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Premji's maxims for IIT students

A Correspondent | November 17, 2003 18:23 IST
Last Updated: November 17, 2003 19:59 IST

Wipro Chairman Azim Premji

Wipro Chairman Azim Premji was conferred the degree of Doctor of Engineering (honoris causa) by the Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee on Monday.

Prof S K Joshi, chairman, board of governors, IIT Roorkee, conferred the honour on Premji in the presence of the President of India, Dr APJ Abdul Kalam.

Premji has a distinguished predecessor in Dr Kalam who was conferred the degree of Doctor of Engineering (honoris causa), by IIT-Roorkee, when Kalam was the scientific adviser to ministry of defence.

Speaking on the occasion, Premji said: "I am honored at receiving this degree from IIT-Roorkee. This recognition is not only for me, but for countless other professionals, including fellow Wiproites. I am accepting this degree on their behalf."

He shared the important lessons that he has learnt in his life with the students. He noted some of his aphorisms for life:

A rupee earned is of far more value than five found.

Learn to lose and also to enjoy winning. And when you do lose, do not lose the lesson.

Have faith in your own ideas even if everyone tells you they are wrong. Have enduring faith in yourself because then you will always have enduring faith in others.

Life's battle does not always go to the person who is stronger and faster. But the person who wins is the person who thinks he can.

Strive for excellence. We are what we repeatedly do. Remember, excellence is not an act but a habit.

Always keep in mind that it is only the test of fire that makes fine steel.

Open your arms to change, but don't let go of your values. Your values are your foundation for life.

In the citation to Premji, IIT Roorkee said: "Wipro's growth continues to be driven by its core values. Premji firmly believes that ordinary people are capable of extraordinary things and takes personal interest in developing teams and leaders. He invests significant time as a faculty in Wipro's leadership development programmes."

"Premji established the Azim Premji Foundation, a non-profit organization, with a vision of influencing the life of millions of children in India by facilitating the universalisation of elementary education. The financial resources for this programme have been personally contributed by Premji."

The IIT has recognised Premji's innovative and entrepreneurial skills and his emphasis on adherence to core values.

Premji is a graduate in electrical engineering from Stanford University, USA.

After the sudden demise of his father in 1966, he took on the mantle of leadership of Wipro at the age of 21.

At that time, he had only one vision: that was to build an organisation on a solid foundation of values.

Under his leadership, the fledgling Rs 7 crore (Rs 70 million) company in hydrogenated cooking fats has grown to a 24,000 people, Rs 4,900 crore (Rs 49 billion) IT services company, ranked among the top 100 technology companies globally (BusinessWeek).

The convocation function was graced by the Governor of Uttaranchal, Sudarshan Agarwal, and the Chief Minister of Uttaranchal, Narayan Dutt Tiwari.

Dr S K Joshi presided over the function.

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