Image: Nishant Ratnakar
Rishad Premji in July succeeded his father—IT tycoon Azim Premji (No 17)—as executive chairman at Wipro, India’s fourth-largest software services provider. His father, who was at the helm for 53 years, remains on the board as founder chairman. A Harvard MBA, Premji joined Wipro in 2007 and was chief strategy officer prior to his latest appointment. He led a slew of acquisitions, including the purchase of Danish design firm Designit, San Francisco-based cloud tech firm Appirio and German IT consultancy Cellent. Premji also conceptualised the $100 million Wipro Ventures fund, which has invested in 15 startups across India, Israel and the US. Premji takes the reins at a challenging time. In the past five years, Wipro’s growth has lagged rivals Infosys and Tata Consultancy Services. Now weakness in the European banking sector and global capital markets pose another problem. Banking, financial services and insurance accounted for nearly a third of Wipro’s $8.5 billion revenue in the last financial year. But Wipro has projected that sales in the three months ended September 30 will grow by no more than 2 percent.
(This story appears in the 27 December, 2019 issue of Forbes India. To visit our Archives, click here.)