2. Azim Premji
  3. 03/10/2017

“You cannot have a society where you spend more than you earn. I mean, it’s just fundamentally not viable in the long run.”

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Quotes by Azim Premji

Quotes by Azim Premji

  1. A girl child who is even a little bit educated is more conscious of family planning, health care and, in turn, her children’s own education.
  2. All our hiring staff are trained to interview in English. They’re trained to look for Westernized segments because we deal with global customers.
  3. Being in the consumer business helps us groom talent in areas like marketing, finance and logistics. We can benchmark our outsourcing business to our consumer business and its best practices.
  4. Certain product lines are more suited to be manufactured in proximity with the customer, while others are more suitable to be manufactured in India.
  5. Colleges produce more sports therapists than engineers. Perhaps because America is a sporty country: a lot of outdoors.
  6. Customers are now driven by trying to optimize value.
  7. Despite widely differing perspectives and agendas, there seems to be a remarkable global consensus that has built up over a fairly short period of time that climate change and ecology is one of the truly defining issues for humanity.
  8. Ecology and economy are becoming inextricably entwined, and the world is becoming more conscious of this fact.
  9. Even if I was to give my children a small part of my wealth, it would be more than they can digest in many lifetimes.
  10. Even if a media of a TV is not available in a home, there’s this concept of community homes, where a reasonably well-off villager will have a TV – and a nice TV – and he’ll keep it outside the house in the evenings.
  11. Excellence can be as strong a uniting force as solid vision.
  12. Excellence endures and sustains. It goes beyond motivation into the realms of inspiration.
  13. Excellence is a great starting point for any new organisation but also an unending journey.
  14. Frankly, I don’t know how many companies there are, globally, which are truly global.
  15. How can you contribute towards building the Indian society and the Indian nation? No better way than to upgrade the quality of young people in school, particularly the schools which are run by the state government in the villages.
  16. I am particularly interested in primary education because the state of affairs in primary education in this country is a cause for concern.
  17. I can speak English. I can speak Hindi. I can understand one or two other languages.
  18. I can’t have my employees sitting in traffic when they should be in the office. Spending two-and-half hours in the car is a huge waste of productive time.
  19. I don’t think being a Muslim or being a non-Muslim has been an advantage or disadvantage.
  20. I feel that business leaders with their ability to create businesses, with their ability to scale, need to play an important role in social service.
  21. I have always felt intuitively that somehow such wealth cannot be the privy of any one person or any one family.
  22. I have never had the need or thrill for being wealthy.
  23. I inherited the company from my father after he died very unexpectedly from a heart attack in 1966. He was just 51 years old, and I was 21.
  24. I strongly believe that those of us who are privileged to have wealth should contribute significantly to try and create a better world for the millions who are far less privileged.
  25. I think that any wealth creates a sense of trusteeship… it is characteristic of the new generation which has created wealth to have some amount of responsibility for it.
  26. I think the advantage of democracy is that it makes us less dependent on a group of leaders.
  27. I think the most important reason for our success is that very early in our quest into globalisation, we invested in people – and we have done that consistently and particularly in the service business.
  28. I was studying at Stanford University with two quarters left to go before receiving an undergraduate degree in electrical engineering. Then, I got the telephone call from my mother. I had no choice. I went home, and I jumped into the company feet first, right from day one. There was no time to grieve my father.
  29. I.B.M. was not really bringing their best technologies to India. They were dumping old machines in the country that had been thrown away in the rest of the world 10 years before.
  30. If one has been blessed or have been fortunate enough to have got much more than normal wealth, it is but natural that one expects a certain fiduciary responsibility in terms of how that wealth is applied, used and leveraged for purposes of society.
  31. If the United States wants access to Chinese, Indian or Vietnamese markets, we must get access to theirs. U.S. protectionism is very subtle but it is very much there.
  32. If there are differences of views or divergence of ideas, they can be resolved through discussion and dialogue.
  33. In any software work, you have IT consultancy competence required to build the systems.
  34. Inflation is taking up the poverty line, and poverty is not just economic but defined by way of health and education.
  35. Interestingly, many Indian companies where there’s a father-and-son combination are being run as joint CEO organizations because the father has not given up running the company and the son is actively involved in running the company, and there is division of responsibilities.
  36. It is the strength of our culture that we can have Sonia Gandhi, who is Catholic, a Sikh prime minister, and a Muslim president.
  37. My dad told me he wanted me to join in the business, but nothing was firm. He was quite young when he died, so we hadn’t talked about it in depth.
  38. Our business model is primarily that of consulting, engineering, system integration, and managed services.
  39. Our experience is that it is not terribly difficult to do business in China. But the issue is, how much stability do you have in terms of what you negotiate up front and when you’ve got your feet and your investments on the ground.
  40. Our managers need to have a strong integration of managerial skills and technical understanding. One cannot substitute for the other.
  41. Over these years, I have irrevocably transferred a significant part of the shareholding in Wipro, amounting to 39% of the shares of Wipro, to a trust.
  42. Parents realize their wealth should be used for social good rather than children’s good.
  43. People are beginning to realize that education is power, that education is money, that education is an opportunity.
  44. People are realistic enough to appreciate what the market values of different people are.
  45. People are the key to success or extraordinary success.
  46. People have to take control of their own lives. Education is key because it also raises other social indicators like healthcare.
  47. Private sector cannot substitute the role of the government in primary education.
  48. Saudi Arabia has proved to be the growth engine for Wipro.
  49. Talent is in short supply everywhere. At Wipro, we are training nonengineers to be engineers.
  50. Technical people tend to be more ‘techie,’ and management people are more ‘managerial.’
  51. The Indian community in Canada has integrated much better than the Indian community in United States. They’ve become really Canadian at the same time as keeping all their Indian characters and customs and social groups.
  52. The U.K. and the U.S. are quite similar in that they have high-productivity, English-speaking workforces who don’t mind working long hours. Working in those countries is not a problem.
  53. The U.S. is a complex country. It has a high predominance of immigrants who have been eminently successful.
  54. The West is not producing enough engineers.
  55. The Western world loves liberalisation, provided it doesn’t affect them.
  56. The concept of the strong linkage to the family is breaking down in Western nations.
  57. The customer is a remarkably selfish person: He takes the relationship to where the execution is in his favor.
  58. The importance of this success of Wipro has become manifold more, because it’s the success of Wipro that enables the possibility of making a difference to some of the most disadvantaged people in the world.
  59. The important thing about outsourcing or global sourcing is that it becomes a very powerful tool to leverage talent, improve productivity and reduce work cycles.
  60. The job of nation building, the job of nation leadership in a difficult, complex coalition has worked.
  61. The old boys’ club of closed tennis court relationships is on the way out.
  62. The principal challenge we face is to go up the value- and domain-skill chain and build a strong consultancy front end and, also, to globalize our leadership much more.
  63. The public/private partnerships are taking various forms in India. It is individuals who are socially oriented are setting up schools. They’re setting up colleges. They’re setting up universities. They’re setting up primary-education schools in the villages, particularly the villages their original families came from.
  64. The responsibility of philanthropy rests with us. The wealthier we are, the more powerful we get. We cannot put the entire onus on the government.
  65. The success of Wipro has made me a wealthy person.
  66. The test of our social commitment and humanity is how we treat the most powerless of our fellow citizens, the respect we accord to our fellow human beings. That is what reveals our true culture.
  67. The three ordinary things that we often don’t pay enough attention to, but which I believe are the drivers of all success, are hard work, perseverance, and basic honesty.
  68. There are 600 districts in India. Every district in India has a teacher-training institute.
  69. There are three lessons in philanthropy – one, involve the family, especially the spouse. She can be a remarkable driver of your initiative. Two, you need to build an institution, and you need to scale it up. Choose a leader for philanthropy whom you trust. Three, philanthropy needs patience, tenacity and time.
  70. There’s a reasonable amount of traction in college education, particularly engineering, because quite a lot of that is privatized, so there is an incentive to set up new colleges of reasonably high quality.
  71. This whole issue of Hindu-Muslim in India is completely overhyped.
  72. To have strongly integrated managers who have a deep understanding of technology is a rare and difficult combination to build. You have to invest a lot in selecting and training these people.
  73. We are partners to leading organizations across industries and have delivered marquee and transformational programs.
  74. We believe that two people who have worked together for more than 10 years and been in the company for more than 15 years would be able to work very well as a team.
  75. We entered the global market only in the end-’80s, and that was because imports became more liberal.
  76. We get first-rate faculty members from the leading engineering and science institutes to train our people.
  77. We run courses for government school teachers on Sundays. These teachers pay for their own food and stay; the kind of commitment you find in these people is remarkable.
  78. We understand how to build and manage businesses that involve technology, engineering, and people at a large scale on a global platform.
  79. We’ve always seen ourselves as Indian. We’ve never seen ourselves as Hindus or Muslims or Christians or Buddhists.
  80. Western companies want access to Indian talent. That is why they outsource; that is why they come to India to set up base.
  81. What is excellence? It is about going a little beyond what we expect from ourselves. Part of the need for excellence is imposed on us externally by our customers. Our competition keeps us on our toes, especially when it is global in nature.
  82. What we are doing is we are putting in significant training into the people we have currently to upgrade their skill resources, upgrade the presentation resources, and upgrade what we expect from them in terms of not business as usual.
  83. When I took over the family business, it had already been a publicly traded company for 20 years. During one of the first annual meetings I attended, one shareholder stood up and advised me and everyone in attendance that I should resign.
  84. When you are under pressure, you make the bold steps faster; you don’t make the bold steps slower.
  85. Wipro Arabia is a joint venture company with Dar Al Riyadh, a well-diversified group in Saudi Arabia.
  86. Wipro is one of the fastest growing companies regionally and globally, and I am personally very excited with our journey in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
  87. With the attention I got on my wealth, I thought I would have become a source of resentment, but it is just the other way around – it just generates that much more ambition in many people.
  88. You can do clean business in India.
  89. You cannot get into business for the fashion of it.
  90. You cannot have a society where you spend more than you earn. I mean, it’s just fundamentally not viable in the long run.
  91. You cannot mandate philanthropy. It has to come from within, and when it does, it is deeply satisfying.
  92. You cannot underestimate the value of luck in success in life. And I’ve really learned to appreciate that.
  93. You have got the right strategy, the right geography; you have got the right customers. You need to prioritise them better; we need to grow them better, mind them better. We need to give more value to them, and we need to execute a lot of areas in the organisation where we are not executing.
  94. You have students in America, in Britain, who do not want to be engineers. Perhaps it is the workload, I studied engineering, and I know what a grind it is.
  95. You must get engaged with people who are far less privileged than you. I think you must devote your time if not your resources… Because it is very, very important from the point of view of the development of our country.
  96. You need a commitment which is long term and a commitment to leadership, because that’s the only way you build excellence.