Exploring New BizEdu Specialties
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Exploring New BizEdu Specialties

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Exploring New BizEdu Specialties

Sujith Vasudevan, Managing Editor, 0

A startup for entrepreneurs is like a baby; I have five babies so far an experienced father," Jack Ma. One of the legendary businessmen of the present times, Jack aesthetically elucidates the sentiments of an entrepreneur toward his startup. But this unique feeling is not confined to the startup entrepreneurs. History has celebrated many second-generation entrepreneurs who took their family businesses to different dimensions. The story of Azim Hashim Premji, the former Chairman of Wipro, is the epitome of this.

In 1966, when the news of his father’s death shook the young Azim Premji, the 21 year-old boy boldly decided to give up his academic career at Stanford University, where
he was studying engineering, and return home. He started from where his father (Muhammed Hashim Premji) left off, taking over the family business. Hashim was also an established businessman who incorporated Western Indian Vegetable Products Ltd., based out of Amalner a small town on the outskirts of Maharashtra.

A born leader, Azim soon diversified the company into manufacturing bakery fats, toiletries, hair care soaps, lighting products, and hydraulic cylinders. But at his heart, he always kept a boutique space for his engineering days at Stanford University. In the early 80s, when opportunities from the emerging IT industry came knocking on the doors, Azim was quick to pounce. He, in truth, took excellent advantage of the market gap left behind by the withdrawal of IBM from India. Even though it took decades of time and effort, he fulfilled his passion.

The Wipro story reminds us of the importance of second generation entrepreneurship. The Asian Institute of Management (AIM) Makati, Philippines, is setting a great example by exploring this aspect of business education by joining hands with the Cambridge Family Enterprise Group to introduce a ‘multigenerational business’ program.

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