NEW DELHI :
After having converted a cooking oil company into a $8.5 billion IT behemoth, Azim Premji retires today as Wipro chairman and managing director. The 74-year-old czar of the Indian IT industry, who gave away ₹50,000 crore to philanthropic activities, hands over the company's reins to his son Rishad Premji.
Wipro had announced last month that its board has approved the appointment of Rishad Premji as executive chairman of the company with effect from July 31. Besides being the CEO, Abidali Z Neemuchwala will also become Wipro's managing director from tomorrow.
As the IT major's founder chairman, Azim Premji will now serve as its non-executive director after leading the global software services major for 53 years.
5 things to know about Azim Premji's successor and Wipro's new chairman Rishad Premji
1) An MBA from Harvard Business School, Rishad studied economics from Wesleyan University. In 2014, he was recognized as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum for his outstanding leadership, professional accomplishments, and commitment to society.
2) Before joining Wipro, Rishad Premji had a stint at Bain & Company in London, working on assignments across consumer products, automobiles, telecom and insurance. He also worked with GE Capital in the US across businesses in the insurance and consumer lending space and is a graduate of GE's Financial Management Program.
3) An integral part of Wipro's leadership team since 2007, Rishad Premji was inducted into the board of directors in May 2015. As Wipro's chief strategy officer, he is responsible for shaping the company's strategy to drive growth. In his role, Premji is also responsible for investor relations and all government relations activities of the company besides leading Wipro's M&A strategy.
4) Rishad is credited to have set up the $100 million Wipro Ventures in 2015 that has so far invested $65 million in 18 startups and helped the parent company in more than 100 deals. He is also on the board of Wipro Enterprises (P) Limited and Wipro-GE.
5) Just like his father, Rishad also takes keen interest in philanthropy. He is on the boards of the Azim Premji Foundation and Azim Premji Philanthropic Initiatives. The foundation now owns 67% of the economic interest of Wipro Limited. Rishad has also served as the chairman of the industry body National Association of Software and Services Companies (Nasscom) in 2018-19.