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Business tycoon turned philanthropist Azim Premji turns 75 today: Birthday Special

Premji was born in Bombay, India in a Muslim family on 24th July 1945. His father Muhammad Hashem Premji was a noted businessman and was known as Rice King of Burma. Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the founder of Pakistan, invited his father Hashem Premji to come to Pakistan, he turned down the request and chose to remain in India.

Azim 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 is currently the Chief Strategy Officer of IT Business, Wipro.

Azim Hashim Premji(born 24 July 1945) is an Indian business tycoon, investor, engineer, 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. For years, he has been regularly listed as one among the 500 Most Influential Muslims of the world.

He was named the nineteenth richest person in India with an estimated net worth of US$6.5 billion according to India’s Richest 2019 list by Forbes. 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 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.

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 Buffet 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.

“I strongly believe that those of us, who are privileged to have wealth, should contribute significantly to try and create a better world for the millions who are far less privileged”— Azim Premji

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