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Azim Hasham Premji‟s Value-Based Leadership In July 2007, BusinessWeek nominated Azim Hasham Premji (Premji), the Chairman of Wipro, as one of the top 30 all time great entrepreneurs in the world. The case discusses the leadership qualities of Premji. Under his leadership, Wipro, a small vegetable oil company in the mid-1960s, was transformed into one of the leading IT services company by the early 2000s. Premji had established a strong value system in Wipro and believed that values not only helped in achieving success but also made that success more enduring and lasting. The case discusses in detail about the few leadership initiatives taken up in Wipro in order to develop leaders within the organization. It also discusses Premji's contribution for the benefit of the society. He had established Azim Premji Foundation (APF), a not-for-profit organization, in January 2001. The foundation made efforts to improve the quality of education in schools.
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217 Azim Hasham Premji‟s Value-Based Leadership “One of Premji’s most important accomplishments has been creating a sinewy management culture that thrives even under intense competitive pressure. He established two core principles that are instrumental in building the character of his leadership team. The first is rare among India’s family-controlled companies: The chairman is not king. While Premji owns a controlling stake in Wipro, he shares authority and responsibility with his subordinates. The second key principle: Premji believes in a zero-politics culture. At Wipro, backstabbing, playing favorites, and kissing up to the boss -- tactics that sap much of American executives’ energy -- simply don’t work. Open and honest disagreements are not only tolerated, but also required -- of everyone.”1Steve Hamm, Author, “Bangalore Tiger: How Indian Tech Upstart Wipro is Rewriting the Rules of Global Competition”, in October 20062. “What you will remember when you retire, is not which quarters you exceeded your sales target or won large deals, but leaders whom you helped in developing. Develop leaders under you, not only because it is good for the business, but because it will give you tremendous personal satisfaction.3Azim Premji, Chairman, Wipro Limited, in October 2006. Leader Driven by Values On February 01, 2007, Dale Carnegie Training (DCT)4conferred its “Global Leadership Award” to India based Wipro Limited (Wipro), a leading IT software company. Wipro was the first Indian company to have won this prestigious award. Presenting the award, Peter Handal, Chairman, Dale Carnegie Training® said, “Dale Carnegie Training® recognizes and honors the way Azim Premji and his team at Wipro have been able to create a unified culture. It is truly admirable that an organization as large and successful as Wipro continues to believe and stay committed to the success of every individual within their organization. They have been able to create a sense of teamwork and a unified culture and, at the same time, have continued

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