August 27, 2010

Azim Premji - one of my heroes

One of the leading business heads who I admire and idolize is Azim Premji. What particularly endears me is his simplicity, frugality, inspite of his accomplishments and contributions to nation building and job creation, and ofcourse, his personal wealth. He has been a silent statesman unlike many of his peers and never talks out of turn. But yesterday, he chose to speak out against the Commonwealth Games, in the Times of India. Those of you who didn't read it, please see the link to his article. There is a certain respect for him and when he decides to speak out, I am sure policy makers will sit up and listen. Its time, Indian policy makers take hard decisions, rather than playing to the gallery or succumbing to vote bank politics. These have cost India dear and we cannot afford to continue in this manner. I am really glad to see people like Azim Premji speak, loud and clear. We need to hear these people and take action.

In the article, he has very nicely brought out the burning issues plaguing our country and the need to prioritise. While he agrees its not black and white and not easy for the government to decide one project over the other, he very clearly mentions that lack of amenities for budding sportsmen, and lack of education in many districts of India, is a serious concern. Hosting a sporting extravaganza is not exactly in keeping with the reality India is in, currently.

I particularly admire Azim Premji for his vision to concentrate on primary education for the economically challenged. His foundation is really touching the lives of thousands of children and teachers in rural Karnataka, to make a difference to the quality of education. This, in my opinion is priceless contribution to nation building. Kudos to him and may he inspire many more to follow his path of silent transformation of rural India!

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