Azim Premji Azim Premji, chairman of Wipro, the soap to software business conglomerate, has been named as the richest Muslim entrepreneur in the world by US-based business daily Wall Street Journal (WSJ).

In a special report, the WSJ said that Premji defied all the conventional wisdom about Islamic tycoons. “He doesn’t hail from the Persian Gulf, he didn’t make his money in petroleum, and he definitely doesn’t wear his faith on his sleeve” – to emerge as one of the top 25 richest men in the world.

According to popular business and lifestyle magazine, Forbes, Premji is the 21st richest man in the world and the second richest Muslim in the world. Saudi Arabia’s Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Alsaud is the richest Muslim in the world at No.13 ($20.3 billion).

“Azim Premji has tapped India’s abundant engineering talent to transform a family vegetable-oil firm, Wipro Ltd, into a technology and outsourcing giant. By serving western manufacturers, airlines and utilities, the company has brought Premji a fortune of some $17 billion,” the WSJ report said.

In the report entitled, ‘How a Muslim billionaire thrives in Hindu India,’ WSJ said Premji was way ahead of Russia’s metal and real estate baron Sulaiman Kerimov ($14 billion), Kuwait’s Nasser Al-Kharafi ($11 billion), Saudi Arabia’s Mohammad Al Amoudi ($8 billion), UAE’s Abdul Aziz Al Ghurair ($8 billion), Russia’s Iskander Makhmudov ($8 billion), Saudi’s Maan Al-Sanea ($7.5 billion) and Saudi Arabia’s Sulaiman Al Rajhi ($7.5 billion) to emerge as the richest Muslim entrepreneur in the world.

WSJ also quoted Premji as saying in an interview: “We have always seen ourselves as Indian. We’ve never seen ourselves as Hindus, or Muslims, or Christians or Buddhists,” adding that his secular and globalized outlook has helped him taste financial success.

However, success comes at a price, WSJ noted. “To many in India’s Muslim community, Mr. Premji’s enormous wealth, far from being inspiring, shows that success comes at a price the truly faithful cannot accept. They resent that Mr. Premji plays down his religious roots and declines to embrace Muslim causes; in a nation where people are pegged by their religion and where Hindus freely flaunt theirs,” Yaroslav Trofimov, the writer of the article, said.

“Mr. Premji has mentioned his Muslim background so rarely in public that many Indian Muslims don’t even know he shares their heritage. None of Wipro’s senior managers aside from Mr. Premji himself are Muslims. The company maintains normal working hours on Islamic high holidays. Among its 70,000 employees, there’s only a sprinkling of Muslims,” Trofimov said.

6 Responses

  1. SKM C

    Idiotic article by idiotic westerners for idiotic western media. Muslims in India are the poorest and most backward community because of systematic discrimination while even the tiny Muslim community from Ukraine – a country of around 45 million people – has produced a Rinat Akhmetov, Ukraine’s wealthiest tycoon whose SCM Holdings has over 18 b dollars in assets and earned around 16 billion dollars in revenues in 2008. 

    That is just one of many other examples around the world which idiotic western media failed to notice because of their low intelligence. 

    Reply
  2. HalalMedia Admin

    Well it did have a paragraph on Premji’s reluctance to come out and openly embrace Islamic values. The fact is, many Muslims today are just as such – Muslim by name, not by spirit. Besides, he is only human, so full of flaws. We can only pray for him (and us!) to be shown the Right Path, and to be granted the willpower and financial means to stop from this (see pix) from ever happening again. Insha Allah.

    Reply
  3. Oumar Mbodji

    Well, as a Muslim entrepreneur living in the West I can understand the pressure he is facing.
    Islam has been assimilated with backwardness, while a close study of the religion
    shows it is a religion which encourages entrepreneurship, investment, easy loans (zero interest)
    etc.
    Islam spread in Senegal from gold traders. The scholars were almost exclusively traders.

    Nowadays, however, successful Muslims are so hard pressed to show their non-affiliation
    to the religion. France is a good example where you have ministers originally from the Islamic Maghreb that are
    actively promoting homosexual marriages, abortion etc

    It is a test from Allah SWT. Let us pray for all of us to be successful in this life and the next.

    Reply
  4. YUSUF KHAN

    Azim premji,only shares muslim name.he didn’t spent single penny for the welfare of Indian muslims. Though he is donating thousands of crores Rupees for education.

    Reply
      • Oumar Mbodji

        We just need to be patient.
        Just like most Muslims wouldn’t give Dawah to keep their jobs
        so will the entrepreneurs not promote their religion.

        It is sad but entrepreneurs are humans just like the rest of us.
        What is the solution?
        All Muslims in the should work together to alleviate poverty and basic problems.
        Research showed that only 10% of the Zakat is collected nowadays
        that is one of the reasons why poverty is so present in our society.

        You can do a lot with the proper finances
        but again let us not blame the rich Muslims for
        all the problems we have.
        Read my article on wealth in Islam here. http://www.the-muslim-entrepreneur.com/is-poverty-close-to-piety-secrets-from-a-millionaire-mind/

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