IT & Software Entrepreneurs
Born in: Mumbai
Famous as: Next Executive Chairman of Wipro
Spouse/Ex-: Aditi Premji (m. 2005)
father: Azim Premji
mother: Yasmeen Premji
siblings: Tariq Azim Premji, Tariq Premji
children: Rhea Premji, Rohaan Premji
City: Mumbai, India
education: Harvard Business School, Wesleyan University
Rishad Premji is the son of Azim Premji, the iconic Indian entrepreneur and the current chairman of Indian IT company Wipro. Rishad Premji will become the Executive Chairman of Wipro on July 30, 2019, after the retirement of Azim Premji. Rishad, who has an MBA degree from Harvard, has previously worked for Bain & Company in London and GE Capital in the United States. Since joining Wipro in 2007, he ran the mortgage business for the company and helped in the acquisition of Gallagher Financial Systems (now called Wipro Gallagher Solutions) and Citi Technology Services in 2008. Thanks to his strong leadership and remarkable professional achievements, he was recognized as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum in 2014. In 2015, he had set up Wipro Ventures, which has deployed $65 million in 18 startups since its inception. In 2018-19, he served as the Chairman of NASSCOM, a trade association of Indian Information Technology (IT) and Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) industry.
Childhood & Early Life
Rishad Azim Premji was born in Mumbai, India, to Azim Muhammed Hashim Premji and Yasmeen Premji. He has a younger brother named Tariq Azim Premji. Rishad studied at the Cathedral and John Connon School in Mumbai, and later spent a year at the London School of Economics to pursue the General Course Program. He also has a bachelor's degree in Economics from Wesleyan University and an MBA degree from Harvard Business School in the US.
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A Harvard graduate, Rishad Premji began his professional career with Bain & Company in London, where he worked across multiple industries including consumer products, automobiles, telecom and insurance for two years. He then joined GE Capital in the United States and worked for four years across several businesses throughout the Insurance and Consumer Lending space. During his tenure there, he also earned a degree in GE’s Financial Management Program (FMP).
Career With Wipro
The stage was set for Rishad Premji, the eldest son of the Czar of the Indian IT Industry, to take over the multinational corporation from his father when he joined Wipro as a business manager in 2007. Interestingly, before he could work in his father's company’s banking and financial services division, he had to go through several rigorous interviews, one of which was conducted by former Wipro co-CEO Girish Paranjpe in London. In his new position, he spearheaded the company's entry into the Origination and Loan Servicing space as an end to end provider of mortgage solutions, which led to the acquisition of Gallagher Financial Systems in August 2008.
In December 2008, it was announced that Wipro will acquire Citi Technology Services for $127 million. Rishad was instrumental in the integration process. He then worked as an investor relations manager, which he thinks is the 'funnest' job one can have as he got the opportunity to look at the company from a different angle. In 2010, he was promoted to the post of Chief Strategy Officer of the company and later became a member on the boards of Wipro Enterprises Ltd, Wipro-GE and Azim Premji Foundation.
In 2015, as the Head of Investor Relations and Corporate Affairs, he conceptualized and set up Wipro Ventures, a $100M fund to invest in start-ups developing technologies and solutions that complement Wipro’s businesses. He was serving as the Chairman of NASSCOM when it was announced in early June 2019 that his father Azim Premji will be retiring from his position as the Chairman of Wipro, handing over the baton to Rishad. Despite the fact that it was only expected and was in the making for over a decade, the announcement created a sudden interest in his professional and personal life.
Family & Personal Life
Rishad Premji had a longtime affair with his high school sweetheart Aditi, whom he married in a small private ceremony in Mumbai in August 2005. While Azim Premji continues to lead a quiet life, Rishad and Aditi often make appearances in Bangalore's social circles. They have two children named Rohaan and Rhea.