and capacity development of teachers and education functionaries. In the final phase(2009- ), the foundation focused to maintain order to attain systemic improvement on all the social causes they are working on.


Azim Premji Foundation collaborated with the Institute for Stem Cell Science and Regenerative Medicine and the National Centre for Biological Sciences for augmenting testing infrastructure to deal with the coronavirus pandemic. He has inspired many wealthy people to make generous donations.


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