Bangalore: Wipro Ltd chief financial officer Suresh Senapaty talks about the company’s decision not to increase salaries of employees at client locations (or onsite employees) this year, its hiring strategies and possible acquisitions. Edited excerpts:
With cash of $1 billion (about Rs4,900 crore), would you look at acquisitions or conserve cash?
Yes, we are active with an acquisition strategy. We are (just) active, not aggressive; we can continue to look at assets. I think, this is an environment to look at acquisitions. (But) conserving cash is the overtone, given the context; I can’t say that earlier we were doing acquisitions that were not relevant. Given the environment, the filter becomes tighter.
You said the receivables have come down by five days.
Pragmatic talk: Suresh Senapaty. Hemant Mishra / Mint
We are comfortable with the billing days. It is around 62 days.
Have you seen customers delaying payments because of the cash crunch?
We have seen some of this in the India side, not on the global side.
Did you have a onsite salary increase?
There was a salary increase review onsite, which is effective from 1 January. We decided that we are not giving any hike this fiscal.
Would you look at a shorter hedging time strategy?
Our strategy is that whatever hedges we have, that gets changed over three-four years. In every quarter from now, we will have 10-15% of the revenue or net inflow coming through hedges and the balance are positions that are open, which comes on spot or fresh hedges. We have to be little pragmatic... What we have is of four quarters that is spread over three-four year period. You have a fresh dose of hedges and new hedges...
You made a smaller number (8,000 against 14,000 last year) of campus offers this year. Does that indicate a slowdown in the business?
Talent was in short supply, not that there was an abundance; so, we said, unless I go to that college, somebody else will pick up the talent. Now, when the demand is lower, supply is higher, there will be resources available in the bench. If I have a business need tomorrow, why should I hire six months before? To my mind, the fact that I have given a muted guidance for the fourth quarter communicates what my outlook is.