10 Life Lessons from Azim PremJi

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03 Jan 2023
6 min read

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Not every legend is endowed with a silver spoon from birth. Yes, some people do experience difficult times from birth. Azim Premji is one such figure who, through his relentless uphill battle, hard effort, dedication, and persistence, gave success an entirely new meaning. As a result, the focus of this essay will mostly be on the biography of Mr. Azim Premji, one of India's top philanthropists, businessmen, and tycoons. Wipro is an Indian multinational organisation that offers IT, consulting, and business process services.

Additionally, we will discuss 10 Life Lessons from Azim Premji. Hard work, persistence, and honesty are three common characteristics we don't pay much heed to, but which Azim Premji feels are the drivers of success. Few people seem to be able to keep life simple in a world that increasingly relies on sophisticated techniques and lengthy talks. One of them is Premji. His words and life are more than motivation. His remarks serve as a beacon for the next generation.

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Every entrepreneur has the potential to succeed. But it's crucial to avoid being arrogant as a result of your success. Premji says as much. He has always urged young entrepreneurs to have a grounded attitude since the moment one allows success to enter his head, he is already headed towards failure. He has also emphasized how natural it is for both success and failure to occur. Therefore, once you fail, always take something from it and move on.

Azim Premji, a pillar of the Indian IT industry, is credited with diversifying Wipro, which began as a maker of vegetables and refined oils in Amalner, Maharashtra's district Jalgaon. The 76-year-old business magnate took command when he was just 21 years old and has since shared many of the lessons he has gained throughout his journey with India's youth. Let's take a quick look at Azim Premji's life journey and achievements before we begin exploring our topic.

Azim Premji’s Early Life

Take a look at this brilliant, remarkable journey. Western India Vegetable Products was founded in Maharashtra by Mohd Premji, the father of Azim Premji. This company previously produced laundry soap and cooking oil under the brand name Sunflower Oil.

Azim Premji joined Stanford University to study Electrical Engineering after completing his secondary education in Mumbai. He received the news of his father's unexpected death when he was just 21 years old. He quickly left his Engineering school midway through and returned to India to take over his father's business.

Azim Premji's Struggle

After he joined the company, one shareholder once publicly suggested that Mr. Azim Premji step down during an annual meeting. A 21-year-old boy can't run a business, he claimed, because it is excessively complex. Prior to this meeting, Azim Premji lacked confidence in his abilities. But following this event, he felt more confident. He made a commitment to himself that he would do everything in his capacity to expand the business going forward.

He had no prior business management experience. He had a really challenging first few years. He used to spend more time at the plant alone in order to better understand the company. He then began managing the business in his manner.

Azim Premji's Achievements 

As the person who made Wipro the fastest-growing company in the world, he has been hailed as one of the Greatest Entrepreneurs.

The Manipal Academy of Higher Education awarded him a PhD in 2000. The National Institute of Industrial Engineering, Mumbai, presented him with the Lakshya Business Visionary award in 2006.

Wesleyan University in Middletown even gave him an honorary degree in recognition of his philanthropic efforts. He was also awarded an honorary doctorate by Mysore University.

He received the Padma Bhushan award from the Indian government in 2005 for his remarkable contributions to trade and commerce.

In 2011, the Indian government honored him with the Padma Vibhushan, the second-highest civilian award.

He was named ninth among India's most powerful 50 individuals by India Today magazine in April 2017. In December 2019, Forbs magazine named Premji to its "Heroes of Philanthropy list of 30 altruists" for the Asia-Pacific region.

 We have compiled a list of ten life lessons that any aspiring entrepreneur can benefit from.

10 Life Lessons from Azim Premji

1. Maintain Your Values!

He had the opinion that the foundation of a person's business is their value system. Premji has underlined the need of upholding morals repeatedly because he is adamant that success in business will ultimately but ineluctably follow. According to him, if you stand up for what you believe in and refuse to compromise on it under any circumstances, you develop the ability to be resilient in the face of adversity—a quality that is highly regarded in business people!

2. We are the sole determiner of our fate

If we think about it, there are numerous causes for our failure, including a lack of effort, a lack of education, and so on. Where there's a will, there's a way, as the saying goes. Life is full of challenges, but you are the only one who can shape your future and the path ahead of you. Take Premji's case: after the death of his father, he was forced to drop out of Stanford to manage his family's business at the age of 21. Rather than succumb to the uncertainties of the future, he took up the trade and used his entrepreneurship mindset to broaden his horizons and develop the Wipro empire.

Related: Greatest Visionaries of all time C Vijaykumar

3. We have to work for our happiness

The second thing to remember is that a penny earned is worth far more than five pennies found. The adage "come easy, go easy" applies to what has been gifted or inherited. We only understand the worth of the one we have, if we have worked hard for it, he claims.

4. Recognizing our potential 

We must always value the positive aspects of ourselves. Each of us has some sort of strength. We must recognize and exploit these strengths to attain our objectives. It's vital to be conscious of our flaws, but it's even more important to be aware of our strengths. Be foresighted and hunt for opportunities - The world around us is constantly changing, and we must be astute enough to anticipate these changes. Each shift presents new opportunities, which we must seize quickly before they are snatched up by someone else. Opportunity is never lost! It is simply grabbed by someone else.

5. Keep feet on the ground

Every entrepreneur has the potential to succeed. However, it's critical not to get overwhelmed with your success. Premji claims as much. He has always counseled young entrepreneurs to stay grounded because the moment they allow success to enter their heads, they are doomed to fail. He has also emphasized the concept that failure, as an accomplishment, is a normal occurrence. So, if you lose, remember to take what you've learned and gone on!

6. Keep values close to your heart

He believes that a company should be based on one's core value system. Premji has repeatedly underlined the importance of adhering to ideals because he feels that accomplishments would automatically follow. He believes that sticking to your values and not compromising them at all under any scenario would make you more robust in the face of hardship, which is a trait that so many entrepreneurs admire!

7. Never react, but respond

In regards to success and failure, there is indeed a world of difference between the parties. The distinction is that the mind intervenes in the process of responding and reacting. When we reply, we assess the situation calmly and take the most appropriate action. Our activities are under our control. We are still doing what another person desires us to do when we react.

6. Make a Contribution to the community

We all have a societal responsibility to do our part to address these issues. Education, out of all the hurdles, is the most important to me. On the one hand, we have jobs seeking rare talent, but on the other hand, we have widespread unemployment and poverty. The only way to connect these two poles is to provide high-quality, universally accessible education.

8. In his words

“It is vital that we accept them and find a common ground to work together. Negative people only focus on differences. How empowering it would be for us as a nation if we focus on common causes. If there are differences of views or divergence of ideas, they can only be resolved through discussion and dialogue.”

9. Continuous improvement

Regardless of how well we do or how wealthy we are, we must always strive to improve. We will be able to boost our productivity and efficiency by doing so. It is not wise to presume that the method or approach that has yielded the best results is the best and that there is no other option.

Related: Greatest Visionaries of all time Narayana Murthy

10. Play to win

Competing to win doesn't imply dishonesty. When we play to win, we bring out the best in ourselves and our teams. It arouses a desire to push, to attain what appears to be beyond our reach. It's all about reaching for the top, having a desire to do our best, and a want to be the best. It's not about gaining a competitive advantage at the cost of others.

Azim Premji's net Worth 

Azim Premji is worth a total of Rs. 75,110.53 billion.  He is one of the top visionaries who changed the world!

Azim Premji Foundation

The Azim Premji Foundation is a non-profit organization that has been working with the elementary education system in rural government schools since 2000.

The Foundation began by implementing various programs aimed at improving educational quality throughout the country. However, by 2010, it was clear that working in a "project" mode was insufficient and that any deep-rooted change requires continuous effort over many decades. This can only be accomplished through the establishment of "institutions" that are embedded in the local context and can collaborate with local government structures.

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