Azim Premji receives MMA-Amalgamations Business Leader Award

Chennai, Nov 21() Azim Premji, the chairman of IT major Wipro, on Thursday said one can learn a lot from the life of Mahatma Gandhi on philanthropy.

Premji was conferred the 19th edition of Madras Management Association's Amalgamations Business Leadership Award here.

The award was conferred to him "in recognition of his ability to build a business with impeccable integrity and uncompromising ethics, transforming Wipro into a global IT powerhouse and putting India on the world map as a software nation", according to an official statement.

Delivering the Anantharamakrishnan Memorial Lecture on 'Leading a young and digital India', Premji recalled how his mother and Mahatma Gandhi influenced his thinking on the love of humanity.

"It was my mother and Mahatma Gandhi who more strongly influenced my thinking and actions...what I should do with my wealth," he said, adding that his mother was one of the prime founders of the Children's Orthopaedic Hospital in Mumbai.

It was the first hospital of its kind for polio-affected children in Asia, he said.

"She was a doctor and was also the chairperson of the hospital till the age of 78 years. She gave her life to it," he said.

Referring to Mahatma Gandhi's ideology that wealth must be for the people and there must be trusteeship to it, Premji said, it was something which he believed in 'very strongly'.

"If people are very wealthy they should use a substantial part of it for the public good. That is very very important," he said.

"The more I am in philanthropy, the more I realised how much more complex (it was) as compared to running a business. Issues are much more subtle, convictions are much more difficult," he said.

He said success in business has taught him many things.

"This is 150th year of the Mahatma Gandhi. There is still so much to learn from him. I think we can learn a lot from the life of Mahatma Gandhi," he said.

Amalgamations Group chairman A Krishnamoorthy presented the Award and the citation to Premji on the occasion.

The Award was instituted in 1969 by Late A Sivasailam, the former chairman of the Amalgamations Group. VIJ DPB
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