Azim Premji among world’s top outsourcing billionaires

Azim Premji among world’s top outsourcing billionaires


New York: The West’s drive to save money has helped seven individuals in the world, including five Indians, make their billions by setting up shop to meet outsourcing needs.

Wipro Chairman Azim Premji, Infosys’ N R Narayana Murthy, Nandan Nilekani and Senapathy Gopalakrishnan and HCL Technologies’ Shiv Nadar are among the world’s top outsourcing billionaires named by Forbes magazine.

The list also features two from Taiwan Terry Gou, Chairman of the world’s largest contract manufacturer Hai, and Barry Lam of Quanta Computer.

In March, Forbes had published ‘The World’s Billionaires’ list, which was topped by legendary investor Warren Buffett.

Together, the five Indian outsourcing billionaires are estimated to be worth $20.7 billion, with Azim Premji’s wealth pegged at $12.7 billion.

“There is such a rapid development of capital markets in other countries that even small discrepancies in salary and the cost of labour are significant.

“These billionaires have capitalised on the fact that developing nations are growing 2-3 times as quickly as countries like the US, essentially fuelling an offshore outsourcing trend whose expansion appears to have few boundaries," the magazine said in its report.

In the Forbes list of 1,125 billionaires, Azim Premji was ranked 60th, while Shiv Nadar with a fortune worth $3.9 billion ranked 277.

At 843rd position, Narayana Murthy was worth $1.4 billion, followed by Nandan Nilekani (1,014) and Senapathy Gopalakrishnan (1,062).

Nilekani and Gopalakrishan had personal fortunes worth $1.1 billion and $1 billion dollars, respectively.

According to Forbes, outsourcing is to purchase or subcontract from an outside source while offshoring can be done both within and outside a company.

“These two practices, when combined, make up a phenomenon known as offshore outsourcing, a specialised field that led seven of Forbes billionaires directly to their fortunes," the report added.

Describing Infosys as a software services firm which started with only seven people and $250, Forbes said the company is a now a global leader in IT and consulting.

Murthy, who at present holds the title of chief mentor and Non-executive Chairman, ran Infosys for 21 years and was succeeded by another billionaire, Nandan Nilekani, the report noted.

On HCL, Forbes said the firm emphasises transformational outsourcing, or working with clients to re-define the cores of their businesses.