Just like governments, a CEO’s impact starts becoming visible only after a few years. In hindsight, Vivek Paul’s exit and the dual CEO structure that followed can be identified as the point when Wipro started falling behind its peer group. The dual structure created an inefficient organisation and a culture that was marked by organisational silos. TK Kurien inherited this structure and he started improving Wipro’s competitiveness with a decision to emphasise the vertical structure by using that as the P&L axis. Under Abidali Neemuchwala, who comes with a background that is steeped in vertical-specific business process outsourcing (BPO) operations, we expect Wipro to deepen its vertical sales expertise and create many as-a-service propositions. We think it is worth noting that TCS signed both the $1.2 billion mega deal with Nielsen (an integrated IT and BPO deal) and the acquisition of Citigroup’s captive BPO operations for $505 million happened when Abidali was heading the BPO operations.
Digital strategy at work
CEO Abidali’s stated vision is that ‘consultative selling across domain and technology’ is ‘critical to the advisory offering in digital.’ We see this strategy at work in the acquisitions of Designit for user experience and Appirio for its digital technology execution capability. Improving local market presence in markets such as continental Europe (rationale for the Cellent acquisition) and Canada (a bonus from the Atco deal) is another part of the strategy at work. We think local market knowledge is helping Wipro create niche value propositions such as the recently launched decision making and analytics solution for treasury management software by Bellin, which has a wide base in Germany.