Chennai: “Wealthy people should devote a substantial part of their wealth to public in the form of trusteeship. It was my mother and Mahatma Gandhi who strongly influenced my thinking. They taught me what to do with my privilege of wealth,” said Wipro chairman and philanthropist Azim Hashim Premji.
He was delivering the 19th Anantharamakrishnan Memorial Lecture and spoke on ‘Leading a young and digital India’ after being honored with the Madras Management Association-Amalgamations (MMA) Business Leadership Award 2019 on Thursday. The award was presented by Amalgamations Group chairman A Krishnamoorthy in the presence of top industry leaders.
The award was conferred upon him in recognition of his ability to build a business with impeccable integrity and uncompromising ethics, transforming Wipro into a global IT powerhouse, putting India on the world map as a software nation, being a true nation builder and making an outstanding contribution to business, industry and society.
“We have to trust the common people of our country,” Premji said. Citing an example, he added, “In my 20 years of work in education, teachers in the government schools who are often called callous are the most committed people. However, 80 per cent of them are devoted and 20 per cent among them are outstanding. It is these teachers who attend workshops even on Sundays by traveling on their own. It is not for money or promotion, but to do their job better.”
“Our success in business has taught us many things. But, in social issues, we have to start afresh. You have to be prepared for the processes of consensus, development of discovering large complexity and execution, and deeply conflicting but equally valid demands, very often not even knowing the next step forward. All of us have a duty to contribute to society,” said Premji. “The practice of moral leadership will help us achieve our goals. We need to work together to develop the India that we have envisioned in our Constitution, an idea that is equitable, humane and sustainable.”
Former chairman of ICICI Bank, N Vaghul said Azim Premji is an iconic business leader of the country. A Venkatramani, Mallika Srinivasan, M M Murugappan, Vikram S Kirloskar were among the other dignitaries present.