IT czar and philanthropist Azim Premji was bestowed with the highest French civilian distinction Chevalier de la Legion d’Honneur (Knight of the Legion of Honour) here Wednesday. Premji, who is the chairman of Bengaluru-headquartered IT major Wipro, received the distinction from the Ambassador of France to India Alexandre Ziegler here, Wipro said.
“The award was bestowed on Azim Premji for his outstanding contribution to developing the information technology industry in India, his economic outreach in France, and his laudable contribution to society as a philanthropist through the Azim Premji Foundation and Azim Premji University,” Ziegler said.
Mr Ziegler said it would be a privilege for him to confer the insignia of Knight of the Legion of Honour on renowned tech magnate and philanthropist Azim Premji.
The 73-year-old Bengaluru-based Azim Premji is a billionaire with $15.6 billion net worth and gave the fifth-highest amount ($8 billion) to charity.
Mr Ziegler will also meet representatives of 30 French innovative firms in the city on Wednesday evening.
The firms include early stage and large technology firms specialising and developing digital solutions in artificial intelligence, big data, cyber security, cloud computing, connected devices, machine learning and super-computing.
Large French digital firms have a footprint in India, employing over 1,30,000 people at their research and development (R&D) centres and facilities.
“The meeting will facilitate the development of an entrepreneurial ecosystem that draws inspiration from the French Tech movement, a global community made up of a new generation of entrepreneurs, investors, engineers and innovators under one banner,” added the statement.
France is a key market for Wipro and the company is committed to continued investments there, it added. Premji’s wife Yasmeen Premji and son Rishad Premji and Francois Gautier, Consul General of France, were present on the occasion.