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Bhanumurthy B.M., president & chief operating officer, Wipro
Bhanumurthy B.M., president & chief operating officer, Wipro

Digital has become very pervasive and high scale for Wipro: COO

  • 'Digital has now become a mainstream capability for us and also it has reached a scale where you don’t need to separately call it out as it has become very pervasive for us'

BENGALURU: Wipro Ltd is in the midst of a business transformation aiming for profitable growth under its new chief executive officer, despite the challenging business environment due to the covid-19 pandemic. In an interview, Bhanumurthy B.M., president & chief operating officer (COO), Wipro talked about the recovery trends, cost optimization measures, and the change in its digital business, among others. Edited excerpts:

When do you expect to see a recovery in business and what will drive this?

On the demand side, we did see pickup in the latter half of the quarter. And the pipeline is pretty good. But I can tell you that the deal velocity, the velocity of the decision making is still not at the pre-covid levels. Our order book for the first quarter did improve and our pipeline continues to be healthy. So, what we have seen specifically is that the underlying businesses such as infrastructure and other digital operations and processes, platforms business, are seeing good momentum both in terms of run activities as well as the transmission activities.

Which verticals are faring better than the others?

As the business environment stabilizes, we see a pick up on our consumer business as well as the technology business which is also doing well. The communications, manufacturing, and the health business, are also doing well given the nature of the deals and engagements in these sectors. We do believe that BFSI (banking, financial services & insurance) will be flattish as far as the demand pattern is concerned.

What about the growth in the digital business?

Digital has become fairly pervasive in the way customers have started to use the digital offerings. Our digital capabilities have really helped our customers launch new products into the market in record time. So what we believe is that digital has now become a mainstream capability for us and also it has reached a scale where you don’t need to separately call it out as it has become very pervasive for us. But at the same time, we do have to understand that the digital business is discretionary. The current situation has provided a fantastic opportunity for customers to adopt our Agile Anywhere methodology. The digital business has become a very pervasive and high scale right now for us.

What are the cost optimization measures you have taken?

First of all, the safety and security of our employees is of utmost importance so we enabled them to work from home. Secondly, we ensured to increase the utilization of our employees and consequently we looked at adjusting the variable workforce to meet the new demand environment. The third strategy was to ensure that our productivity got better than what it was pre-covid because customers needed much more from us. We have also ensured to change some of things that were structural in nature. For instance, for something where earlier we had to travel to client locations are now done remotely as a result of which our offshore mix of work has increased. But all this has been well supported by the new methodologies we put in place.

How do you see the H1-B visa ban impact on Wipro and its employees?

Over the last two to three years, we have been very focused on ensuring that our workforce is localized. Nearly 70% of our workforce in the US has been locally hired. Similarly, other customer-facing functions in markets such as the Latin America, Continental Europe, the UK, Middle East and Africa are also predominantly locally staffed. The intention is and continues to be a lot more contextually relevant to our customers. So we do not anticipate any disruptions in business due to the recent changes in visa norms.

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