How rich is Azim Premji?
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Azim Premji Net Worth, Wiki & Biography in 2017
Azim Hashim Premji was born on 24 July 1945, in Mumbai India, of Gujarati Muslim ethnicity. Azim is known as the Czar of the Indian IT industry. Forbes magazine ranks Azim as the 48th richest person in the world, and one of the richest three people in India.
So just how rich is Azim Premji? Forbes estimates that in 2015 Azim’s net worth reached over $19 billion, most of his wealth having been accumulated through his interests in the IT industry in India, particularly as the chairman of Wipro Limted.
Azim Premji Net Worth $19 Billion
Azim Premji’s father Mohamed Hashem Premji was a successful businessman, coincidentally known as the Rice King of Burma. After the partition of India and Pakistan in 1947, he was invited to settle in Pakistan, but chose to remain in India. Azim was subsequently sent to the USA to study, and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering degree from Stanford University.
When Azim’s father’s died in 1966, he returned home from the USA to take charge of Wipro – then named Western Indian Vegetable Products -which was concentrating on the manufacture of hydrogenated oil, but Azim soon diversified the company to bakery fats, ethnic ingredient based toiletries, hair care soaps, baby toiletries, lighting products, and hydraulic cylinders. This was the real start of building his net worth.
In the 1980s, Azim saw the increasing importance of the IT – information technology – field, and stepped into the shoes of IBM, which had been expelled from India, changed the company name to Wipro, and transferred the company’s resources to the high-technology sector, undertaking the manufacture of minicomputers, in conjunction with the American company Sentine Computer Corporation, Effectively, Premji had changed the focus of the company from soaps to software. Azim’s net worth increased steadily, sometimes spectacularly, from that point, along with the success of Wipro.
Wipro is now India’s third-largest outsourcer, reporting increasing rising net profits as a result of expanding business with such clients as Levi Strauss and Cairn India, although still behind competitors such as Tata Consultancy Services, flagship of the Tata Group. Premji has denied rumours that his son Rishad, who heads strategy and also oversees Wipro’s $100 million venture capital fund, will be appointed on the board and named as vice chairman.
Azim Premji now owns 75% percent of Wipro and also owns a private equity fund, PremjiInvest, which manages his $1 billion personal portfolio, and meantime this private investment arm has acquired an interest in e-tailer Myntra, now part of Flipkart which is India’s direct competitor against Amazon. com, and e-commerce company Snapdeal. Clearly one can expect a further rise in Azim Premji’s net worth on the horizon.
In 2010, Azim 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 is among Asia’s most generous tycoons. Azim has become the first Indian to sign up for the 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 philanthropy club. Azim is said to have already given more than 25 per cent of his personal wealth to charity.
In his personal life, Azim Premji is married to Yasmeen, and the couple have two children, Rishad and Tariq. Rishad is currently the Chief Strategy Officer of IT Business, Wipro.