Tariq Premji: Azim's younger son is the 'morning star' at Wipro Enterprises

Tariq Premji

In Arabic, the word Tariq means the morning star. With Tariq Premji, the younger son of Wipro chairman Azim Premji, joining the board of Wipro Enterprises as a director, speculations are rife about a larger role for him in future.

Even though Tariq has been associated with Premji’s family office as well as the philanthropic endeavours in various capacities, he has so far been away from public glare and continues to do so even today, according to sources close to him. His older sibling, Rishad Premji, is currently heading the corporate strategy at Wipro Ltd, the Information Technology business of the Group, and is part of the board of the company.  

Unlike Rishad, who did his higher studies abroad in institutes such as Wesleyan University and Harvard University, Tariq completed his graduation in commerce from Bengaluru. He had a humble professional beginning and was not catapulted to a high profile just because of his powerful surname. Even he had a stint in a BPO firm, 24/7 Customer, as an agent before he started lending support to his father in his private investments.

He is also the vice-president of Azim Premji Endowment Fund, an entity set up by Azim Premji to fund his philanthropic initiatives. Tariq has been a member of the Fund since its inception in 2011. He is a founding member who is also on the board of Azim Premji Foundation, which is a not-for-profit organisation that has been working since 2000 with the elementary education system in rural government schools.

“Holding these positions, he has already proved it and it is logical that he had been inducted into the Wipro Enterprises board in a non-executive role,” said a person who knows Tariq well.

With a keen interest in design and technology, Tariq is also learnt to have dabbled in the fashion world and attempted to launch a venture focusing on the lifestyle segment, though it did not take off.

Following his father's footsteps, Tariq maintains a low personal profile in the public eye. The 40-year-old doesn't have a Twitter profile. He is not active on social media, though he is known in Bollywood circles.

Unlike Wipro Limited, Wipro Enterprises is a privately-owned unlisted company. In 2013, Wipro had demerged its non-IT businesses into separate companies under the parent Wipro Enterprises to bring in more focus on independent businesses, including consumer care, lighting and infrastructure. It recently crossed the $1 billion mark on the revenue front.

Including Tariq, Wipro Enterprises has a six-member board that also comprises Azim Premji, Rishad Premji and former Wipro CFO Suresh Senapaty. Vineet Agrawal, who is the CEO of Wipro’s Consumer Care and Lighting business, and Pratik Kumar, who is the CEO of Wipro Infrastructure Engineering, are also part of the board.

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