LIFE LESSONS FROM AZIM PREMJI (An extraordinary Leader, Manager and Human)

Azim Premji, an Indian b u s i n e s s m a n , successful industrialist, and the force behind the Wipro’s diversification is name known to all. Born in the year 1945, Azim Premji studied at Mumbai’s St. Xavier’s College and later enrolled for Bachelors o f S c i e n c e i n E l e c t r i c a l Engineering from Stanford University, USA, but after the death of his father, he was forced to join his family business of Vanaspati Oil, when he was merely 21 years old. Leading a business at such a young age was indeed very challenging and he studied several management book to be able to handle the business. Gradually as he settled down in the business he started preparing plan of diversifying the family business. The business which was once producing only Vanaspati oil started making soap, shoes, lightbulbs and hydraulic cylinder. He renamed the company Wipro. When IBM exited India in 1978 Wipro grabbed the opportunity and entered the computers business. Wipro started manufacturing computer hardware, he then hired well educated software developers and got them trained to be the best in the industry. He was able to transform Wipro into an Information Technology powerhouse, which soon grew into one of the India’s biggest IT service companies. Presently, Wipro has more than one lacs seventy thousand employees worldwide and serves to more than around 1200 industrial clients. In 2001, at the age of 56, Azim Premji established Azim Premji Foundation, a charitable organisation, aiming to improve elementary education at the rural level. In 2005 Azim Premji was honoured with Padma Bhushan for his outstanding work in trade and commerce. In 2011 he was awarded Padam Vibhushan, India’s second highest civilian award.

Azim Premji is an extra ordinary leader, manager and human. His life is an inspiration for many young mangers and entrepreneurs. Some of the life lesson from Azim Premji that can help us in personal and professional life are as following:

(1) Take charge - No one else than we ourselves can take charge. According to Azim Premji we must take initiative, show leadership and have things in control to be successful. There may be barriers and hinderances, but we need to handle them and should be ready to take the first step.

(2) Know your strength - We must always cherish what is good in us. Each one of us have some strength or other, we must identify our strength and take advantage of them in order to achieve our goals. Being aware of our weakness is important, however it is more important that we know what is good in us.

(3)Stay grounded - Azim Premji points out that it is very important for every entrepreneur that he remains humble and down to earth and not let success get into his head. He aptly says the the moment success gets into head the down slide begins.

(4) Be far sighted and look for opportunities - The scenario around us keeps on changing, we must be smart enough to be able to foresee these changes. Each change brings opportunities, which we must capitalise on early, otherwise someone else would grab them and move ahead, as opportunity is never lost it is taken by someone else.

(5) Adhere to values - No matter what the situation is we should never compromise on values. Azim Premji have several time emphasised that the core value of any business is values. It is always more satisfying and rewarding if we stick to our values, beliefs and moral.

(6) Stay active and fit- To be able to work with full commitment and dedication we must be active and fit. Thus, physical health should never be ignored. It is necessary that as work pressure increases, we should not compromise with our health.

(7) Respond, and not react - We should always be calm and composed even in testing times. Whether we face success or failures we should always respond and not react, for, in reacting, things goes wrong.

(8) Earn your happiness - Azim Premji says that a rupee earned give more happiness than five found. It is always satisfying to work hard and earn your reward.

(9) Continuous improvement- No matter how well we are performing or how successful we are, we must try finding better ways of doing things. Doing this will help us increase our efficiency and productivity. It is not advisable to assume that the way or method that has been giving us result is the best, and there can be no better way out.

(10) Give back - Probably this is the thought behind the Azim Premji Foundation. Giving back to society highlight the importance of social responsibility. It is important for each business to realise its roles and responsibility in improving the society in which it exists. We should think as to how can we give back to the society and make it a better place to live in.