Azim Premji

Chairman, Wipro

Azim Premji, a graduate in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University, USA has been at the helm of Wipro Limited since the late 1960’s, turning what was then a $2 million hydrogenated cooking fat company into close to $8 billion revenue IT, BPO and R&D Services organization with a presence in 58 countries, that it is today. The overall Wipro group revenues are $9 billion.

Premji has been driven by one basic idea – to build an organization deeply committed to values, with the firm belief that success in business eventually but inevitably follows. Unflinching commitment to values continues to remain at the core of Wipro. Premji strongly believes that ordinary people are capable of extraordinary things when organized into highly charged teams, and takes keen personal interest in developing leaders and teams.

Wipro’s business success has been driven by keeping the customer at the core of everything it does. Combining its deep expertise in technology with an equally clear understanding of customer industries, Wipro attempts to deliver business value to customers consistently. The consistency is driven by its pioneering efforts in service quality and predictability, through methodologies like Six Sigma, PCMM and Lean. The underlying tenets that drive this overall culture are that of speed, simplicity and excellence.

Premji firmly believes that business organizations have a social responsibility not only to employ ethical, fair and ecologically sensitive business practices but also to actively engage with fundamental societal issues. “Wipro Applying Thought in Schools” (in India) and “Wipro STEM Fellowships” (in the US) are initiatives deeply involved in trying to improve quality of school education, while the “Wipro Cares” program engages with local community causes. Mission 10X works to improve quality of engineering college education. In 2001, Premji established and personally endowed the Azim Premji Foundation, a not-for-profit organization, with a vision of enhancing quality and equity in the public school education system in India, to build a better society.

The Azim Premji Foundation works in six states and one Union territory of India which have over 300,000 government schools. In 2011, the Foundation established the Azim Premji University, which is focused on teaching and research programs in Education and other areas of Human Development.

Over the years, Azim Premji has received numerous honors and accolades, which he considers as recognitions for Team Wipro. BusinessWeek featured him on their cover of the October 2003 issue with the sobriquet “India’s Tech King” and listed him amongst the top 30 entrepreneurs in world history in July 2007. In October 2005, Financial Times included him in a global list of 25 people “dramatically reshaping the way people live, work or think”. Time listed him amongst the world’s 100 most influential people in April 2004 and again April 2011, citing his contribution to improving the public education system in India. He was named by Fortune (August 2003) as one of the 25 most powerful business leaders outside the US, by Forbes (March 2003) as one of ten people globally with most “power to effect change”, and by the Journal of Foreign Policy (November 2011) as amongst the top global thinkers.

Premji became the first Indian recipient of the Faraday Medal and has been conferred honorary doctorates by the Michigan State University and Wesleyan University (in the US), Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, Roorkee and Kharagpur amongst others. He is a member of the Indo-UK, Indo-French CEO forums and a member of the Indo-Japan Business Leaders’ Forum. The Republic of France bestowed upon him the Legion of Honor and Forbes India honored him with its inaugural Outstanding Philanthropist of the Year’ in November 2012. He was conferred in January 2011 with Padma Vibhushan, the second highest civilian award in India. In September 2013 Premji received All India Management Association (AIMA) Managing India Award as the Corporate Citizen of the Year for his inspiring business values and his contribution to society. He was honored with the Asian Business Leaders Award by Asia House (UK) in  October 2013 for his impressive business credentials and his significant efforts to inspire a commitment in others to improving society. In December 2013, Economic Times bestowed Mr. Premji with Lifetime Achievement Award.

Sharad Chandra Behar

With a Master’s Degree in Psychology, Sharad Chandra Behar joined the Indian Administrative Service in 1961. As an IAS Officer, he held a number of important positions in the Government of Madhya Pradesh and Government of India where a major part of his career was devoted in the area of education.

He actively participated in a number of Government Committees and Task Forces. He has served in the jury for Indira Gandhi Social Service Award, Birsa Munda Award for services in tribal areas etc.

He has published around 100 papers on Education, Public Administration and issues of social concern. He was Chief Editor of an educational journal “Palash” for twenty years and a journal of public administration in Hindi for five years. He is the Founder Director of Eklavya, a voluntary organization for educational research and innovative actions and Founder Chairman of Nachiketu, an institution for education and social service and the founder Vice Chancellor of Guru Ghasidas University, Bilaspur.

Since retiring from service in 1997 as Chief Secretary to the Government of Madhya Pradesh, he worked as Vice Chancellor of Makhanlal Chaturvedi National University of Journalism. He is also Chair-person of three voluntary organizations namely, Madhya Pradesh Bharat Gyan Vigyan Sabha, Digadarshika and Lokshakti Raigarh.

Rishad Premji

Rishad joined Wipro Technologies in 2007 in the Banking and Financial Services Vertical (BFSI) as Business Head for Special Projects where he championed Wipro's entry into the Mortgage area as an end to end provider of Mortgage Solutions in the Origination and Loan Servicing space. This led to the acquisition of Gallagher Financial Systems (now called Wipro Gallagher Solutions).

While at BFSI, Rishad also led the integration of Citi Technology Services, Wipro's acquisition of the Citibank captive in the application and infrastructure space. Subsequent to the stint with BFSI, Rishad moved to Wipro Corporate as Head of Investor Relations working for the Corporate Treasurer where he helped significantly scale up the systems, processes and interactions with both internal and external stakeholders. In his most current role Rishad is Chief Strategy Officer of Wipro's IT Business reporting to the CEO. In this role Rishad is responsible for Wipro's Global IT Strategy.

Prior to joining Wipro, Rishad worked with Bain & Co in their London Office where he worked on assignments across Consumer Products, Automobiles, Telecom and Insurance. Rishad also worked with GE Capital in the US across several businesses throughout the Insurance and Consumer Lending space and is a graduate of GE's Financial Management Program (FMP).

Rishad has an MBA from Harvard Business School (HBS) and graduated with a BA in Economics from Wesleyan University in the US. Rishad has also spent a year at the London School of Economics where he was part of the General Course Program.

Yasmeen Premji

Yasmeen Premji secured a First Class First in B.A Hons. (Psychology) from St. Xaviers College, University of Bombay and a Masters degree in Psychology from Smith College, Mass. USA. She then worked as Personnel Supervisor with Esso Inc. Mumbai between 1970 and 1972.

Yasmeen Premji subsequently obtained a Diploma with Distinction in Interior Design from Mumbai in 1976. She was the Assistant Editor of "Inside Outside" the Design Magazine between 1983 and 1997.

Yasmeen has had a long and abiding interest in social development and has been associated with social development activities for over 12 years. She was the Director, Aga Khan Health Services (India) between 1993 and 1996 and a Member, Managing Committee and Executive Council, PAK Hospital, Mumbai, 1994-1997. She is a Member, National Committee, Aga Khan Foundation from July 2001 and her tenure runs through till 2004.

Yasmeen is also particularly concerned about the extremely disadvantaged children of India and served as a Member of the Managing Committee, Currimbhoy Orphanage, Mumbai, 1990-1997.

In Bangalore, she is associated with Vishwas (Society for Mental Health) as a Member from October 2000.

P M Sinha

Mr. PM Sinha is an alumni of Sloan School of Management, MIT. He started as a Management Trainee in Esso Standard Eastern in India in Sales and Marketing and in 1969 joined Unilever India. He joined the Executive Board of Hindustan Lever Ltd., in 1981, and was the Chairman of Stephen Chemicals besides being on the Boards of Brooke Bond India Ltd., Lipton India Ltd., Lintas India, and Nepal Lever.

In 1992 Priya Mohan Sinha took over as President of Pepsi Cola International for South Asia. He opted for an early retirement effective August 1st, 2002, from Pepsi, after ten years as CEO for Pepsico Beverages International for South Asia. He is a non-executive Director on Boards of Wipro Ltd., ICICI Bank Ltd., Lafarge India Ltd. and Bharti Tele-ventures Ltd. He is also a part of the Board of Governors of Management Development Institute. Mr. Sinha is the Vice Chairman Socio Economic Development Foundation of Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) and as the Co-Chairman of FICCI-CARE Gujarat Rehabilitation Foundation, was involved in total reconstruction and rehabilitation of 23 earthquake affected villages in Bhuj district of Gujarat.