Wipro to keep things simple: COO
Wipro Ltd's chief operating officer Abid Ali Neemuchwala is implementing a back-to-basics strategy that includes simplifying processes and finding ways to sell more to clients as pressure builds on the top executives at India's third-largest software services company to deliver faster growth.
"What we are doing is making many or our internal processes simple," Neemuchwala, who joined as chief operating officer of the Azim Premji-controlled company in April, said in an interview on Tuesday. "Any organization over a period of time builds a lot of complexity. But for the new millennial workforce, we need to be nimble and operate fast," he added.
For instance, Wipro employees looking to travel for work now need approval from just a single authority. In the past, that person would need approval from four different heads for things ranging from an air ticket to a visa. "It becomes a delight for an employee. Now it is for the entire organization and approvals are done in seconds. So this is just one example," Neemuchwala said. "Our clients also want some of these solutions. And we have got good traction in selling these solutions."
The early measures that Neemuchwala-who spent 23 years in Tata Consultancy Services Ltd (TCS) prior to joining Wipro-is taking to revive the company are in the right direction, industry experts say. "Organizations' journey into the as-a-service economy is all about simplification. This transition means removing unnecessary complexity, poor processes and manual intervention to make way for a more nimble way of running a business," said Thomas Reuner, managing director of IT outsourcing research at HfS Research.
"Within that context, Wipro is eating its own dog food by applying the same rationale internally." Neemuchwala is also trying to make the Bengaluru-based company more competitive by improving the delivery side of the business and hiring more locals in Latin America, China and Canada.
"Until now, we have used these markets to serve our global customers and their local needs. We will now go to the markets directly for the regional champions or large firms. That is one change," said Neemuchwala, who is based out of Dallas but has travelled to India every month since joining Wipro. "We will have more local customer footprint."
"People will not go from India but rather, we will build our teams by hiring people from each of the geographies. People will be hired from campuses. This will also help because countries like China and Latin America can also become strong delivery locations," he said. Neemuchwala's attempt to press the refresh button at Wipro mirrors some of the measures adopted by Vishal Sikka at bigger rival Infosys Ltd.
Sikka, the first non-founder CEO of Infosys who took charge last year, has also been working on improving internal processes and earlier this year, realigned the delivery side of the business. The one difference is that the present day Infosys has the entire delivery side of business, headed by S. Ravi Kumar, working for all the industry units while at Wipro, delivery has been given to each of its business unit heads-a model that powers TCS, India's largest software services exporter.