Azim Premji is the chairman and CEO of Wipro technologies. He is known as the Indian bill gates. He was born on 24th July 1945. He is a Stanford university graduate. He was 21 years old when he inherited his father’s oil producing business; he was forced to do so as his father died in 1968. He transformed his father`s business from cooking oil producing industry to soaps and made a shift from soaps to software. He owns 80% of wipro, 3rd largest software company in India.
Azim Premji was listed as 5th richest person in India with approx worth of $ 13.6 billion. In 2006 Indian government awarded him padmabhushan. Traits are individual characteristics of thought or feeling that gives rise to tendencies to act in certain ways. (Rollinson D 2004) Luther Bernard (1926) attempted to explain leadership traits in terms of internal qualities that a person is born with. Effective leaders show common characteristics that differ them from non leaders. (Roger Gill 2006) After analysing Azim Premjis personality and applying trait theory some important traits emerged such as:
Intelligence: intelligence is one of the key traits of successful leaders. Azim Premji is such an intelligent leader, who transformed his father`s cooking oil producing industry into India’s first software company. (Stogdill 1974) (Isobel Doole & Robin Lowe 2008) Self confidence :Self confidence is another important quality of leaders . At his first general meeting at wipro,one of his senior share holder doubted his ability and asked Premji to sell his company to mature management but Premji was self confident and showed his ability by making Wipro a successful software company.
(Stogdill 1974) (www. scribd. com) Initiative: according to stogdill initiative is an important trait of leaders. In 1981 Azim Premji`s company Wipro was the 1st to introduce minicomputers to India. (Stogdill 1974) (www. scribd. com) Insight: As described by stogdill leaders should have insight of task. When IBM was kicked out of India in 1975, Premji had a clear vision that if he introduces computer technology in Indian market it would be successful and help Wipro be the market leaders. (Stogdill 1974)
(www. the-south-asian. com) Leadership style of Azim Premji Leadership: “leadership is the process of influencing other people to act in particular ways in order to achieve specific goals” (Hannagan 2005) In democratic leadership style the leader involve employees to participate in decision making and problem solving. Leaders are more part of a team in such leadership style. (Mullins 2002) Azim Premji has a democratic leadership style, he involve his employees in decision making and problem solving.
Azim Premji holds meeting on every Monday with his employees and revise company`s performance and discusses necessary steps to be taken for the company`s future plans. (Bangalore Tiger 2007,B) Azim Premji as a transformational leader: Transformational leader creates an organisational culture in which staff will be self motivating and seek to contribute to the organisation. Transformational leader is strongly committed to vision and prepared to bear personal risk and cost to achieve the vision. (Claire Capon 2004)
Azim Premji`s approach towards his organisation is transformational. He creates such an environment in the organisation so that his staff becomes self motivating and they contribute to the betterment of the organisation. Azim Premji follows open door policy where in employees can meet their senior supervisor without any invitation and discuss about the welfare of the organisation. (Bangalore Tiger 2007,B) Conclusion Azim Premji is a successful entrepreneur with key traits of intelligence and insight. He is a self confident leader with democratic style of leadership.
He has proved his intelligence by transforming his father`s oil producing industry into India`s leading software company. His success proves that Azim Premji has the ability to lead in a different organisation. With his transformational approach he motivates his employees to work for the benefit of the organisation. He follows open door policy wherein employees can interact freely with higher management and discuss future plans. So with his abilities he can lead any organisation to achieve its goals.