Wipro chairman Premji sees accelerated investments in digital, cloud & cybersecurity

Wipro chairman Premji sees accelerated investments in digital, cloud & cybersecurity
Azim Premji, chairman, Wipro  |  Photo Credit: Photo Credit: Reuters
17 Jul, 2019

Wipro chairman Azim Premji said the Bengaluru-based information technology services major was making significant investments  in digital, cloud, engineering services and cybersecurity at a time of rapid technological changes.

In his final letter to shareholders, Premji said the company has evolved by constantly reinventing and creating new opportunities during its seven decades of operations.

"Today, transformative digital technologies are emerging at an unprecedented rate and technology is becoming part of the core for all products and services. Established business models are being challenged to give way to new," Premji wrote to his shareholders.

Last month, Wipro had appointed Azim Premji's elder son Rishad as executive chairman for five years till July 2024. Chief strategy officer Rishad, who will take over as chairman from his 73-year-old father when he retires after his term finishes at the end of this month, has been working with Wipro since 2007 and has been on the board since 2015.

Premji said that Wipro will focus on four pillars based on customer needs while investing in digital and staying lean - business re-imagination, engineering transformation and modernisation, connected intelligence, and trust.

"Our digital revenues grew by 33% year-on-year in constant currency (in dollar terms). We won our largest-ever deal of $1.5 billion from Alight in the US. This deal is a testimony to the capabilities in enterprise scale modernisation and transformation," Premji said, adding that the company had posted a full year growth of 5.4% in constant currency while two of the business units - BFSI (banking and financial services) and CBU(consumer business unit) grew by 16% and 10% , respectively.

At a time when IT services firms are increasingly facing shrinking margins over the last year due to increased local hiring at customer locations like in the US, Premji noted that Wipro improved its operating margins by 1.8% because of its relentless focus on the quality of revenues (not bidding at low margins) and costs. 

Premji added that the company, like its peers, will continue to increase localisation at its large Western markets.

Wipro has trained more than 90,000 employees on the digital and emerging technologies through its internal TopGear platform. "Technologies like digital and AI are disrupting the way services are rendered and the ability to learn becomes vital for our employees. We have made significant investments in reskilling our employees," Premji said.

Premji said Rishad was committed to Wipro's spirit and values to take the company ahead in the coming years. "Rishad brings to this role new ways of thinking, broad experience, and competence. He has been an integral part of the leadership team since 2007, and has a deep understanding of the company, its business strategy, its culture and its heritage," he added in his letter.

Premji, who has been working with Wipro since 1966, said he will now focus on philanthropic activities.