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Sixty successful years of Wipro

July 20, 2006
Wipro's early years

As Wipro completes 60 years in India's business landscape, we take you through Wipro's glorious years since 1945.

Wipro had a humble beginning as an oil factory in a small village in Amalner in Maharashtra. The company was called Western India Vegetable Products Limited and had products like Sunflower vanaspati (hydrogenated oil) and laundry soap.

It was launched by M H Premji in 1945. In 1966, after the sudden demise of his father M H Premji, a young Azim Premji, at the age of 21, took over the Wipro reins. He lined up big plans for the company and diversified the business.

From a small oil company, Wipro has today grown into a global IT major.

"The early years were more about learning than about acting. I had to carry on my father's work, which was a big challenge," Azim Premji said in an interview in 2000. And how well has he tackled that challenge!

The turning point came in 1980 when Wipro made its foray into the world of information technology. In a small lab at the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore, a team of professional R&D and marketing managers joined hands to develop the first Indian mini-computer based on Intel 8086 chip.

From then there has been no looking back...

Photograph: (Inset) M H Premji, Wipro founder and father of Azim Hasham Premji.

Text: rediff Business Desk | Photograph, courtesy: Wipro Limited

Also read: What's behind Wipro's 'flower' logo


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