IT mogul Azim Premji and Bangladeshi Nobel winner Muhammad Yunus have been included in a list of all-time top 30 entrepreneurs by leading business magazine BusinessWeek.
They find themselves in the company of Microsoft’s Bill Gates, Apple’s Steve Jobs, the legendary founder of the Ford Motor Company, Henry Ford, Benjamin Franklin, a founding father of the US, oil baron and philanthropist John D Rockefeller, Thomas Edison, inventor of the incandescent bulb, and Michael Dell of Dell computers.
The write-up on Wipro boss Premji speaks says: "He put a premium on quality and standards to build a reputation... 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..., even making sales calls himself."
Micro-credits from Yunus’s Grameen Bank have helped thousands of Bangladeshi women lift themselves from destitution.
Others on BusinessWeek’s list include the 15th century Ming dynasty explorer Zheng He, Mayer Amschel Rothschild, founder of the Rothschild banking empire, food industry pioneer WK Kellogg, British tycoon Richard Branson and fashion czars Estee Lauder and Ralph Lauren.
BusinessWeek says it "picked the brains" of experts and staff 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.