The pandemic is an opportunity for all large organisations to accelerate transformation, and Wipro will proactively aim to gain market share in strategic amounts, says Dalal, in an interview with Forbes India. Edited excerpts:
Beyond the immediate challenges in the short term due to the spread of the pandemic, what might be the medium-term opportunities for India’s biggest IT companies such as Wipro?
As most organisations try and conserve cash, there will be re-orientation of spends to improve the ‘here and now’, which will help them navigate the next 12-18 months. So, in the short to medium term, we expect opportunities to increase in areas including modernisation, cyber security services and robotic process automation.
The focus will be on enterprise efficiency offerings. The financial services sector could see a rise in spends triggered by the stimulus provided by various governments. We anticipate investments in new ways of distributed and virtual working through various collaboration tools. Today, organisations are looking for point solutions rather than large-scale transformation. For example, we see demand for solutions around ‘speed planning.’ This involves building an environment to support real time planning capabilities, to help users see data in real time and take quicker decisions.
We expect a pick-up in vendor consolidation and our focus would be to expand market share. Large organisations will use this opportunity to accelerate their transformation journey to emerge stronger and leaner. This could open up huge opportunities for business transformation offerings.
What steps can the Indian IT companies take to show that they are resilient?
The industry has now seen several peaks and troughs and is mature enough to absorb these shocks. Though this situation is unprecedented, the IT industry’s swift response in ensuring employee safety and business continuity for global customers seamlessly, reflects its resilience.
We will partner closely with our customers as they navigate through this crisis and on their path to recovery. In Wipro, for example, 93 percent of the employees who work on billable projects have approval from customers to work from home. We have the necessary tools and technology to ensure we can deliver on our commitments in collaboration with our customers.
We have delivered several time critical processes such as payroll management, financial book closure, divestments and integrations during this period. In fact, we published our fourth quarter earnings on a date that was fixed several months ago. Further, Wipro has a strong balance sheet and we will leverage that to emerge stronger and better.
What changes will the IT companies have to make in the way they operate to win in the post-Covid-19 world?
Organisations need to have the ability to adapt to the ecosystem they are a part of. As the ecosystem resets itself, we are launching an adaptive and boundary-less execution model for the new normal. Our teams are organised in a resilient, secure and boundary-less manner—a model that has evolved from traditional ones to meaningfully blend the best of ‘work from office’, ‘globally distributed working' and ‘work from home’.
We have brought together features of security, transparency and extreme engineering, allowing teams to operate seamlessly and scale delivery excellence at the project, program and portfolio level. It is powered by our assets like HOLMES, Topcoder, Digital Rig and the cloud management console (CMC) that deliver engineering driven efficiency and leverage newer ways of working using Wipro’s Digital Pods and Cloud Studios. We are focused on continuous learning. This involves enabling our people to adapt to new ways of working leveraging engineering and intelligence driven solutions and adopt new behaviours.
How will the pandemic affect hiring in the IT and ITES sectors?
We will honour all the offers we have made. However, onboarding will be staggered. Lateral and new hiring will be done only for certain critical skills and roles. Over the past few weeks, employees have settled into the cadence of working remotely. The focus will be on structural enablement to build skilled pools internally.
The CMD of Hindustan Unilever recently said that Covid-19 could be another Y2k kind of opportunity for Indian IT. Do you agree? Why?
This is a tremendous opportunity for all large organisations, including ourselves, to accelerate their transformation. During the crisis, our priority will be to remain a trusted partner to our customers. We will ensure business continuity and focus on proactively positioning our enterprise efficiency offerings, including modernisation, cloud, RPA, cyber security and analytics. Wipro will also aim to gain market share in strategic accounts as they consolidate vendors.