High Performance Leadership

High Performance Leadership
Project submitted by:-

Leadership On Azim Premji
UNDER THE GUIDENCE OF Prof. IYER
INSTITUTE OF BUSINESS STUDIES AND RESEARCH

PRESENTED BY:Group No.:-06 Group Name:- Smart Warriors Group Members: 1. Avdhut Gadgil 2. Prasad Bhole 3. Rameshkumar Sharma 4. Karan Swar 5. Rakesh Acharekar 6. Sushilkumar Kamble 7. Nikhileshkumar Mishra 8. Tejal Vasani 9. Geetanjali Gaddeti 10. Seema Yadav
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Roll No. 02 11 13 25 06 58 19 31 42 51
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11. Megha 39

Shinde

Azim

Premji

Chairman of Wipro Technologies

Azim Premji (born July 24, 1945), an Indian businessman, is the Chairman & CEO of Wipro, one of the largest software companies in India. Its headquarters is in Bangalore, "the Indian Silicon City". Azim Premji was rated the richest person in the country from 1999 to 2005 by Forbes. His wealth in 2006 was estimated at $14.8 Billion which places him as the Fifth Richest Indian. He is now considered to be worth closer to 17.1 billion. Early life: Azim H Premji attended St. Mary's School I.C.S.E. in Mazagaon, Mumbai. Premji was just finishing his undergraduate engineering studies at Stanford University in 1966 when his father passed away. He immediately returned to India where he took over the family's fledgling vegetable oil business. Premji started off with a simple vision: to build an organization on a foundation of values. Premji eventually received permission to take
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correspondence art courses to complete the requirements for his bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering.

Awards and Accolades : Premji has been recognized by Business Week as one of the "Greatest Entrepreneurs of All Time" for his vision and leadership that has been responsible for Wipro emerging as one of the world’s fastest growing companies. Premji is the only Indian to make it to the list. In 2000, he was conferred an honorary doctorate by the Manipal Academy of Higher Education. He was also declared the Businessman of the Year 2000 by Business India and is featured in the Business Weeks all-time top 30 entrepreneurs of the world in 2007. He is a member of the Prime Minister's Advisory Committee for Information Technology in India. As of October 6, 2007, he is the 5th richest Indian, with a net worth of $13.6 billion. Though Fortune Magazine estimated his wealth as over 17 billion USD just 2 months earlier... He was awarded a Doctor of Letters (D.Litt.), an honorary degree , from the Aligarh Muslim University on the 18th of June, 2008 on the occassion of 58th Convocation Ceremony of the University. Family & Personal Life : Premji is married to Yasmeen, the couple have two children, Rishad and Tariq. Rishad is married to Aditi. Premji is known for his modesty and frugality in spite of his wealth. He drives a Toyota Corolla and flies economy class, prefers to stay in company guest houses rather than luxury hotels and even served food on paper plates at a lunch honouring his son's wedding.

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Azim Premji Foundation : The Azim Premji Foundation says it "Aims at making a tangible impact on identified social issues by working in active partnership with the Government and other related sectors of society". The Foundation was set up with financial resources contributed by Azim Premji. Programmes of the Azim Premji Foundation focus on "creating effective and scalable models that significantly improve the quality of learning in the school and ensure satisfactory ownership by the community in the management of the school". Azim Premji Foundation says it "dedicates itself to the cause of Universalization of Elementary Education in India". The organisation has over the years been instrumental in improving the quality of general education, particularly in rural schools. Citing a technology initiative, the Foundation reported: "Think of a single PC with three display terminals, three keyboards and three 'mouses', which can be simultaneously used as if they are three independent computers". This innovative idea from the Azim Premji Foundation is being deployed in the computer aided learning centre at the Byatarayanapura Higher Primary School in Bangalore South District and in another school. Five new titles of educational CDs for Indian schools were produced earlier in 2005. They are: Friendly Animals and Journey on the Clouds (English), Swatantra Divas, Fun with Chinchoo in Mathematics and Khel-Mel (Hindi), released in February 2005. With these, the total number of master titles available is 70. There are now 68 titles in Karnataka, 42 for Andhra Pradesh, 35 for Tamil Nadu and Pondicherry, 18 for Urdu medium schools, six for Orissa, 14 for Gujarat, 3 for Punjab and 1 for Kerala. This Foundation is also involved in computer-based assessment in Andhra Pradesh (50,000 students took part

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in early 2005), a learning guarantee programme, and a policy planning unit in Karnataka.

Achie

Chairman of Wipro Technologies; Richest Indian Born on July 24, 1945, Azim Hashim Premji was studying for the past several when Electrical Engineering from Stanford University, USA years; due to the sudden demise of his father, he was called Honored with Bhu upon to handle the family business. Azim PremjiPadma took over the reins of family business in 1966 at the age of 21. in 2005.
At the first annual general meeting of the company attended by Azeem Premji, a shareholder doubted Premji's ability to handle business at such a young age and publicly advised him to sell his shareholding and give it to a more mature management. This spurred Azim Premji and made him all the more determined to make Wipro a success story. And the rest is history.

Azim Premji is Chairman of Wipro Technologies, one of the largest software companies in India. He is an icon When Azim Premji occupied the hot seat, Wipro dealt in among hydrogenated cooking fats and later diversified to bakery Indian businessmen and his fats, ethnic ingredient based toiletries, hair care soaps, baby toiletries, lighting products and hydraulic cylinders. Thereafter Premjisuccess story is a source of made a focused shift from soaps to software. inspiration to a number of Under Azim Premji's leadership Wipro has metamorphosed budding entrepreneurs. from a Rs.70 million company in hydrogenated cooking
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fats to a pioneer in providing integrated business, technology and process solutions on a global delivery platform. Today, Wipro Technologies is the largest independent R&D service provider in the world. Azim Premji has several achievements to his credit. In 2000, Asiaweek magazine, voted Premji among the 20 most powerful men in the world. Azim Premji was among the 50 richest people in the world from 2001 to 2003 listed by Forbes. In April 2004, Times Magazine, rated him among the 100 most influential people in the world by Time magazine. He is also the richest Indian for the past several years. In 2005, Government of India honored Azim Premji with Padma Bhushan

LEADERSHIP - Azim Premji Chairman Wipro Ltd
Speech delivered by

Azim Premji Chairman Wipro Ltd at an interactive session in Pune "What I would like to talk about and I think it would be useful to share some of these experiences, is my experience with leadership. I think one of the most important attributes for success is being in the right industry at the right time, and being lucky and I don’t think one should underestimate the extent of facilitation and the extent of enabling luck does to success. In my case it has been enormous, that is not to be modest of the success that I have achieved but it is just to reinforce that leader after leader I have spoken to seems to also attribute a lot of their success to good luck. Let me get into a point form in terms of what I consider important in leadership. I think, most importantly, successful leaders must be able to articulate a clear, stated, committed vision for the corporation or the company they represent, or the company which they lead, and the vision must always be centered around the customer. It cannot be centered around any thing else. It must be powerful enough to ignite the imagination of all
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the troops in the organisation, not only the leadership in the organisation. So the process of buildup of a vision must be deft enough to get engagement for people who are going to contribute towards its achievement and even when it is articulated without a very broad based engagement. I think it helps a lot that you institutionalise the process to be able to bind in that kind of engagement through forming forces and task forces and sub forces within the organisation which are part of the implementation of that vision and that’s not very difficult to do because all visions require execution. The important thing is that vision cannot be an impossible fantasy. It has to be an executable dream. And that’s the most important thing. It must supercharge an organisation, it must turbo charge an organisation. It must put a lot of stretch in the organisation but at the same time it must be an executable dream but measurements in the organisations must be based on plans. They cannot be based on a vision because a vision by definition is something which is super stretch, and you are questing towards it. So it is like a quest. It is like an executable dream. Second, success has to be built on a foundation of values because if a company does not have a foundation of values, it cannot have a sustained success. Values not only make success enduring, but also help in building a strong resilient organisation, strong resilient teams in the organisations that can stand up to any crisis on the way. Values need leaders to be absolute transparent in whatever they do. If you are not willing to have leadership which is absolutely transparent then values articulated up front is more of a liability than an asset. It becomes a lot of hot air. And the organisation sees through it enormously fast. In an organisation in which the values are articulated, leadership must walk the talk. Leadership must be transparent, leadership must set the tenure and the standards of what it is articulating. It must practice the talk. To quote a cliché, you must walk the talk. Third, successful leaders must have self-confidence. Self confidence comes from a positive attitude, even in adverse situations. Self-confident leaders assume responsibility for their mistakes and share credit with their
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team leaders. They are able to distinguish between what is in their control and what is not in their control. They do not waste their energy and their time on events that are outside their control. And hence they accept set backs as a routine part of what happens in business practices. In these dynamic times what sets a leader apart from the rest is self-confidence. One cannot expect others to have confidence in you, if you do not have self-confidence in yourselves. Again a cliché, but very, very simply true. Fourth, successful leaders need extraordinary physical mental and some say spiritual energy to remain on top of their demands made to them. I found that even my job has become increasingly complex in the past three-four years. And probably it has grown in complexity by a dimension in the past two years what was not in the past twenty. I am sure the majority of you would find this true and the major challenge is, this is going to increase. It is not going to decrease. The jobs are going to get tougher. The jobs are going to get more competitive. The jobs are going to get more complex and time is going to be the essence of success or failure. There is no longer a debate whether a person should work smart or whether he should work hard. A person should work both smart and hard. If he does not do that simultaneously, he cannot be successful in the current environment. In a recent survey at Davos, at the World Economic Forum, 99% of the leaders surveyed, attributed their success to hard work. You have to appreciate that competition is intelligent. You have to outdo competition by being more hardworking than competition is. Fifth, successful leaders must improve their standards for excellence in quality. There is no fixed standard in quality. It is a moving target. What was excellence yesterday, becomes your qualification, your entry pass to be in business today. Customers all over the world, want more quality for less cost. Absolute universal truth! While the greatest contribution to globalisation has been demand for higher quality, and we are feeling this now increasingly so even in India. Japan used quality to achieve leadership in the automobile industry. Similarly our software industry has used quality as certified by SEI CMM Level Five to be a
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certificate for qualification in global markets and we are doing it successfully. Out of the 32 SEI CMM Level Five quality organisations in the world, 17 are from India. Sixth, successful leaders know that strategy that equals execution. All the great ideas, all the great visions of the world are useless and worthless if they are not implemented rapidly in time and cost effectively. Never neglect details. Seemingly unimportant details can completely alter the shape of the final outcome. They must lead the implementation of high priority decisions with completely focussed minds so that the decisions are taken to the logical end. That is what leadership is; vision and execution, one without the other is half baked. Seventh, successful leaders are on the side of optimism, always. I remember the story of a ship which got lost in the sea. On board the ship, there was an optimist and there was a pessimist. The pessimist was the first to get up in the morning and announce that the ship would sink. This depressed everyone on the ship. The optimist got up last in the morning and announced that they would reach the shore by the evening and made everyone feel much better. Finally the passengers decided that they had enough of the pessimist and threw him overboard. The optimist continued to announce that they would reach the shore that evening. In contrast to the pessimist the optimist was welcome, but when they did not reach the shore in the evening, all the people were disappointed. Finally, in exasperation they threw the optimist overboard. The moral is very simple. Stick to the side of optimism even when you are realistic. Remember that the optimist was the last to be thrown out. Optimism is very simple. It is a force multiplier. The ripple effect of the enthusiasm the optimism creates in the lead in the organisation is awesome. So is the effect of cynicism and pessimism on the exactly opposite side. Eighth, successful leaders attract the best people and they retain them. An organisation does not accomplish anything, tiers do not accomplish anything. Organisations succeed or organisations fail because of the people involved. Only by attracting the best people, can you

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accomplish great deeds. Look for intelligence, look for the ability to judge and most critically, the capacity to anticipate and see around corners, very, very, critical attributes of leadership. Also look for people with loyalty though it is old fashioned now, integrity, a high energy drive, a balanced ego and a overpowering desire to get things done. Because management by the end of the day is results. Successful leaders create leaders under them. Winning organisations have leaders at every level. Creating winning leaders is a personal payoff to the master leader. When people retire, we do not remember what they did in the first quarter of 99, the first quarter of 2000 or the first quarter of 2001, but what you remember is how many people they have helped to build better careers to dedication to their development. A very good acid test of strong leadership in an organsation is how many chief executives in and around your environment have grown up in the organisation that leader had led. It is a very good acid test. Look around, look at companies like General Electric, they have leaders in something like 6070 Fortune 500 companies. I think we can boast a little bit of this ourselves. Lastly in terms of leadership, leaders play to win. They always play to win. Playing to win is one of the finest things you can do, playing to win stretches you and everyone around you. It gives you a new sense of direction and a new sense of energy. Playing to win does not mean playing dirty. If you cut corners along the way, you will miss out on personal satisfaction of winning. And your team will miss out on a pride of that winning. Because winning means reaching the depth of your potential and utilising it to the fullest. Ultimately in any business, in any competition, the biggest competition is always your self.

Team Leadership at Wipro: Are Two CEOs Better Than One?

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Take an organization with business divisions that overlap, add rapid growth, and flavor with problems arising from an uncertain environment. What you have, potentially, is a recipe for confusion. At Wipro, India's third-largest software services firm, however, little evidence of confusion has appeared despite the turbulent winds that have buffeted the company for the past few years. Revenues have grown to nearly $4 billion today from $1.35 billion in 2005, when former CEO Vivek Paul left to join Texas Pacific Group, a private equity firm . Wipro has had no CEO since Paul's departure, with chairman Azim Premji -- who owns more than 80% of this Mumbai- and New York-listed company -- combining the roles of both chairman and CEO. That situation changed when Wipro announced in midApril that it had appointed not just one CEO but two: Girish Paranjpe and Suresh Vaswani. Paranjpe has been with Wipro since 1990 and most recently was president of the BFSI (banking, financial services and insurance) vertical of Wipro's global IT business. Vaswani is a 23-year veteran at the company and was, before his promotion, the president of Wipro Infotech. In addition, he oversaw some areas of the global practices of Wipro Technologies. Wipro's organizational structure is complex and sometimes baffles outsiders. The IT business has two organizations -- Wipro Infotech and Wipro Technologies. The latter handles the global business while Wipro
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Infotech serves India, West Asia and Asia Pacific. In functional terms, the company has a matrix structure with three verticals and two horizontals. The verticals are the $1.06 billion technology business (which is in the product engineering and the telecom service provider space); the $1.4 billion enterprise business (targeted at manufacturing, healthcare, retail, etc.); and the $799 million financial services business. The two horizontals are the $1.1 billion global practices business (testing, package implementation and technology infrastructure services) and the $290 million BPO (business process outsourcing) operation. These verticals and horizontals are headed by executives who were expected, after Paul's departure, to function as CEOs. But, Premji got roped into the day-to-day functioning, and inevitably he was overburdened. "It pushed too much of the operating load on me and was getting counter-productive," says Premji. Premji is confident that the new arrangement will work. In an interview with India Knowledge@Wharton, he said, "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. The fact that 75% of our revenues come from global markets, the fact that we are growing at 30% a year in a service, highly people-intensive industry, we figured that a two-man team at the top would be stronger than one man at the top. I continue to be executive chairman, but they are the joint CEOs of our IT business." The two men occupying the hot seat -- or, in this case, seats -- are equally gung-ho. Says Vaswani: "Given the size of our business and the ambitions that we have for our business, two is certainly better than one. We do
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believe that the power of two will help us so far as we are concerned, given our environment." Adds Paranjpe: "Given the enormity of the opportunity and the task at hand, we felt it was worthwhile to have two of us trying to drive this rather than leave it to one individual to try and do [everything]. And from a personal perspective, it can get very lonely at the top. So, having two people helps." Two Views from Wharton "The business environment in India gives an impetus to this model of collegial and collective leadership," says Ravi Aron, senior fellow at Wharton's Mack Center for Technology Innovation, who has closely studied Wipro's strategies for the past six years. Companies like Wipro that are anchored in India face both an "Indian premium" and an "Indian penalty" associated with doing business in that country, he says. The "premium" aspect for companies doing business in India is the combination of access to a highly skilled labor pool and attractive wage levels, says Aron. The "penalties" are the uncertainties in the business environment with respect to infrastructure, power availability, urban transportation and stability in policy regimes. "Even countries in Eastern Europe like Poland and Czechoslovakia can more or less take for granted the availability of urban amenities, power and transportation," he says. Companies like Wipro need two CEOs because of the complexity of doing business in India, Aron argues. "On the one hand, you have to manage offshore client relationships and business development by staying really closely tuned to what is happening in international markets. On the other, you have to be embedded in India
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to manage the country-specific challenges," he adds. "Sometimes these two faces of complexity are quite divorced from each other; they are different sets of challenges. It may be difficult for the same CEO to handle both ends." Another reason such a "collegial leadership model" works in some Indian companies is because of what Aron calls the "founder effect." The founders of companies such as Wipro, Infosys Technologies and HCL Technologies "are entrepreneurs in some senses, and are more principals than employees," he says. "They have very strong shared values and they have seen their companies grow over the years. Conflicts between CEOs often occur because of vastly divergent visions and different skills; that's not the problem with these people," Aron notes. Aron believes the twin-CEO model should work well at Wipro based on his personal knowledge of the relationship between Vaswani and Paranjpe. "Suresh and Girish are very compatible personalities," he says. "Both are handson, have a great deal of discipline, never miss the details, and have a strong sense of not going after expensive, blue-sky ideas until they can be validated by research." Aron says Premji, too, will be comfortable with the new order because of what he describes as "an extraordinarily numbers-driven environment" at Wipro where "a direction will emerge" after individual executives make their business cases. "Generally, a strategic direction emerges whether you have two CEOs or one," he says. "There could be tactical differences, but those can be resolved." In addition, Premji will be involved in all key management decisions, and has "always been part of the analytic filter that all decisions must pass through," says Aron. Wharton management professor Peter Cappelli sounds a
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cautionary note; he points out that he hasn't seen the twin-CEO model work effectively in Western corporations. "Generally, in the world of governance, this is a situation to avoid," he says. "My guess is that what ultimately happens is the co-CEOs confront the possibility of a stalemate, but there is also the possibility of them continuing to disagree, and so they may end up negotiating settlements all the time. In principle, that is not bad if they actually have the interpersonal skills to negotiate conflicts as opposed to just stalemates." Cappelli points out that in companies that have twin CEOs, the board of a directors could help resolve disputes. The real problem, though, comes up while trying to make decisions that reinforce the company's culture or which make for a consistent strategy. Cappelli warns that if the two individuals differ about business direction, "you could end up with practices that don't represent either vision because the parties are negotiating compromises along the way." That, he says, "is arguably the worst of all possible worlds." Cappelli also doesn't recommend shared power at the CEO level by carving out two autonomous business units as a way to retain top management talent. "You are basically structuring a whole corporation around these two individuals with the goal of trying to keep two people," he says, adding that he doesn't approve of "turning the organization on its head just to make that happen." Like Cappelli, some observers in India are a shade circumspect. "I believe that, in the long term, it is critical for any business to have a single CEO," says Sudhir Sethi, chairman and managing director of IDG Ventures India, part of a global network of local venture funds. "Wipro
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may adopt this approach for two to three years." Sethi, however, sees several positives. "Wipro's adoption of a joint-CEO structure is a step indicating to internal senior management the potential of rising to the top," he says. "To the other stakeholders, this move signifies depth of its management cadre in the IT business. The IT business is large enough to need two CEOs." The other side of the coin, of course, is the notion that this is the easy way out. Wipro has lost some senior people recently. Appointing an outsider as CEO -- or promoting just one person -- could have led to further departures. "A decision to opt for a joint-CEO structure sometimes also implies that the two may have co-skills and that there is no frontrunner," says Nandita Gurjar, group head of human resources at Infosys Technologies. She makes it clear, however, that she is not talking about the Wipro duo, but in general terms.

Track Record of Co-CEOs In 1999, Chief Executive magazine examined a number of joint-CEO instances that had been created because of mergers. Joint CEOs are regarded as one of the vehicles that can help in the integration of the merged entity. Still, the article raised questions about the viability of such arrangements. "Historically, the co-CEO structure has a dubious track record. Yet companies continue to tinker with the concept," said the article. "With prospects of success so grim, why (are there) so many attempts to breed a healthy two-headed behemoth? For one thing, the concept looks good on paper. In theory, sharing the CEO chair should leave both leaders sitting pretty, blending complementary skill sets
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and experience and easing the strain of overwhelming responsibility. In practice, it's not that simple. As critics of the dual CEO structure are quick to point out, failures outnumber success stories by far." Consider Unilever, the Anglo-Dutch conglomerate. For 75 years it functioned with one chairman in London and another in Rotterdam. (The chairman of Unilever plc was deputy chairman of Unilever N.V. and vice versa.) In 2005, the company reported a fourth quarter loss, shareholders were up in arms, and the joint leadership structure was abandoned. Patrick Cescau was named sole chief executive. "We hope the new structure will help us win in the next couple of years," Cescau said at that time. "In 2005, we won't change the world, but we will make good progress." In the past three years, Unilever has performed much better. "In earlier times, there was a hierarchy based on age and tenure but that has now changed," says Gurjar of Infosys. "Now the capabilities of individuals matter the most. An organization can have only one king or queen. Otherwise, each will create their own kingdom which could cause conflict and pull the organization in different directions." India's IT firms seem to be exceptions to this overall pattern -- many of them have collective leadership structures, which is why the Wipro arrangement is in good company. For example, at Mastek, founder Ashank Desai is still actively involved with the company, though the chairman and managing director is Sudhakar Ram. Desai took a year off to organize the PAN-IIT meeting (a yearly event of alumni of the Indian Institutes of Technology) held in Mumbai in 2006. Premji cites the example of Infosys. "For all practical
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purposes, it has a very active team of three at the helm," he says. Infosys chief mentor N.R. Narayana Murthy, Premji says, spends 80% of his time on Infosys; cochairman Nandan Nilekani is "completely active"; and then there is Kris Gopalakrishnan, the CEO and managing director. Some family-run businesses also have joint CEOs. Brothers Shashi and Ravi Ruia, who are now seventh on the Forbes richest Indians list with a net worth of $12 billion, even share the same office room. Neeraj Aggarwal, director and partner at the Boston Consulting Group, is of the view that leadership structure needs to be viewed in the context of the organization, and it's hard to pass judgment from outside. "Any structure can be made to work, and any structure can fail," he says. "In the case of a joint-CEO structure, a lot depends on the chemistry between the two individuals." "A joint-CEO structure can work if both of them have worked together long enough to understand each others' strengths, and if they have healthy respect for each others' judgment and expertise," says Gurjar of Infosys. "While organizational decisions are relatively easier to make because of the rules of the game, it is the trust between the two that impacts interactions and can make or break the structure." But, she adds, "you can't go with two CEOs beyond a certain period of time, say around 18 months. Beyond this, the joint CEOs would need to divide responsibilities very clearly." At Wipro, it is the practice to revamp the organizational structure every two or three years, primarily because of the company's rapid growth. The company goes through a process of introspection to find out if it can have something tighter and more effective. Should this happen,
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the joint-CEO system could potentially make place for a new arrangement in the future. But for today, Premji insists that he wants to make the co-CEO structure work. "We will look at all structures after three years, but that is not to say that we will collapse the two CEOs into one CEO." Meanwhile, Paranjpe and Vaswani have their work cut out for them. In an interview with Bloomberg News on June 12, the two CEOs announced that the company is currently bidding on a dozen large contracts -- each worth $100 million or more. The goal, Vaswani noted, is "to be among the [industry's global] top 10 in a three-to-five-year time frame,' competing for large contracts with the likes of Infosys, which is currently ranked number two. Premji points out that Wipro is on its way to crossing $6 billion in revenues this year. An organization of this size from India, he says, is equivalent to a European or U.S. company that has $10 billion to $12 billion in revenues, because of the billing rates and the global delivery model. To run an organization of such business volume and complexity, two heads are better than one, he says.

Wipro: Leadership in the Midst of Rapid Growth

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Vivek Paul is, as the pundits say, a man on the move. In 2004, Time magazine picked him as one the year's 25 best young leaders. BusinessWeek named him as one of the best managers of 2003. His resume is enviable: Ten years at GE, most recently as head of GE's global computer tomography business, reporting to GE's current CEO; before that, positions at Bain & Co. and PepsiCo. Also enviable is his record at Wipro. As vice chairman of the Indian conglomerate and CEO of its Wipro Technologies, he took the global information technology services company from $150 million in 1999, when he joined the company, to its current $1.3 billion, representing about 75% of the corporation's total income. Speaking at a recent Wharton West Leadership Conference, Paul shared his thoughts on leading an organization as it goes through such rapid growth, not only in revenue but in employees. Wipro has been adding about 2,500 new people per quarter, net of replacement for attrition, with its total employee population now at 39,700. It started as a vegetable cooking oil business some 45 years ago, launched by the father of its chairman, Azim Premji, who still owns 83% of the company. The DNA of Talent When he joined Wipro, Paul didn't start with something as grand as a vision: "First we had to earn the right to have a vision," he told conference attendees. "When I came on board in 1993, the company wasn't performing well on its operating metrics ... We had to just grind away and improve those first."
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But, when the vision came, it was grand indeed: To be among the top 10 global technology service providers by the year 2000. That meant massive changes in scale, as well as in technical sophistication and quality in three arenas: service lines, processes, and talent. Talent was Paul's focus in his presentation to the Wharton group. "We knew we couldn't develop from a small local leader to a large global leader if we didn't develop talent inside the company. We could never hire all the talent we needed," said Paul. So he and his team set out to discover "the DNA of building talent." Given the software engineering culture of the company, Paul good-humoredly admitted that it was probably more "nerd-like" than most. "Everything is process to us, and the people side is one more clear, detailed process that needs to be nailed down, element by element." The Wipro team started with three propositions: Talent can't be a goal in itself; vision and goals must go hand in hand; talent and performance metrics must go hand in hand. They adopted a framework for people development, devised by the Software Engineering Institute at Carnegie Mellon, which views employees in five maturity levels, gradually evolving skills so that they are not asked to implement behaviour without the tools to do so successfully. Levels 1 and 2 are the basics -- skills that managers need to simply manage and develop people. Level 3 means defining specific workforce competencies, over and above performance metrics. Level 4 integrates competencies and qualitative performance assessment; and level 5 is a process of continuous improvement.

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We Suggest... R&D in India: The Curtain Rises, The Play Has Begun... The Little Start-up That Could: A Conversation With Raman Roy, Father of Indian BPO -To achieve Wipro's people-development goals and thus its global vision, "we saw we needed training in four areas," noted Paul. "First, we had been a software factory and now our people needed to understand the business context of their customers. Second, we needed to be prepared for shifts in technology -- for example, the growing need for web skills. Third, we needed to provide a cultural toolkit for the 10,000 or so employees who are working away from home at any given point in time, on assignments ranging from three months to two years. We have done that for the U.S., the U.K. and Japan. And, finally we saw the need for behavioural skill training since there's a big difference around the world in communication skills, interpersonal skills and relationship management." The effort has resulted in 40 state-of-the-art classrooms on the sprawling Wipro campus in Bangalore -- India's equivalent to Silicon Valley. It is a web-based "world campus" where courses can be broadcast to 1,000 people at a time around the world, and where 240,000 person-days of training are held annually. How can you take so many people out of the business, for so many days? "We measure very carefully and practice tight cost management," said Paul. "We ask ourselves: What does training cost us as a percentage of sales? How are we getting productivity out of it?" And, if Paul had to cite a single factor that's most

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important in deciding that training is critical in such a high-growth environment, it would be responses to regular employee surveys, which ask questions like: Why do you stay at Wipro; what do you say about the company to others; and what makes you aspire to do your best here? "Among the top three answers to each of those questions is, 'Wipro provides great learning opportunities,'" said Paul. "The core of how employees think about us and value us revolves around training. It simply isn't something we can back off from." Tethered Elephants Given Paul's focus on learning, it was no surprise he came prepared to share with conference participants some of his own most important leadership lessons. "The first I learned in the jungles of Bangalore, at an elephant camp. When you visit such a camp you see these gigantic elephants tethered with a small stake. I asked the trainer: 'Why do they stay tethered when they could so easily pull up the stake?' He told me: 'Well, the elephant is tethered as a small calf; when it tries to pull up the stake, it learns it can't do it ... and it never tries again.' That's an amazing parable about how we always tend to underestimate ourselves. The lesson for me is: Don't let self limitations hold you back. "The second lesson was one I learned from Jack Welch when I was at GE. Welch loved international trips. Whenever he came back from one, he told people that he would get out of the elevator at the office and say to himself: 'This is my first day at GE as CEO. The previous guy was a real dud. So how can I do better than he did?' He understood that as a leader you always have to be reinventing yourself; you have to have some tool that

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helps you to abandon past behavior and look with fresh eyes at your task. "The third lesson has come out of my good fortune in working with and observing lots of really good managers in my career. But I have also seen that success makes many of them blind. They refuse to take feedback or be open to new ideas. They block off opportunities for growth. What I [realized] from that is the importance of taking your job seriously, but not yourself." In response to a question from the audience about whether Indian technology companies still share a lot of information with each other, as they did a few years back, Paul responded: "We were like kids growing up together in the same neighborhood. There was a lot of sharing. There's a lot less now. Even three years ago, there was only a small chance that we would be competing. Now we are competing all the time." Another participant asked whether the outsourcing backlash in the U.S. has hurt the company. "We certainly saw a lot of that [backlash] last year," Paul noted. "We decided we shouldn't dive into the trenches, so we did a lot of talking about it. During the worst of the press, we grew 60%. Europe jumped in as it became more aware of outsourcing. The perception of the problem far exceeds the reality, since only about 3% of job losses in the U.S. are related to technology outsourcing." Not being blindsided by either failure or success is Paul's intention as he moves Wipro to the next stage of its development. Asked what he sees as the biggest challenges of the next five years, Paul cited two "inflection points." The first is to finally reach his stated
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goal of becoming a truly global business. Wipro's employee base is still 85% Indian; he wants it to be 5050, Indian and non-Indian, throughout the organization, from the board of directors on down.

Positive thinking of Azim Premji

In a world where integrity purportedly counts for naught, Azim Hasham Premji symbolizes just that. The 55-yearold Wipro chairman made international waves in 2000 ever since his group became a Rs 3,500-crore empire with a market capitalization exceeding Rs 500,000 million! If any stargazer had been foolish enough to predict in 1966 that a 21-year-old Indian at Stanford University would one day achieve all this, he'd have been laughed out of business. At that juncture, Premji was forced to discontinue his engineering studies in the States due to the untimely death of his father. Returning to India to take charge of a cooking oil company, the youth infused new life into the family's traditional mindset and trade. Over the years, Premji diversified into sectors like computer hardware and lighting, disregarding marketing laws that extolled the virtues of core competence and frowned on brand extensions into unrelated segments. Despite all the success, the media-shy Premji maintained

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a low profile, letting his work do all the talking. Until early last year the media broke the story that Azim Premji had become the second-richest man in the world… In spite of his billions, however, he still travels economy class and stays in budget hotels. When the man was recently honored with the Businessman of the Year 2000 award, he attributed his stupendous success to the 12,000 people who work for Wipro Corporation. Nor did he forget to mention his family. The great man then shared some tips for success: • Have the courage to think big. • Never compromise on fundamental values, no matter what the situation. • Build up self-confidence, always look ahead. • Always have the best around you, even if they are better than you are. • Have an obsessive commitment to quality. • Play to win. • Leave the rest to the force beyond.

Premji the businessman practices what he preaches. When it comes to upholding personal values, there's no margin for error. Wipro managers speak in awe of the time they received a terse message that their chairman was flying down to Bangalore for a meeting. It was clear that something major was in the offing. Premji came straight to the point. A senior general manager of the company had been given marching orders-because he'd inflated a travel bill. The man's contribution to the company was significant; the bill's amount was not. Yet he had to go for this solitary lapse. It was, Premji stressed, a matter of
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principles. Wipro's code of conduct for employees says it all: Don't do anything that you're unwilling to have published in tomorrow's newspaper with your photograph next to it. It's that kind of integrity that has catapulted Premji and Wipro to unprecedented heights.

Wipro’s Azim Premji on Leadership, Global Expansion, and the U.S. IT Shortage

Azim Premji inherited his father’s $2 million hydrogenated cooking fat company in 1966, repositioned it and created Wipro Ltd., a Bangalore, India-based IT services organization with 2007 revenues of $3.4 billion. As holder of more than 80% of the company’s stock, Wipro’s Chairman and CEO has become one of the world’s wealthiest men with an estimated net worth of just under $13 billion—a total that slots him at number 60 on Forbes magazine’s 2008 list of the World’s Billionaires. Those who know Premji say he is low-key and it’s his ability to relate to anyone –from prime minister to gardener—that has contributed to his success. During a recent visit to Emory University’s Goizueta Business School as part of the 2008 Leadership Speaker Series, Premji—named one of the “Greatest Entrepreneurs of All Time” by BusinessWeek—shared his ideas on leadership
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with students and several Atlanta-area business leaders, including Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. (TBS) Chairman and CEO Philip Kent, TBS CTO Scott Teissler, and TBS Senior Vice President, Strategic Planning, Kevin Cohen. In his presentation, Premji chronicled what he calls his “simple lessons” of leadership. The most important one of all? To dream big. After the death of his father in 1966, Premji, then 21 years old, dropped out of Stanford, returned to India and took over his father’s company. He admits he was completely unprepared for the experience. But when Premji walked through the doors of the company, he did so with the belief he could build a great organization. “If you dream big, you can achieve more in life,” he explains, adding that the dreams needn’t be realistic because the purpose of dreams is to “turbo-charge you.” Setting the standard for an organization is a necessary aspect of good leadership as well, and Premji doesn’t believe this is possible if the leader doesn’t do so with honesty and integrity. He advised the audience never to sacrifice integrity for short-term results. “What you do today—can you afford to see it in the newspaper tomorrow? Can you look in the mirror and talk to your wife about it? Talk to your parents about it?” he asks. Jagdish Sheth, a chaired professor of marketing at Goizueta and author of “The Self-Destructive Habits of Good Companies… And How to Break Them” [Pearson Education, Inc. 2007], has observed Premji’s leadership style for years. Sheth, also a Wipro board member, explains that Premji takes a long-term view in terms of Wipro, not a view that’s driven quarter by quarter. “He does what he thinks is right and is willing to take the consequences from Wall Street,” notes Sheth. Wipro’s stock trades on the NYSE, and in the last year, the stock dropped from hovering in the neighborhood of $16 per share to trading closer to $13 per share. The drop in share price caused a sizeable decrease in Premji’s personal wealth—about four billion dollars. But that’s not what motivates him, says Sheth, who compares Premji to Warren Buffet, founder of conglomerate Berkshire
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Hathaway, noted philanthropist, and, as of early 2008, the world’s richest man. Known for being unpretentious, Buffet lives in Omaha, Nebraska in a house he bought in 1958. “Leadership is about shaping expectations of all the stakeholders—customers, employees, investors, suppliers, the community,” adds Sheth. “Management is about delivery and executing those expectations. They are different skill sets.” Great leaders like Premji, says Sheth, do both well. Striving for excellence is also a Premji standard, and he realizes that he, and leaders like him, set the tone for their organizations. During his lecture at Goizueta, he touched on several things he believes Wipro can improve upon and talked about the steps being taken to make such improvements. “Excellence is not an act, it’s a habit,” he states. In a global economy, Wipro not only competes with similar companies in India, but across the globe. Premji’s goal is for Wipro to be the best at what it does—period. To aid in this accomplishment, Wipro leadership must be “globalized.” “This requires a huge adjustment,” notes Premji. With 80,000 employees—15,000 of them located outside of India—leadership needs to be culturally sensitive. Working in teams is also an integral part of how Wipro does business, and an employee’s ability to be a contributing member of a cross-cultural team has become increasingly important to the company’s success. Premji is a champion of education, and he sees the shortage of science and technology talent in the U.S. as a huge problem. “Western education is not doing enough [to get students] into science and engineering,” he says. This year, India, with a population of 1.13 billion people, will graduate approximately 500,000 engineers—or one engineer for every 2600 citizens of India. With a population of 303 million, the U.S. will turn out 75,000 engineers—one for every 4040 of its citizens. The company employs approximately 8000 people in the U.S. and recently opened its first American software development center in Atlanta, GA. Within the next year, Wipro plans to hire 200 employees for its Atlanta office.
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That number is estimated to jump to 500 in the next three years as Wipro recruits IT graduates from local schools, trains them, and puts them to work. “Your business will have a base wherever it can find the best value of talent and cost,” explains Premji, who is also building capacity in China and the Philippines. “Our biggest challenge is scaling and maintaining uniformity of culture. The uniformity of customer experience has to be the same. It has to be consistent.” One of Premji’s greatest talents, observes Sheth, is his ability to recognize talent. “He’s just like a good coach. Good coaches can get more potential out of an athlete than the athlete realizes,” Sheth says. “The coaching model of leadership is important. It’s essentially a ‘tough love’ message. You invest in talent to get more out of someone.” This has proven true of Premji. According to Sheth, more than six-dozen former Wipro employees have launched successful businesses around the world. Not surprisingly, Premji believes self-confidence is a necessary part of good leadership. That confidence allows leaders to take risks and learn from them, including lessons gleaned from the occasional failure that accompanies risk taking. Premji recently told a group of graduates in Chennai India, “Self-confident people assume responsibility for their mistakes and share credit with their team members…. Remember, no one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” A lean 62-year-old, Premji is big on regular exercise. “You need tenacity and energy to be in a leadership position,” he says. One of India's leading providers of system integration and outsourcing services, Wipro also manufactures a variety of consumer products, including hand soap. Operating in nearly three-dozen countries, the company’s Wipro Technologies division offers software development and business process outsourcing (BPO) services, management consulting and product engineering.

Successes tips by Azim Premji :

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Lesson # 1: Always strive for excellence
There is a tremendous difference between being good and being excellent in whatever you do. In the world of tomorrow, just being good is not good enough. One of the greatest advantages of globalization is that it has brought in completely different standards. Being the best in the country is not enough; one has to be the best in the world. Excellence is a moving target. One has to constantly raise the bar. In the knowledge-based industries, India has the unique advantage of being a quality leader. Just like Japan was able to win in the overseas market with its quality leadership in automobile manufacturing, India has been able to do the same in information technology. t Wipro, we treat quality as the #1 priority. This enabled us not only to become the world's first SEI CMM Level 5 software services company in the world but also a leader in Six Sigma approach to quality in India.

Lesson # 2: Learn to work in teams
The challenges ahead are so complex that no individual will be able to face them alone. While most of our education is focused in individual strength, teaming with others is equally important. You cannot fire a missile from a canoe. Unless you build a strong network of people with complimentary skills, you will be restricted by your own limitations.Globalization has brought in people of different origin, different upbringing and different cultures together. Ability to become an integral part of a cross-cultural team
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will be a must for your success.

Lesson # 3: Take care of yourself
The stress that a young person faces today while beginning his or her career is the same as the last generation faced at the time of retirement.I have myself found that my job has become enormously more complex over the last two or three years. Along with mutual alertness, physical fitness will also assume a great importance in your life. You must develop your own mechanism for dealing with stress. I have found that a daily jog for me, goes a long way in releasing the pressure and building up energy. You will need lots of energy to deal with the challenges. Unless you take care of yourself there is no way you can take care of others.

Lesson # 4: Persevere
Finally, no matter what you decide to do in your life, you must persevere. Keep at it and you will succeed, no matter how hopeless it seems at times. In the last three and half decades, we have gone through many difficult times. But we have found that if we remain true to what we believe in, we can surmount every difficulty that comes in the way. Perseverance can make miracles happen

Lesson # 5: Have a broader social vision
For decades we have been waiting for some one who will help us in 'priming the pump' of the economy.The government was the logical choice for doing it, but it was strapped for resources. Other countries were willing to give us loans and aids but there was a limit to this. In the millennium of the mind, knowledge-based industries like Information Technology are in a unique position to earn wealth from outside. While earning is important, we must have mechanisms by which we use it for the larger good of our society.

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Thought provoking speech by Azim Premji (Chairman, Wipro Technologies) At the 37th Annual Convocation 2002, IIM, Ahmedabad
While change and uncertainty have always been a part of life, what has been shocking over the last year has been both the quantum and suddenness of change. For many people who were cruising along on placid waters, the wind was knocked out of their sails. The entire logic of doing business was turned on its head. Not only business, but also every aspect of human life has been impacted by the change. What lies ahead is even more dynamic and uncertain. I would like to use this opportunity to share with you some of our own guiding principles of staying afloat in a changing world. This is based on our experience in Wipro. I hope you find them useful. First, be alert for the first signs of change. Change descends on everyone equally; it is just that some realize it faster. Some changes are sudden but many others are gradual. While sudden changes get attention because they are dramatic, it is the gradual changes that are ignored till it is too late. You must have all heard of story of the frog in boiling water. If the temperature of the water is suddenly increased, the frog realizes it and jumps out of the water. But if the temperature is very slowly increased, one degree at a time, the frog does not realize it till it boils to death. You must develop your own early warning system which warns you of changes and calls your attention to it. In case of change being forewarned is being forearmed. Second, anticipate change even when things are going right.
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Most people wait for something to go wrong before they think of change. It is like going to the doctor for a check up only when you are seriously sick or thinking of maintaining your vehicle only when it breaks down. The biggest enemy of future success is past success. When you succeed, you feel that you must be doing something right for it to happen. But when the parameters for success change, doing the same things may or may not continue to lead to success. Guard against complacency all the time. Complacency makes you blind to the early signals from the environment that something is going wrong. Third, always look at the opportunities that change represents. Managing change has a lot to go with our own attitude towards it. It is the proverbial half-full or half empty glass approach. For every problem that change represents, there is an opportunity lurking in disguise somewhere. It is up to you to spot it before someone else does Fourth, do not allow routines to become chains. For many of us the routine we have got accustomed to obstructs change. Routines represent our own zones of comfort. There is a sense of predictability about them. They have structured our time and even our thought in a certain way. While routines are useful, do not let them enslave you. Deliberately break out of them from time to time Fifth, realize that fear of the unknown is natural. With change comes a feeling of insecurity. Many people believe that brave people are not afflicted by this malady. The truth is different. Every one feels the fear of unknown. Courage is not the absence of fear but the ability to manage fear without getting paralyzed. Feel the fear, but move on regardless. Sixth, keep renewing yourself. This prepares you to anticipate change and be ready for it when it comes. Constantly ask

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yourself what new skills and competencies will be needed. Begin working on them before it becomes necessary and you will have a natural advantage. The greatest benefit of your education lies not only in what you have learnt, but in working how to learn. Formal education is the beginning of the journey of learning. Yet I do meet youngsters who feel that they have already learnt all there is to learn. You have to constantly learn about people and how to interact effectively with them. In the world of tomorrow, only those individuals and organizations will succeed who have mastered the art of rapid and on-going learning. Seventh, surround yourself with people who are open to change. If you are always in the company of cynics, you will soon find yourself becoming like them. A cynic knows all the reasons why something cannot be done. Instead, spend time with people who have a "can-do" approach. Choose your advisors and mentors correctly. Pessimism is contagious, but then so is enthusiasm. In fact, reasonable optimism can be an amazing force multiplier. Eighth, play to win. I have said this many times in the past. Playing to win is not the same as cutting corners. When you play to win, you stretch yourself to your maximum and use all your potential. It also helps you to concentrate your energy on what you can influence instead of getting bogged down with the worry of what you cannot change. Do your best and leave the rest. Ninth, respect yourself. The world will reward you on your successes. Success requires no explanation and failure permits none. But you need to respect yourself enough so that your self-confidence remains intact whether you succeed or fail. If you succeed 90 per cent of the time, you are doing fine. If you are succeeding all the time, you should ask yourself if you are

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taking enough risks. If you do not take enough risks, you may also be losing out on many opportunities. Think through but take the plunge. If some things do go wrong, learn from them. I came across this interesting story some time ago: One day a farmer's donkey fell down into a well. The animal cried piteously for hours as the farmer tried to figure out what to do. Finally he decided the animal was old and the well needed to be covered up anyway it just wasn't worth it to retrieve the donkey. He invited all his neighbors to come over and help him. They all grabbed a shovel and begin to shovel dirt into the well. At first, the donkey realized what was happening and cried horribly. Then, to everyone's amazement he quieted down. A few shovel loads later, the farmer finally looked down the well and was astonished at! what he saw. With every shovel of dirt that fell on his back, the donkey was doing some thing amazing. He would shake it off and take a step up. As the farmer's neighbors continued to shovel dirt on top of the animal, he would shake it off and take a step up. Pretty soon, everyone was amazed as the donkey stepped up over the edge of the well and totted off! Life is going to shovel dirt on you, all kinds of dirt. The trick is too not to get bogged down by it. We can get out of the deepest wells by not stopping. And by never giving up! Shake it off and take a step up! Tenth, in spite of all the change around you, decide upon what you will never change: your core values. Take your time to decide what they are but once you do, do not compromise on them for any reason. Integrity is one such value. These have contributed to our success, including our parents and others from our society. All of us have a responsibility to utilize our potential for making our nation a better place for others, who may not be as well endowed as us, or as fortunate in having the opportunities that we have got. Let us do our bit, because doing one good deed can have multiple benefits not only for us but

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also for many others. Let me end my talk with a small story I came across some time back, which illustrates this very well. This is a story of a poor Scottish farmer whose name was Fleming. One day, while trying to make a living for his family, he heard a cry for help coming from a nearby bog. He dropped his tools and ran to the bog. There, mired to his waist in black muck, was a terrified boy, screaming and struggling to free himself. Farmer Fleming saved the boy from what could have been a slow and terrifying death. The next day, a fancy carriage pulled up to the Scotsman's sparse surroundings. An elegantly dressed nobleman stepped out and introduced himself as the father of the boy Farmer Fleming had saved. "I want to repay you, "said the nobleman. " Yes," the farmer replied proudly. "I'll make you a deal. Let me take your son and give him a good education. If he's anything like his father, he'll grow to be a man you can be proud of." And that he did. In time, Farmer Fleming's son graduated from St. Mary's Hospital Medical School in London, and went on to become known throughout the world as the noted Sir Alexander Fleming, the discoverer of Penicillin. Years afterward, the nobleman's son was stricken with pneumonia. What saved him? Penicillin. This is not the end. The nobleman's son also made a great contribution to society. For the nobleman was none other than Lord Randolph Churchill, and his son's name was Winston Churchill. Let us use all our talent, competence and energy for creating peace and happiness for the nation."

Technology & Process Azim Hashim Premji, founder of Wipro Limited, India’s biggest and most competitive IT company based in Bangalore

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The Amalner-based vanaspathi manufacturing company, the Western India Vegetable Product later became Wipro Products Ltd, Wipro Technologies and Wipro Corporation. Under Premji’s leadership Wipro embarked on an ambitious phase of expansion and diversification. The Company began manufacturing light bulbs with General Electric and other consumer products including soaps, baby care products, shampoos, powder etc. In 1975, Wipro Fluid Power business unit manufacturing hydraulic cylinders and truck tippers was started. But Premji’s ambitions did not stop there. In the 1980s Wipro entered the IT field, taking advantage of the expulsion of IBM from the Indian market in 1975. Thus, Wipro became involved in manufacturing computer hardware, software development and related items, under a special license from Sentinel. As a result, the $1.5 million company in hydrogenated cooking fats grew within a few years to a $662 million diversified, integrated corporation in services, medical systems, technology products and consumer items with offices worldwide. The company’s IT division became the world’s first to win SEI CMM level 5 and PCMM Level 5 (People Capability Maturity Model) certification, the latest in quality standards. A large percentage of the company’s revenues are generated by the IT division. Wipro works with leading global companies, such as Alcatel, Nokia, Cisco and Nortel and has a joint venture in Medical Systems with General Electric company. Premji’s story of success and prominence clearly shows how determination and perseverance, when coupled with knowledge, clear vision and proper planning, enable one to reach the peak of success and leadership. A straight forward person, he doesn’t believe in resorting to bribery
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or corruption to get things done and associates quality with integrity. He is an absolute workaholic and according to him work is the only way to success and survival in a competitive environment. A tough employer, he expects his employees to be competent and will not tolerate lies or deception from anyone. Azim Hashim Premji finds himself in the Forbes Billionaire List 2000, placed in 41st position with a wealth of $ 6.4 billion. Over the years, Azim Premji has been privileged with many honors and accolades. He was chosen as the Business India’s ‘Businessman of the Year 2000’, He was named by Fortune (August 2003) as one of the 25 most powerful business leaders outside the US, Forbes (March 2003) listed him as one of ten people globally, Business Week featured (October 2003) him on their cover with the sobriquet ‘India’s tech king’. The Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee and the Manipal Academy of Higher Education have both conferred honorary doctorates on him. He is also a member of the Prime Minister’s Advisory Committee for Information Technology in India. In the year 2001, Premji established Azim Premji Foundation, a not-for-profit organization with a vision of influencing the lives of millions of children in India by facilitating the universalisation of elementary education. The foundation works closely with the state governments of Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh etc and the programs cover over 5000 rural schools. Premji contributes the financial resources for the foundation Chairman of Wipro Technologies; Richest Indian for the past several years; Honored with Padma Bhushan in 2005. At the first annual general meeting of the company attended by Azeem Premji, a shareholder doubted Premji's ability to handle business at such a young age and publicly advised him to sell his shareholding and give it to a more mature management. This spurred Azim Premji and made him all the more determined to make Wipro a success story. And the rest is history. When Azim Premji occupied the hot seat, Wipro dealt in
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hydrogenated cooking fats and later diversified to bakery fats, ethnic ingredient based toiletries, hair care soaps, baby toiletries, lighting products and hydraulic cylinders. Thereafter Premji made a focused shift from soaps to software. Under Azim Premji's leadership Wipro has metamorphosed from a Rs.70 million company in hydrogenated cooking fats to a pioneer in providing integrated business, technology and process solutions on a global delivery platform. Today, Wipro Technologies is the largest independent R&D service provider in the world. Azim Premji has several achievements to his credit. In 2000, Asiaweek magazine, voted Premji among the 20 most powerful men in the world. Azim Premji was among the 50 richest people in the world from 2001 to 2003 listed by Forbes. In April 2004, Times Magazine, rated him among the 100 most influential people in the world by Time magazine. He is also the richest Indian for the past several years. In 2005,Government of India honored Azim Premji with Padma Bhushan.Under his leadership, a Rs.70 million company in hydrogenated cooking fats has grown to a $500 million diversified, integrated Corporation in Services, Technology Products and Consumer Products with leadership positions in the businesses it is in. A role model for young entrepreneurs across the world, Mr.Azim Premji has integrated the country's entrepreneurial tradition with professional management, based on sound values and uncompromising integrity. Mr.Azim Premji's strength lies in bringing together and building charged teams of high potential-high performing people. His vision and pragmatism have helped Wipro Corporation to become the #2 most competitive and successful company in India as rated by Business Today, a leading business magazine in India Today, Wipro in terms of market capitalization is among the top 10 Corporations in India. Mr. Premji very strongly believes that the most important contributors to Wipro's success have been the articulations and faithful adherence to core values, a shared vision for the future, identification and
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development of Wipro leaders through clearly defined Wipro Leaders' Qualities. A hands-on business leader with standards of excellence in everything that the Corporation does, Mr. Premji is almost fanatical about delivering value to customers and his willingness to sacrifice business and profits to hold on to "Our Promise". Mr. Premji was the Prime drive behind Wipro's decision to achieve "Six Sigma" status in the next six years. In his address to the top management of Wipro Corporation on May 2. 1997, he said, "The end objective of our 'customerin' concept is that we want to build the voice of the customer in our products and services. This is opposite to the concept of 'product-out', which is the way the world has been operating for some time." In this journey of achieving the near defect-free products and services, Mr. Premji is very clear that as a world class organisation, what Wipro needs to be concerned about is the process, not merely the results. Here's another example of a change leader-Azim Premji, CEO of Wipro. On the sudden demise of his father in 1966, Premji took on the mantle of leadership of Wipro at the age of 21. At that time, Premji had only one vision - that was to build an organization on a foundation of values Premji seems focused on just one goal: even more success. Wipro has grown from a small producer of cooking oil founded by his father in 1945 to a colossus by Indian standards: 23,000 employees, $902 million in revenues, and $170 million in profits for the fiscal year ended in March. Sales have increased by an average of 25% a year and earnings by 52% annually over the past four years. Today Wipro is an IT Services company ranked among the top 100 technology companies globally (by Business Week). In the past two years Wipro has also become the largest BPO services company in India. Wipro's growth
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continues be driven by its core values. Premji firmly believes that ordinary people are capable of extraordinary things. The key to this is creating highly charged teams. He takes a personal interest in developing teams and leaders. He invests significant time as a faculty in Wipro's leadership development programs. Premji has a fanatical belief in delivering value to the customer through world-class quality processes. It is this that has driven Wipro's pioneering efforts on quality. Wipro was the first Indian company to embrace Six Sigma; the first software services company in the world to achieve SEI CMM Level 5 and recently it became the world's first organization to achieve PCMM Level 5 (People Capability Maturity Model). Premji equates quality with integrity - both being non-negotiable. Today, Azim Premji proudly says, "The future will see significant changes in technology, economy and society. But what will remain unchanged is the need of the customer for an organization with a human face. We have built Wipro with the core human values in mind, along with integrity, innovative solutions and value for money, and we will use these values to grow into the future." Premji's track record suggests no one should doubt his ability to fulfill his strategic vision. Thus Azim Premji proves that, the most important thing needed for an organizational success is, a vision accompanied by a good leadership According to John Kotter, the key responsibilities of a leader in building an organisation that copes up with change are to * * * * * * * * Create a sense of urgency Create a guiding coalition Develop a vision and strategy Communicate the change vision Empower broad based action Generate short-term wins Consolidate gains and produce more change Anchor new approaches in the culture

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Any leader who fails in any of these activities may not be successful. Leadership failure may be caused because of poor strategy decisions, inappropriate technology choices or failure in execution. A leader must be committed to his work. He can be a role model for other employees, as he serves as a live example of commitment. A leader who is not passionately committed to the cause will not draw much commitment from others. The world will make way for someone who knows what he or she wants, because there is not much competition when it comes to passionate commitment. Nelson Mandela did not become a leader for black freedom because he was handsome or charismatic. He forged his influence across, sat in prison, refusing to compromise his commitment to freedom – because he believed it was not just an issue for himself, but not for all people. One of the examples of an unsuccessful leader in change programs is Jacques Nasser of Ford Motors. His stewardship of Ford, which lasted for about 2 years and 10 months, was probably the most tumultuous one that the company had witnessed in the recent past. Nasser's leader ship had come under scrutiny since the late 1999. By mid –2000 ford's market share profits, and share price began to fall. The diversification into service – related businesses also lead to conflicts with ford's dealer. In mid –2001 Nasser and bill ford began to share responsibilities in the day-to-day management of the company. However, this power sharing agreement between bill ford and Nasser did not work and Nasser was terminated in October 2001. Analysts felt that Nasser was avoiding being sandwiched between his critics from consumer and safety groups. Ford's sales dropped by 11% in 2000, more than twice the decline of the overall auto market in the U.S there. There were also problems on the employees' front. The grading system adopted from G.E had become unpopular. Nasser wanted to transform Ford Motor Co., an automobile manufacturer, into an automotive consumer giant. To achieve this, Nasser brought in marketing professionals
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from other industries and diversified into service-related businesses. However, some analysts felt that Nasser, tough and tested by his years in Ford, was the automotive world's Jack Welch, a high-energy change agent who transformed the automaker from a 19th century metal bender into a consumer-focused corporation that developed long-lasting relationships with car buyers. The Jacques Nasser example reflects the classic leadership dilemma posed by Warren Bennis about achieving a balance between transformational leadership and transactional leadership. Nasser was caught between the need to appear futuristic and the need to manage the dayto-day activities. While he presented an illumination vision, he proved to be a mediocre-if not-poor- manager of day-to-day affairs. While a motivating vision definitely boosts the morale of an organisation, the basic parameters of the organisation too must look up. Inspiration Azim Premji is the third richest man in the world according to a recent study and is the founder of Wipro private limited. He does a lot of charity work in India and a well respected man. He has made India proud by establishing brand India through his company. His company is one of the top most information technology companies in the world. He is a man of guts and I have been inspired by his works as well as principles. I vote him as the most inspiring man of the year. His actions speak louder than words. The most inspiring personality of the Year. The founder of Ford Company once said, “Life is a journey, enjoy the drive”. Yes, indeed life is a journey where there is a lot to be explored. But at certain points in life we may need some one to tell us what the purpose of life is, someone to inspire us to take on the world and that we don’t have to be mediocre. He will come and change the way we think, he will change our perspective and help us to achieve what we dream of. And that personality is ought to be called the’ Inspiring person ‘of your life. That person will polish up and lubricate our days.
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With fluctuating values in daily life and diminishing importance to ethics, it is tough to find a right ‘role model’ or a person who can inspire for a teenager like me. Be it in corporate world or political world, universally it is decaying. With one by third of the population below 14 years of age and more than 60 percentage of the population below 35 years of age, the need of the hour in India is to have somebody to look up to. It is very important for the country in general and for the young adults in particular to have somebody who holds values and principles tight and who can be a source of inspiration like Gandhiji, Nehru, Abraham Lincoln or mother Teresa used to be. There is one person in India who doesn’t like to steal the limelight 24/7. He is a man of few words, but his actions speak louder than his words. He is the third richest man in the world. Yet he is simple. He is Azim Premji, the founder of Wipro. He is the man I earlier talked about, a man who can kindle a fire in your belly and who can change your life forever. He inspired me to look forward to life and face the challenges . So what makes Azim Premji the most inspiring personality of the year as well as in my life? What is so special about him? Let me explain it. Becoming the third richest man in the world is no small thing by any means. But did any one find him breast beating on that fact? Did any one find him on the cover of leading magazines the very next week? The answer is a big no. But why didn’t that happen? The answer is because his ways are not that kind. That single incident was an evidence of his simplicity. Can some one point out another person that simple and modest? What a lesson for the generation of my times, who doesn’t know to even respect elders. Have anyone made a teaching like that before? I learned the lesson. I was really touched by his ways. How I wish that the whole young adults in India follow his ways! Some body has to set an example for the following herds and Azim Premji did for us in immaculate way. Education has made India a power in the world. But that same thing is a pie in the sky to crores of children in India.

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With no quality education they are like soldiers unarmed. They don’t have the power to change their life. People, who waste crores to entertain others, don’t think of these unprivileged citizens. But one man believed that he can change the fate of these children. He firmly believed in his duty and is doing what is a glowing illustration for others in corporate world. His name is Azim Premji. The theme of quality education to rural students is being carried forward by the Azim Premji Foundation. It is an individual initiative and through that he is making a difference in society. He is touching lives of a million students through his foundation. I can only appreciate his honest engagement with the society. This fact made me to think of the purpose of our lives. Isn’t this the real purpose of life, living for others? My life is a success only if I have made someone else’s life happier. And he has made a million lives happier and meaningful. How can I not be inspired by this great man? But not many knows about his work which is laudable In his corporate life, Azim Premji is one among the few who still thinks business ethics comes before profits. He thinks business should engage society. He thinks that every decision made by corporate world has an impact on the people and on the society around it. So he advices about business ethics and preaches that trust should be the soul of every business. Can any other businessman of our times be able to say this deep from the heart and honestly? When maximizing the profits is the solitary objective of business leaders, to find an important person like this is the luck of students akin to me. He is indeed a shining star who talks less. Inspiration not always comes from fiery speeches. Inspiration is an insight, a thinking process, which on completion produces desired changes and helps to excel in life. In Azim Premji I found the inspiring man. The way in which he made India proud, round the world, the ethics and principles he believes in, the way in which he asks people to walk along him and not behind him, the way in which he fulfills the duty towards the society indubitably makes him the most inspiring man of the year.

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He certainly has changed the way I live and my beliefs. No, he inspired me to transform. I wish all and sundry stops and take notice, for their own good. He educated me, not through words but through work, what life is all about and what are the core values one should keep closer to heart. Thus I find him as he most ‘Inspiring Person’ of the year. He is a true Indian, a true gentleman and a true philanthropist. This is one interview in a series with some of the leaders in business and government in India today.

"...Many other industries, including traditional ones like pharma and auto components have begun to feel that if IT can do it then so can they..."

Premji offered his perspectives on the FORTUNE Global Forum "Indian Leaders Series" questions. FGF: How does the job you're doing impact the future of India? Premji: The first impact is with respect to ambition, which, at least in part, has been pushed to new levels by the success of the Indian IT industry. Many other industries, including traditional ones like pharma and autocomponents, have begun to feel that if IT can do it then so can they. The global dream seems more plausible now than ever before. The second is with respect to the economic contribution. In 2006-2007, according to the industry body NASSCOM, IT contributed 5.2% to the national GDP. The third is with respect to the social impact both in the areas of employment and education. Wipro, apart from being one of the top three Indian software exporters is one
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of the largest employers in the private sector today with more than 75,000 people employed in India and across the globe. Our businesses are growing rapidly, fueling the demand for skilled resources in India. In Education, we are investing through the initiatives of the Azim Premji Foundation; Wipro Cares and Wipro Applying Thought in Schools. Through the Azim Premji Foundation, we work primarily with rural schools towards the goal of Universalizing Primary Education. In Wipro Applying Thought in Schools, we are working with a few selected schools to replace learning by rote with more creative approaches to learning. FGF: How will India strike a balance between maintaining its unique culture and competing in a global economy? Premji: The culture of our country is such an integral part of who we are. The core will remain even as we evolve with changing times. Today, there is far more knowledge and appreciation of Indian culture than there was earlier. There is a growing importance in the West given to meditation, Indian music, yoga, dance and art. Indian society as a whole, I think is more respectful of age and family is an integral part of our lives. India is also a melting pot of many religions, races and cultures, so, we bring certain strengths of more humane tolerance. Anyone who studies our people and culture closely enough will understand how today we are constantly trying to strike a balance between our values, culture and the growing global influences in our lives. It is not an either-or situation, in fact just the opposite. I think that our culture inherently gives us a complexity arbitrage. We handle ambiguity very naturally. We are also home with different languages since every Indian knows at least three languages. This is an enormous leverage while competing in a global economy. Also, due to our educational system and the pervasiveness of Hollywood, many educated Indians are aware of American or European cultures, and are able to blend this

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with their Indian roots. Lots more Indians travel overseas and that helps them to imbibe some of the practices. FGF: Poverty in India is a reality. How do you foresee this challenge being dealt with during the next decade? Premji: Entrepreneurship and the process of wealth creation are fundamental to eradicating poverty. You need to create wealth to distribute it. Companies like Wipro are helping in the process of wealth creation - every job we create, in turn creates employment for five more people in the ecosystem and this filters down the levels. Wealth creation in turn feeds consumerism that leads to more houses, cars, the need for more products and services and in turn more and better employment. We are able to see the results of the past decade of economic growth that IT has created in India. We can also see its effects in improving the living standards of people in even remote villages, who have directly or indirectly benefited by this growth. The next decade will be crucial as more educated people will join the mainstream economy and India will have more avenues to propel economic growth beyond IT. In fact, the US has recently reclassified India as a "transforming economy" from being a "developing economy". FGF: In some cases, government and private enterprise must work together to realize India's economic goals. What examples can you site when this has been successful? Premji: At Wipro and the Azim Premji Foundation we are working with the Education system and its stakeholders in India. Our emphasis is on improving the Quality of Education. The vision of the Foundation is to "Significantly contribute to achieving quality universal education to facilitate a just, equitable and humane society". Our aim is to make a tangible impact on identified social issues by working in active partnership with the Government and other related sections of the society.

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We have a three-pronged strategy at the Foundation namely, Intervention by means of engaging with schools and other bodies to understand and impact elementary level systemic change, Network to build an ecosystem of those who desire change to work together and Advocacy to provide a radical stimulus to influence the education system. Our Foundation today touches over 2.6 million students and 45,000 teachers in over 16,000 schools across India and slowly, but surely, is making an impact on the system. Through our programs, not only are we educating people better, but I think we are contributing indirectly, to family planning: smaller families, and in some ways a better environment for family healthcare because, in education, we have to work with communities. We have to work with the father and the mother in the community, to explain to them why they should keep their child in school, why they should not put the child in domestic labor, why they should not put the child in farm labor to supplement the father's requirements of farm labor in hard times. FGF: What is the biggest change you've observed in India since the 1994 reforms began? Premji: One of the biggest changes the reforms have brought for India is a global outlook and a significant level of self confidence in our ability to compete in the global arena. In the past ten years, Indian companies have not only emerged as a force to reckon with in areas like IT outsourcing and automotive exports, but are emerging as global organizations in their own right, from acquiring global companies and brands to pioneering innovations and best practices that are making them potential world leaders in several industries.

FGF: What advice do you have for the CEO of a foreign company considering doing business in

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India? Premji: India is very unique - we are one nation, but we officially speak over 18 languages and culturally every state in India is very diverse. Looking at India as a single marketplace is like looking at Europe in a similar light. I would also say, do not look at India only as a market but also as a storehouse of talent and resources. Take time to understand the country and blend into it. What works in some other emerging markets may not work here. For doing business in India, you have to make new templates.

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