Bengaluru: Wipro Ltd’s new chief executive officer Abidali Neemuchwala is relying on his former colleagues at Tata Consultancy Services Ltd (TCS) to put India’s third-largest software firm back on the growth pedestal.

Neemuchwala has hired at least eight former TCS executives and entrusted them with important roles at the Bengaluru-based firm, according to one person with knowledge of the development. This person didn’t want to be identified.

Significantly, these former TCS executives oversee roles which require them to shore up revenue in western Europe or automate manual tasks at Wipro BPO (business process outsourcing) and improve the company’s ability to generate more revenue from existing clients.

Some of them will also play central roles in three of the four buyouts made by Wipro over the last 10 months, as Neemuchwala banks on the strategic deals to achieve his ambitious target of expanding the firm’s revenue to $15 billion by 2020, from $7.08 billion in the last financial year.

“Wipro has an open culture, which allows induction of external talent at all levels of the organization, in addition to growing talent from within the company. We do not have any comments on specific hires or new joinees," said a spokesman for Wipro.

Neemuchwala’s reliance on his former TCS colleagues to drive growth at Wipro is reminiscent of the hiring trend at larger cross-town rival Infosys Ltd after Vishal Sikka became its first non-founder CEO in August 2014. In less than eight months after he took over, Sikka, a former board member at SAP, hired 13 executives from the German business software provider.

However, unlike at Infosys, where many former SAP executives joined at the rank of senior vice-president, these former TCS executives have joined Wipro at a lower level.

Currently, eight out of Wipro’s 75 vice-presidents are former TCS executives, who joined the firm after Neemuchwala took over as chief operating officer in April 2015.

Finally, while many of the executives left jobs at SAP to join Infosys, some of these former TCS executives worked at other information technology firms for a brief period before joining Neemuchwala at Wipro.

“Abid (since joining as COO in April) has started on a very good note and not stepped on the toes of any executives," said a senior executive who declined to be named. “He has got some of his executives with whom he has worked at TCS here at Wipro and at the same time made sure the existing executives don’t get ruffled."

One reason why many former TCS executives have joined Wipro at vice-president ranks is because the company has had a stable senior management over the last six years.

Since Wipro announced that Neemuchwala would be joining the firm in February last year, the company has seen departure of only three executives. These are former chief business operations officer Satishchandra Doreswamy, healthcare business unit head Sangita Singh, and media and telecom boss Ayan Mukerji.

Mukerji, earlier this month, joined consulting firm Zinnov as president and board member. Doreswamy joined TCS last year.

This is unlike at Infosys, which before anointing Sikka as boss in 2014, saw the departure of over a dozen executive vice-presidents and senior vice-presidents.

Some experts gave the strategy a thumbs-up as this gives Neemuchwala a chance to focus on business without losing more senior executives, as Wipro banks on new-age technologies, including the firm’s own artificial intelligence (AI) platform Holmes and other automation tools, to catalyse growth.

“It’s not a bad strategy," said Bill Huber, managing director at Alsbridge Inc., a US-based outsourcing advisory firm.

“The positioning gives Abid eyes and ears in key roles across the business, increasing transparency and accountability on senior leadership, while maintaining stability and continuity."

“Presumably, this will provide the new leaders with the ability to acclimate and solidify their internal networks without the likelihood of short-term overreach, while positioning them to step up quickly as required to advance Abid’s strategic plan," Huber added.

Wipro’s acquisition of Cellent AG, to help shore up revenues in DACH or the Germany, Austria and Switzerland region of western Europe, is overseen by Eric Krapf, who is also head of the DACH region.

Wipro has appointed Suresh Babu to head automation at Wipro BPS (Business Provider Services) and drive automation across two firms Wipro bought— Viteos Group and HealthPlan Services.

Wipro also bought a fourth firm, the Denmark-based Designit, for $95 million, in the last 10 months.

Wipro has spent more than $760 million in buying the four companies which together have $371.5 million in revenue.

This means that Wipro, which added just $211.5 million in incremental revenue in calendar year 2015, has bought more than 5% in growth for the next financial year.

David D’Lima, a former colleague of Neemuchwala at TCS, is overseeing a new unit, Integrated Services and Solutions Group (ISSG), which aims to offer more of Wipro’s services to its existing clients, and thereby generate more business. Manoj Sinha, ISSG Europe head, is also a former TCS executive.

Some equity analysts are not fans of the move and believe this suggests Wipro will take some time before it can clock industry-matching growth numbers.

Wipro’s revenues, at best, will grow at 4.2% in US dollar terms in financial year ending March 2016, even as Infosys looks set to grow at more than 9%, they said.

“The wait gets longer," said a Mumbai-based analyst at a foreign brokerage who did not want to be named. “It’s good you don’t want to create discomfort by bringing people from outside at senior roles. But then, it’s those heading service line and geographies who set up targets. And Wipro’s BFSI (banking, financial services and insurance) has struggled. Healthcare, which was the fastest growing vertical, saw Sangita (Singh) leave. Oil and gas is facing external challenges. Together, these three account for over 60% of revenues. So, a lot depends on how better can Wipro cross-sell," said the analyst.

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