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2016 has Raised Obstacles on Path to Better World: Azim Premji

New Delhi: Developments in the political arena, coupled with “forces that want to shape the world into a place of exclusion, conflict and suspicion” have raised questions and obstacles on the path to a “better world” in the past year, IT czar and philanthropist Azim Premji said.

In a letter to Wipro employees, Premji urged them to increase their commitment to others and find common ground rather than focussing on conflicts.

“On the eve of the coming New Year, I must say that the year 2016, seems to have raised questions and obstacles, on the path to a better world, which cannot be ignored.

“These questions have arisen from developments in the political arena, from the fast unfolding environmental crisis and from forces that want to shape the world into a place of exclusion, conflict and suspicion,” he wrote in his letter.

He further said: “Once we start addressing these issues head-on rather than ignoring them, I am confident that we will continue to make progress”.

2016 saw two major developments — Britain voting to leave the European Union and Donald Trump winning the US Presidential Election.

Both the events have raised concerns for Indian IT firms, that now fear a more protectionist stance could come into these markets that together account for as much as 80 percent of the sector’s export revenues.

Premji highlighted four principles that can help people make a difference.

“We must find common ground, rather than focusing on conflicts. The reality of the world is that there will always be disagreement and differences between people, but finding common ground is the only way of moving forward. This is as true in business as in politics and social issues, and as true in personal as in public life,” he said.

He added that the importance of Wipro’s success has become manifold as this enables the possibility of making a difference to some of the most disadvantaged people in the world.

About 40 per cent of Wipro is owned by a philanthropic trust that works to improve conditions in Indian villages.

Premji said one must have a genuine concern for others and respect all human beings equally and this must manifest in action.

“We must recognise that societies, economies, and the environment are all deeply connected. Individual human beings and people find meaning in this connectedness, not in separation and isolation…So every effort of ours to find solutions and to find meaning, must strengthen this connectedness,” he advised the employees.

Lastly, he said it is important to have the courage to persevere for “what is right and what is good”.

He said he meets people from all walks of life who are battling the most complex challenges, yet are unyielding in their efforts and positivism.

“This is what I see across the world, from San Francisco to Tokyo, all places that I go to, I meet people with the same spirit and fire. That includes an uncountable number of Wiproites. And that is why I am full of hope for a better world, a more just, equitable, humane and sustainable world. I know that if we persevere, we will prevail,” he said.