Businessman Has $17 Billion, Drives Old Toyota

azim premji photo

Frugal Green Living is hot these days as we try to consume less and save more. The former Masters of the Universe on Wall Street did not, and one of the contentious issues in the bailout is whether they should have their salaries capped. Perhaps they would not have got into such trouble had they lived a more frugal lifestyle and set better examples for their companies.

Azim Premji runs Wipro, the big Indian IT outsourcing company that probably doesn't have too many fans in America but makes him the 5th richest man in India, worth $17 billion. He flies coach.

Marcus Gee writes in the Globe and Mail Report on Business Magazine:

"Premji drives a four-year-old Toyota Corolla, a step up from the Ford Escort he owned for nine years. He lives in a modest bungalow bordering Wipro's headquarters campus. "I have a decent lifestyle and my family has a decent lifestyle. How much can you consume, really?" he said when I visited him in Bangalore last winter. When I reminded him that not all Indian tycoons feel that way—Mukesh Ambani, India's richest man, is building a 27-storey mansion for his family in Mumbai—he said, with evident disdain, "They're making fools of themselves doing this." ::Report On Business

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