Wipro's turnaround act: Not yet time to pop a bottle of champagne, says CEO

Apr 19 2014, 18:34 IST
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Wipro CEO TK Kurien has said the company plans to expand further in the US, its largest market. Wipro CEO TK Kurien has said the company plans to expand further in the US, its largest market.
SummaryIn last 9 months, Wipro has done the turnaround act by delivering consistent growth numbers.

to FY14. I think our execution is better and we are learning to sell. We are not far from the top quartile in terms of conversion. As we build more pipeline, it will get better. The pipeline is decent now. I'm not losing sleep over it. What I am losing sleep over is providing better customer experience and automating more. We want to take customer experience to a different sphere.

How is the India business shaping up?

I hope demand comes back. And I hope that sentiment changes and people start investing here. In India, we have very poor consumer demand. The IIP numbers will never go up if you have this kind of demand.

Demand has a couple of characteristics. In India, rural demand has been better than urban demand for three years. It has grown 16.3% against 14% growth for urban demand.

Urban demand is not growing because even if the savings rate is high, people don’t necessarily spend if there is no economic stability. So, consumer confidence, which is an indicator of economic stability, is a little iffy. Growth rates have come down significantly. It will take some time for them to come up. And if they go up too fast, you have inflation. Then you have other issues.

Would you say your efforts over the last three years are finally bearing fruit?

We should absolutely be doing more. We are not yet at a stage where we can pop a champagne bottle. We are far from that. The real test will be four to five quarters of 3% and greater growth on a secular basis. At that point of time, I can say my job is over.

For now, our second quarter is going to be better than the first. And I want to remove lumpiness in terms of growth. Growth of 4-5% in one quarter and 2% in the next doesn't help. I want secular growth. The external market will always have demand. It is about how we perform in the external market that makes an impact.

Is automation a strong differentiating factor for Wipro?

It's a huge differentiating factor. We will continue to hire, but we will also continue to rebalance our workforce. The things we are going to do will be more intellectual property heavy, rather than labour-heavy. We believe the real value of what you do is in creating intellectual property that will make a difference.

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