On this episode of the ITProPortal Podcast we have another company spotlight for you. We are talking to Roop Singh, VP and Managing Partner at Wipro Consulting services who offers his views on the marketplace currently and some of the innovations Wipro Consulting services offer their clients.
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Give us a bit of background and then your own journey to the position that you are in at Wipro now?
I have been a Wipro for 3 years now and I have been running Wipro Consulting in Europe and recently took over consulting globally. Prior to this I was with Capital Market a niche consulting firm in the financial services market and prior to that I was again with Wipro running financial services businesses in Europe.
Well most of the businesses we have been speaking to on this podcast are relatively new but Wipro as a group of companies at least has been around for a long time since 1945 hasn’t it?
That is correct that was when we started off. Thirty years on from that, we moved into the IT part of the business and as a result of IBM in India we found a gap in that market into which we stepped and ever since that we have been on a tremendous journey and today we are providing services globally in roughly about 54 countries worldwide.
Tell us a little bit more about the early days of the company what would Wipro have looked like if we were here talking about it in its first 20 or 30 years of its history?
Wipro has always been very innovative so when the opportunity to work with IBM during the 70s moved out of India due to issues in terms of nationalization and so on Wipro found an opportunity to service the local market in India and subsequently take its services to the global market. So the approach really has not changed in terms of always being innovative and trying to find where the next set of technologies or trends emerging in the market is going to be. They are also a very passionate organization in relation to employees and structures so individuals who have joined us over the last 15 – 20 years continue to be with the organisation. We have also always been looking at the emerging technologies such as cloud with a raised mobility so; we have always kept at the leading edge to find solutions for our clients. If you go back through the decades you will find that Wipro was smaller and rapidly growing and we are now larger but still aiming to grow in the market.
Well you pride yourself in having members of the team that have many decades of experience has that been an advantage to you do you think?
There is a balance between holding the heritage and culture together whilst bringing in employees that offer new talents and skills. Having employees with 20 years plus of experience and then having no new employees would never be a healthy balance, but I think the balance that we have at Wipro is very useful for us to bring heritage together with fresh skills and capabilities. That is absolutely critical for our organisation.
What are the innovations that Wipro are most proud to be involved with currently?
We can break that down into 2 or 3 things. Firstly innovation is really to win in the world of constraints. If you look at the world today, whether it is energy or talent capped most of these are getting constrained because of the availability in the market today. The way we want to work with our partners or our customers is to identify what changes are being enabled for the businesses driven by the innovation that is happening in technology. So for example, if you look at visualisation of technology with the scale of simplification with unit costs that are coming down, we are looking at how it can help to reduce IT costs to reduce risks to improve business insights.
If you look at technology today with cloud in collaboration, which actually allows enterprises to really globalize the asset that they have today, you do not need huge capital expenditure to buy platforms today when you can use cloud.
You can also look at innovation in terms of the way technology has been consumerised today. This is through the use of Smartphone’s at enterprise level on platforms such as Google. These are all actually coming in today and we are interested in how they actually benefit the business rather than just having it just in the IT department and not being able to utilize it. So we look at innovation as an organization perspective from two angles. One is how do you optimize costs and secondly how do you grow your business using emerging technologies and what additional revenue channels can that add.
So as a global company how has the recent recession impacted both upon your business and that of your clients and how has that changed the innovations and the services that you have provided?
Organizations really started to entrench, go back into their shells and just look purely at cost. This is where we actually stepped back and came up with ideas on how you globalize your cost base, which is built up out of technology platforms. As this has moved forward over 2008 and 2009 and so on you can only do so much around cost optimisation. Next is how you actually start looking at what additional markets we can go to. In the Western hemisphere, Europe or America it faces challenges so we identify emerging markets such as Asia or China where the growth is still strong. This where ‘consumerisation’ comes in, i.e. how do you make your platform and your technology available through devices that the emerging technologies have moved one level ahead of and how can you make your revenue streams through different channels to make them available through those emerging technologies. So our whole innovation platform is driven towards the exit from the economic climate for client organisations.
To that end then do you think those challenges put forward by the global recession have actually helped to develop technology in that, technology has been developed to help cut costs? Is there a positive aspect here?
I think it is positive in the way that we use technology has changed. No longer would you want to spend hundreds of thousands and millions of pounds on platforms that you will need to secure and maintain on an ongoing basis. With the recession hitting organisations and the cost coming down they are starting to look at having centers where that can be forwarded to them so cloud for example has helped organizations reduce costs. Mobility has helped them to get cheaper channels to market if you will. So to a certain extent a lot of businesses have started looking at technology as a mechanism to help provide services. Organisations need to become more aware of what the business is doing; it is no longer an isolated department within a large organization like a call centre. What they need to be looking at is how the organisation can use them more effectively to regenerate revenue. So I believe it has been a positive trend and when we come out of this we will be much stronger.
A new financial year is upon us now and looking forward to 2014 what are the key focuses for you moving forward?
With the recent announcement of Cyprus and the other challenges that Europe is having and also the market in North America’s difficulties I think our focus will continue to be building on helping our customers utilize technology better. Help businesses look for more revenue streams. Partner with our clients more in terms of getting them to understand how business can really benefit from technology plus at the same time bringing then innovative platforms like mobility cloud. The fundamental thing will be to partner with clients and effectively put ourselves in their shoes to think how they are looking at the world and what channels they have to develop to actually grow their business.
What do you see as the technology development that is going to have the biggest impact to business organisations and the way they work in say the next year or two?
I would say collaboration. I think that with the technology enabling you to now have collaborative development globally you do not need to have large technology centres. You can now collaborate with centres across the world to be able to bring your product to market. I think that will have a huge impact in the way organisations not only sell but procure. You can no longer be consolidated in one region and service another region you need to start collaborating with partners in that region. This is an area that will be growing tremendously for us.