Indian business tycoon and philanthropist Azim Premji was bestowed with the highest French civilian distinction Chevalier de la Legion d’Honneur (Knight of the Legion of Honour) in Bengaluru. Premji, who is the chairman of Wipro, received the honour from Alexandre Ziegler, the Ambassador of France to India.
He received the award for his outstanding contribution to developing the information technology industry in India, his economic outreach in France and his laudable contribution to the society as a philanthropist through the Azim Premji Foundation and Azim Premji University.
• The Legion d’Honneur (Legion of Honour) award, which was instituted in 1802 by Napoleon Bonaparte, is the highest civilian award given by the French Republic for outstanding service to France, regardless of the nationality of the recipients.
• The President of the French Republic is the Grand Master of the Order of the Legion of Honour.
• The Indians who have received the prestigious award in the past include renowned scientist and Bharat Ratna awardee C N R Rao, late Tamil actor Sivaji Ganesan, actor Kamal Haasan, Bengali actor Soumitra Chatterjee and Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan.
• Wipro said its association with France spans over 15 years and the company enjoys a close relationship with several French organisations.
Azim Premji :
• Premji is an Indian business tycoon, investor and philanthropist, who is the chairman of Wipro Limited.
• He is informally known as the Czar of the Indian IT Industry. He was responsible for guiding Wipro through four decades of diversification and growth to finally emerge as one of the global leaders in the software industry.
• In 2010, Premji was voted among the 20 most powerful men in the world by Asiaweek. He has twice been listed among the 100 most influential people by TIME Magazine, once in 2004 and then in 2011.
• Premji owns 73 per cent stake of Wipro and also owns a private equity fund, Premji Invest, which manages his USD 2 billion worth of personal portfolio.