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Photo: Hemant Mishra/Mint
Photo: Hemant Mishra/Mint

Wipro to buy Denmark-based design firm Designit for $95 million

Wipro believes the acquisition of Designit is its first big step in eventually generating $1 billion of revenue from its new Wipro Digital arm

Mumbai: Wipro Ltd has acquired Denmark-based Designit for $95 million (around 600 crore) in a bold attempt to strengthen its presence in the digital space.

India’s third-largest information technology services company believes the acquisition of Designit, with revenue of $30 million, is its first big step in eventually generating $1 billion of revenue from its new Wipro Digital arm.

“It is a huge step and a leap forward," said Rajan Kohli, head of Wipro Digital. “Clients across industries are looking to us to help them transform their businesses. And solving these complex challenges starts with strategic design. And this design firm helps us take the lead in the digital space."

Denmark-based Designit, which employs 300 people, offers clients across healthcare, automotive and consumer goods industries, solutions in strategic design and innovation services, including product, service, and experience design.

Wipro’s acquisition of Designit, which claims to have been founded on the principle of design thinking, puts the spotlight on the tectonic shift in the way country’s traditional software exporters have done business for over two decades. As more companies across the world look at newer technologies to improve their business operations, IT services firms, including global ones such as Accenture Plc. and homegrown technology companies such as Infosys Ltd, too, are strengthening their capabilities in the digital space.

Earlier this year, Infosys bought US-based mobile e-commerce firm Skava for $120 million.

Some experts believe recent steps by Indian IT companies in this direction are more about catch-up than anything else as companies across the world look at their IT vendors to help them achieve productivity gains by using new age technologies, including artificial intelligence-powered platforms.

“It might be big for them (Wipro), but they are lagging their peers. Just look at all the acquisitions Accenture has done in the space," said Thomas Reuner, managing director of IT outsourcing research at HfS Research.

In 2013, Accenture acquired design firm Fjord as the company’s marketing division looked to bring in experience in mobile design.

Over the past decade Wipro has spent around $1.2 billion on acquisitions as it followed a so-called string-of-pearls acquisition strategy to build scale, reach, and expertise.

In early June, there were reports that Wipro was looking to acquire UK outsourcing firm Equiniti for around 9,900 crore.

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