It’s been two years since Thierry Delaporte took charge as the chief executive officer and managing director of Bengaluru-based Wipro Ltd in July 2020. He joined at the onset of the coronavirus pandemic when IT services companies reported strong growth on back of high demand for digital and cloud computing services as clients scrambled to digitalize their operations. In the absence of the pandemic-led tailwinds, will Delaporte be able to sustain the growth momentum? In an interview, Delaporte talks about the growth momentum, new markets, and key technologies Wipro is focussing on. Edited excerpts:
In the two years, while initially the growth seemed very strong and the markets reacted very positively, do you think the momentum has slowed down?
Over the past seven quarters, Wipro has grown over 3% quarter over quarter. And in the June quarter, we have grown at 2.1% sequentially which is slightly lower than the previous quarters which is not abnormal. I don’t think we are slowing down at all from a growth standpoint. We have not done another large acquisition like Capco but we are not slowing down in terms of our organic growth. In terms of the evolution of the stock, I cannot control that and no one can control that. Market is not the same. It’s a bear market at the moment and none of the stocks are flamboyant. That’s not a reflection of Wipro’s growth.
You have made several acquisitions in the past with a lot of focus on inorganic growth. Will that focus continue or will we see more focus on organic growth now?
I don’t think we will change the strategy. We will not do mergers and acquisitions (M&As) for the sake of it. But when it makes sense, when there is a strategy rationale behind that, we will consider it for sure.
You mean we could even see Wipro making large acquisitions like Capco?
Yes, it could be.
How are you strengthening your presence in markets outside of the US and Europe?
We really focus on seven markets. If you look at the Americas, we are absolutely focussed on the US, Canada, and Brazil. We are not going to, for example, Peru and Colombia. In Europe too, we have chosen our priority markets – UK and Germany, and then it’s Nordics, Switzerland, Benelux, and Southern Europe. We are not looking at expanding our business in Turkey or Greece. We also have focus in Australia, Southeast Asia, Japan, and India. In Africa, we are only in South Africa. So, we have been pretty selective in terms of the markets where we want to invest. Today, 83% of our revenue comes from five markets. And we will continue this focus because this is where we are growing and also have the highest potential.
What are some of the key emerging technologies Wipro would focus on this fiscal?
We are focussing a lot in the digital engineering space. Clients are leveraging 5G in the cloud to really drive access to data. Then to develop a data strategy, we can leverage the internet of things (IoT). We are also focussing on how artificial intelligence (AI) can incredibly transform businesses across industries. We are also exploring the metaverse as the physical and virtual worlds are getting closer to each other. The reality is that to be efficient in your business, you will be leveraging more of the virtual world and the connection between different physical worlds. So, we need to continue to invest in them. It’s interesting when I speak to clients, there’s always a moment in their cloud transformation journey where they realize that they had no clue about the potential that a proper cloud strategy can generate for their business – in terms of the endless opportunities, creating new solutions, new business models, etc.