Recently, during the event of Wipro’s Earthian Awards- Bengaluru, its Chairman Azim Premji expressed that learning is a lifetime activity rather than just being restricted to an academic life.
He said, “I think one should never stop being a student…change is happening so rapidly today for a professional that unless he is always learning, he is getting himself obsolete.”
He was responding to one of the numerous inquiries put forth by the young eco-warriors who are being complimented for their sustainability projects.
Edited excerpts from the Q&A:
We speak only Hindi. Can we go ahead and become like you in life without speaking English?
These days, our Prime Minister speaks only in Hindi. He is the most senior member of our cabinet. Thus, the language in which you speak is certainly not an obstacle to your accomplishments.
What’s the one thing that you do every day to stay happy?
Let me think about this. I take a glance at the greenery around my house.
Can you name one thing on your bucket list?
I wish I could be as young as you are.
What are the books that have changed your life?
There is the latest book written by Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft. This intense book gave me an entirely different perspective regarding the priorities of an extremely successful business leader and his sensitivity towards the environment, relationships and bringing up his children. Both of my children are differently talented and it takes a lot of me and my wife’s time to care for them. However, I do and give them quality time.
Which habits and principles of yours have made you successful?
As a person, I work hard. The present world is extremely competitive and people are brilliant and efficient. Thus, the person who works harder usually tends to succeed among his colleagues. As far as principles, we have built the organization on this: uncompromising emphasis on the integrity of character which is essential to build an organization and to stimulate pride in employees and do the right things constantly.
As a company, how do you ensure that your employees are aware and concerned about environmental issues?
We have interactions on a continuous basis. We have a sustainability council in which members of the senior management are involved. We convey the decisions of the sustainability council, more importantly, we show it by our actions, as it carries the highest conviction. When you have to choose between a commercial interest and sustainable interest, you will prefer the later one.
We have come a long way in terms of technological developments. What can we do to integrate technological developments with environmental development?
Let me simply go back earlier days. When I was a child, there were very few sources of entertainment in the absence of televisions. One used to spend a lot of time in playing and reading. I believe that is something the current generation is missing. I think they spend much time sitting at home, engaged on their phone or watching television. It is essential that you look much beyond that. That you go out into the open, play in the rain and read.
On the other hand, the technology can be utilized to drive sustainability in different ways. For example, LED lights as compare to the standard GLS bulbs consume significantly less energy but provide the same luminescence. That is one area in which technology has really progressed. Today, technology is assisting in maintaining a clean environment and more investments are going into that area.