Anurag Behar

CEO, Azim Premji Foundation

The Foundation is committed to a vision of “contributing towards a just, equitable, humane and sustainable society”. It runs institutions and programs in India for improving school education and for other areas of human development.  The field work of the Foundation is in collaboration with various State governments, to help improve equity and quality of the public education system. The current geographical focus of this work is in 7 states of India, which have over 350,000 schools. The Foundation also does significant work on policy and curricular reforms across India. The Foundation has established the not-for-profit Azim Premji University, with teaching and research programs focused on the fields of Education and Development. Anurag also serves as the President of this University. He is closely involved with Azim Premji Philanthropic Initiatives, to support not-for-profit organizations working on certain specific issues in the social sector, by providing grants.     

Anurag has been engaged with efforts to improve education in India for the past sixteen years. He has been a vocal advocate for the critical importance of public systems, in particular the public education system. His many years in business have given him an insider’s view in to both the possibilities and limits of markets. For the past few years he has also been engaged with environmental and ecological issues. He writes widely, including a fortnightly column for the newspaper Mint.

Anurag has earlier played leadership roles in business. As the CEO of Wipro Infrastructure Engineering, he led the business from being No. 20 in the world to being the No. 1 in 5 years. The business has operations in Europe, India, Brazil, US and China. He has been responsible for many corporate functions for Wipro including Brand, Quality and Innovation. In the early part of his career he was part of the team that built the leadership position of Wipro GE Healthcare in South Asia.

He continues to be associated with Wipro, providing oversight to the social and ecological initiatives of the Wipro Group, as its Chief Sustainability Officer. He is a member of Wipro’s Group Executive Council.

Anurag has served on various Boards including that of Wipro GE Healthcare Ltd, The University of Trans-Disciplinary Health Sciences and of the TERI University. He serves on many government & sector councils, such as the National Mission on Teachers and Teacher Education, the Government of India implementation committee for the Justice Verma Commission, Karnataka Knowledge Commission, and with the CII’s National Climate Change Council. He was elected as a ‘Young Global Leader’, by the World Economic Forum in 2008.

He has an MBA from XLRI, Jamshedpur and a BE in Electrical & Electronics Engineering from National Institute of Technology, Trichy. Both institutions have honored him with their Distinguished Alumnus award. He enjoys long distance running.