Omicron surge won't impact IT budgets: Wipro CEO Thierry Delaporte

Despite the resurgent virus, the coming year will not see the IT budgets going down as the demand for IT services will continue to remain high, Wipro CEO Thierry Delaporte has said.

In an interview with ET’s Romita Majumdar and Surabhi Agarwal, Delaporte, under whose leadership

has acquired around 10 companies over the last 18 months, also said the company will continue to have an active M&A strategy to strengthen its portfolio. Edited excerpts:

The strategy you set in place has completed one year. Do you see acceleration in growth in the coming quarters and years?

Absolutely. A year ago, we built a strategy of growth (and) we haven’t stopped growing. We have added a third of the company to our revenue base in these five quarters. This quarter, we are 28% bigger than we were a year ago. We’ve defined a strategy to really focus on the market and there’s a significant demand (from clients). We have a very strong position in (our) accounts. We are being more proactive working with our technology partners, and leveraging our capabilities and that allows us to be ambitious.

A lot of that (one third growth) has come from the acquisitions that Wipro has done after you took over. In 2022, do we see more acquisitions by Wipro?

To be precise, I would say one-third of the one-third (increase in revenues) has come from
acquisitions (like) Capco. We will continue to have an active M&A strategy. We closed two smaller deals this quarter. We will not be going for scale for the sake of it. We will be going for companies that would now help us make a step forward.

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You mentioned that for the next four weeks, the offices globally are going to be shut. What is your long-term view on going back to office?

(Our) long-term view is in the future. Our employees, whether they work from the office or they work from home…it will be their choice, it will be the client’s choice. We will provide the flexibility they need. We have proven that we can work with most of our resources working remotely. That this is not preventing us from being productive. Second, our clients have learned the same.

So, they also have been working remotely. They’ve been working with teams all over the world. There is no more mental resistance to what we used to call offshore.

Despite high attrition, and higher profits for companies like yours, salaries for fresh graduates have remained almost stagnant for more than a decade. Your comment?

Actually, we have revised our salaries for freshers significantly. Maybe we were running behind the industry, but we’ve definitely gone on the other side. We are making a massive investment on freshers, we are onboarding more freshers this year than we’ve done in the last three years. And our plan for next year will be even more ambitious. It’s not only in terms of volume. We have adjusted the compensation starting and after one year, two years, three years…so that they really have a platform for growth with us.

What is your outlook from a business point of view, given the fact that Omicron is raging across the world? What are the clients saying? What can we expect going forward?

We are getting 2-4% growth, which is basically what we’ve done for the previous quarters. It means we maintain the same outlook. The demand will continue to remain high. And I don’t expect a major change in the market perspective in the next few weeks.

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