'Premji among all-time Top 30 entrepreneurs'

India’s IT mogul Azim Premji, and Bangladesh’s microcredit leader and Nobel Prize winner Mohammad Yusuf are among the all-time top 30 entrepreneurs identified by business magazine BusinessWeek.

NEW YORK: India’s IT mogul Azim Premji, and Bangladesh’s microcredit leader and Nobel Prize winner Mohammad Yusuf are among the all-time top 30 entrepreneurs identified by business magazine BusinessWeek. The modern heroes find themselves in the illustrious company of Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Henry Ford, Benjamin Franklin, John D Rockefeller, Thomas Edison and Michael Dell.

The 30 selected include a Ming dynasty explorer Zheng He who lived in the 15th century to fast food titans to contemporary computer whizzes.

Among them are Mayer Amschel Rothschild, John Jacob Astor, Milton Hershey, WK Kellogg, Joseph Horn and Frank Hardart Ray Kroc, Madam CJ Walker, Estie Lauder, Ernest Gallo, Thomas Watson Sr, Thomas Watson Jr, Sam Walton Earl Graves Andy Grove, Ralph Lauren, Martha Stewart, Richard Branson, Oprah Winfrey, Jeff Bezos and and Pierre Omidyar.

The write-up about Premji speaks of his business acumen which enabled him to turn the struggling business he inherited from his father at the age of 21 into a leading IT company in India and growing player in the global market. “He put a premium on quality and standards to build a reputation for Wipro that would reassure western companies hesitant to move services overseas, a move that helped him land clients like General Electric. Premji is also a hands-on manager involved in day-to-day operations, even making sales calls himself,” it says.

Premji built, the magazine notes, became a leading IT company as the industry was growing and he expanded into the global market by adhering to rigorous standards.

BusinessWeek says it “picked the brains” of professors, authors and its own staffers to compile the list. The criterion was simple: If they had the vision to create new markets or tap into underserved markets, changing the way people lived in the process, they were candidates for the honour. But still it agreed that the list is subjective.
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