Wipro to keep things sim­ple: COO

The Pak Banker - - COMPANIES/BOSS -

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.

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