🤴🏻the lord azim hashim premji (born 24 july 1945) is an indian business tycoon, investor, and philanthropist, who is the chairman of wipro limited. 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. premji owns 73% percent of wipro and also owns a private equity fund, premji invest, which manages his personal portfolio.
he is currently the second richest person in india with an estimated net worth of us$20.3 billion as of november 2017. 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, focused on education in india.
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, recognising 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 under technological collaboration with an american company sentinel computer corp.