ine Indians figure in the latest list of billionaires released by the Forbes magazine. Read on...
AZIM PREMJI (58th on the Forbes list)
Azim Premji's story has one that has been oft-repeated in the last few years. Yet it does not lose its sheen. After all, Premji has created one of the biggest technology companies in India today.
It's a remarkable story for the kind of metamorphosis that Premji managed to achieve with Wipro -- despite never finishing his graduate studies.
At 21, Premji had to rush to India from Stanford where he was studying after his father suddenly died of a heart attack. He quit his engineering degree and rushed to take over the family's business.
From there he transformed Wipro, a company that largely sold edible oils, to one that is acknowledged as an Indian technology giant with interests in software services, medical systems and even consumer products.
At 58, Premji has become an icon for millions of middle class Indians who are working in the IT industry. On a global level, Premji has been recognized as an entrepreneur who has built one of India's biggest IT companies.
The vagaries of the stock market did impact his net worth. Between 2000 and 2002, his net worth plummeted from $40 billion to $6.5 billion, when the stock market when through a low phase in technology stocks.
But Premji remained unruffled, claiming that he cared little for the wealth. He has translated that nonchalance into action. He is known for staying in mid-priced hotels, flying economy class and he owns a rather boring Ford sedan.
For the last few years, Premji is a fixture on the Forbes' billionaires list. This year he has been ranked 58 on the list for his 74 percent holding of the Wipro stock. His fortune has been estimated at $6.7 billion.
Photo: rediff.com | Words: Priya Ganapati
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