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King of Indian IT, Humility, Simplicity and Generosity

Azim Premji: King of Indian IT and Humility

Indian economic growth always being associated with IT technology and outsourcing. And as far as Indian IT sillicon valley goes, it’s Bangalore, a one time host for Miss Universe contest several years back. And whenever outsiders want to symbolize Indian IT hype into a form of person, it’s Azim Premji who deserves most as the biggest icon personality in India.

But I dont want to talk about Azim Premji’s “IT-ness” here. I just wanna share another angle of his personality which draw no less attention than his successful career.

If you see a person’s success based on how much he/she accumulate money during his life-time, he’s certainly a very successful individual. His name always at the top of Forbes Richest Personality, particularly compared to his Indian compatriot. In 2005, Forbes magazine ranks him at no. 2 as the Indian richest person. Here’s a short comment and info from Forbes 2005:

#2 Azim Premji
Age: 60
Net Worth: $ 11.0 billion
Hometown: Bangalore
Married, 2 Children
Owns 82% of New York-listed Wipro, India’s third-largest software exporter. Lost a few key executives this year, including vice chairman Vivek Paul.

But more than that, Azim more popularly known and admired for his simple life and humility. He drives Toyota (not Ferrari, or SUV of sort). Former Indonesian consulate general (Konjen)in Mumbai, Mr. Rahardjo Mustadjab who knows Azim more closely told me many interesting about him:

(1) That Azim Premji never reserves special car park in his office for him; he has his own rule: whoever comes to office first, he/she should have more freedom to choose where to park his/her car. Azim always has the luxury to park his car not because he’s the big boss. it’s simply because he’s always comes first to his office ahead of his employees!

(2) His simple life makes him can afford to do and think much about and to give helping hand to his surroundings which are not fortunate: the poor Indian youth. That’s why he establishes Azim Foundation not only to give scholarship to poor yet potential Indian youth, but also to establish and sponsor many educational institution throughout the country.

I remember what current President of India APJ Abdul Kalam says in his book Ignited Mind that the beauty of living simple when you actually can afford to live glamorously and in extravagant way is that you have much time to think about others. Azim Premji certainly stick to that principle in a big way.

Azim Premji, like the Google Founders, gives us lesson to learn: that living simple life when we are rich is the best way towards healthy life of the individual concerned in particular and for the benefit of society in general.

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