19 Jan 2016 15:46 IST

‘Now, it’s all about buying IT on a subscription basis’

Stability will not be a challenge going forward, says Abidali Neemuchwala

Newly appointed CEO Abidali Neemuchwala takes over the reigns of Wipro from February 1. In an interview with BusinessLine, he talks about his strategy to get growth and margins back on track.

There have been a lot of management changes in the past few days in Wipro. Will there be more changes?

I believe that now we have the team that take Wipro to new heights in this changing IT paradigm. You have to place this transition in context. I was not there but the circumstances in which TK (Kurien, the former CEO who is now the executive vice-chairman) has inherited the business was way different than what it is now. Oil was not $30 a barrel, the IT buying by our clients as well as consumption was much different. Now, it is all about buying IT on a subscription basis and creating different experiences for our clients.

In light of all these developments, we have simplified delivery, focused on emerging markets (from a delivery point of view) such as Latin America. Over a period of time when organisations become big and at a time when industry grows fast, some slack gets into the system. I have inherited a good team now and we have good depth of leadership at other levels in the organisation too. Stability will not be a challenge going forward.

So, where do the challenges lie now?

We had fallen behind on execution. For example, we made good progress in the banking sector but insurance has lagged behind. Also, it did not help us that the strategic bets that we took, in the energy and utilities sector turned against us. However, we will stick to it. Our logic is that since consolidation of outsourcing vendors in this vertical, we still have a dominant share in certain areas of their business. It is on the routine outsourcing operations side of the business where got impacted. Once when oil prices get back to normalcy, our investments that we continue to make will bear fruit.

What is your outlook on other sectors now that the US unemployment numbers seem to be settling down?

From our point of view healthcare, banking as well as some new service lines are well poised at the moment. For example, in banking, we believe that digital technologies are changing the way people bank. Healthcare, similarly, despite senior management exits is slated to hit the billion-dollar mark soon.

Does being based in the US make a big difference?

If you are closer to the customer your ability to understand what the customers want is very high, and if that is high your ability to react or respond to customer needs is high. If I want to drive speed and diversity then I set the example for that.

There is a lot of workforce re-skilling going on in the sector, case in point Infosys. What is Wipro doing?

We are into salesforce transformation. while we are strong in hunting — which is about capturing demand, we are not strong in client mining — which is about creating demand for our services. To address this, we empower our workforce to get into domain-based selling; using a consultative approach and offer integrated services rather than offer point solutions in silos, which used to be in the past.

Recommended for you