Wipro Consulting Services Asia

THE SCOOP

The times they are a-changin'
India's largest IT services and software provider has its roots in something far less technical: Wipro began in 1945 as Western Indian Vegetable Products, a family business that manufactured soap and vegetable oil. Azim Premji, Wipro's current chairman, was just 21 years old when his father, who ran the business, passed away in 1966. Premji left Stanford University, where he had been studying, and returned to India to manage the company. Under his leadership, Wipro diversified its product list and flourished, but the firm took a new turn in the 1970s. As the Indian government instituted stricter regulations on foreign tech companies doing business in the country, computer giants like IBM-which had held a virtual monopoly in the local market-packed up their operations and left India.

That was Premji's opening. He led Wipro into the electronics industry, and quickly became a prominent manufacturer of computers and technology hardware. Premji also built R&D divisions at Wipro; his researchers created the first India-built mini-computer chip in 1980. Wipro's dominance in India was challenged in the 1990s when the old government regulations were scaled back, reopening the country to competition in the tech sector. To prop up its flagging business, Wipro created an outsourcing segment, which is today one of its largest sources of revenue. Over the years, Wipro has become one of the world's busiest outsourcers, and one of the few Indian firms to be named to the International Association of Outsourcing Professionals' Global Outsourcing 100 list.

The Wipro Way
Wipro Consulting Services provides process consulting, business consulting, technology consulting and quality consulting. Its teams are spread across Europe, North America, Asia Pacific, Australia, the Middle East and India, and serve Fortune 1000 CEOs and other top execs from more than 30 industries. With over 1,500 consultants, WCS integrates Wipro's IT, BPO and product engineering services to provide unique solutions to clients worldwide, such as setting the agenda for strategic cost reduction and capital efficiency and customer experience transformation-related programs.

Reworking the structure
Wipro has undergone a few changes as company leaders seek to find the most appropriate structure for the firm. The most recent iteration-launched in 2009-saw the firm finally unite its tech and consulting capabilities under one banner: previously, some consultants had been scattered across other business units and verticals. Although consulting is just a tiny piece of Wipro's overall business-accounting for just 1 percent of the firm's total revenue mix-firm executives said the reconfiguration will make the consulting business more efficient and better positioned to work with other Wipro clients. As Pratik Kumar, executive vice president, human resources, brand and corporate communications, put it, "Till now, consultants were deeply embedded in their own respective domains and businesses. The full power of what consulting could do was not completely visible even internally."

The face at the top
At around the same time as its relaunch, Wipro's consulting unit found itself with a new leader: Kirk Strawser was appointed Global Head of Wipro Consulting Services (WCS), having spent more than 22 years in senior management positions in the industry, with a particular focus on customer relationship management (CRM). His most recent role was as president of consulting services for Capgemini Americas, while previous roles also include time as Americas leader of CRM for Ernst & Young and global leader of CRM for Capgemini.

Off to the Middle East
In 2008, Wipro and Microsoft announced the opening of two Wipro centers of excellence in Bangalore and Mysore. These centers, based around Microsoft technologies, focus on solutions and services for Windows Vista and Microsoft Unified Communications software. Wipro provides dedicated resources to integrate Microsoft business communication tools into a single enterprise-wide solution across multiple devices for email, calendaring, instant messaging, SMS, and voice and telephony.

Wipro and Microsoft are also expanding their partnership to cover markets in the Middle East, initially focusing on Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. The Wipro/Microsoft alliance began in 2003, when the two companies first collaborated on solutions for emerging technologies. Today, Wipro is one of Microsoft's largest global system integrators, and one of its top partners in India.

Bulking up
The firm was no slouch when it came to taking advantage of the financial crisis: in 2009, it snapped up the remnants of troubled Citigroup's tech consulting outfit. The deal-valued at $127 million-brought some 1,600 employees into the Wipro fold.

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Wipro Consulting Services Asia


Doddakannelli Sarjapur Road
Bangalore 560 035
Phone: +91-80-2844-0011
Fax: +91-80-2844-0256
www.wipro.com

STATS


  • Employer Type: Public
  • Stock Symbol: WIT
  • Stock Exchange: NYSE
  • Managing Partner: Kirk Strawser
  • 2011 Employees: 120,000

Major Office Locations

  • Bangalore, India

Key Financials

  • 2011 Revenue: $6,980 million

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