Need to mine customer base effectively

Written by P P Thimmaya | Updated: Apr 20 2013, 09:03am hrs
Wipros tepid revenue growth during 2013 fiscal may have dampened the expectations of the industry after TCS and HCL revived the sectors fortunes after Infosys fall, but Indias third-largest IT services exporter is confident about getting higher market share in the long term, TK Kurien, CEO (IT business), tells PP Thimmaya and Debojyoti Ghosh. The demerger of its non-IT business provides the company with multiple benefits with more focus on technology, Kurien said. Edited experts:

How do you see FY14 shaping up for Wipro

We are coming out of a spending environment, which was secular in terms of demand, to an environment where we have to really fight for market share. This requires a different mindset and for companies like us, that is the challenge. While some of us will make the transition effectively others will not. Our strategy has always been very clear how to drive scale in technology infrastructure services (TIS) and application, development and maintenance (ADM). For Wipro to grow, we have to mine our customer base effectively and also hunt better. We formed the hunting team last year in June and it has shown decent results. Our top 10 accounts have grown 17% while pricing has increased onsite by 4.2% and offsite by 2.7%. Though, I must say that the cornerstone of what we do is the substantial increase in the customer satisfaction index and the employee attrition being the lowest in the past two years. We may have one quarter which is not great but we are pretty comfortable about our long term strategy.

What impact will the demerger have on Wipros IT business

This will give us more options, flexibility and focus. We are now a focused company in terms of technology. This also gives us the flexibility in terms of entering into partnerships and making investments. Earlier there used to be a certain amount of confusion when we presented ourselves as a conglomerate but now as a focused organisation it makes a big impact.

Why has Wipro given guidance in the range of -0.6% to +1.5% for the next quarter

The first thing to remember is that we have never missed our guidance. We always look at the entire portfolio and build all the risk into the bottom end and all the upside to the top end of our guidance. People will be initially disappointed with the guidance but days after the result, they are only worried about future. We are in a long-term business and our key customers are growing, though these are some of the blips one has to go through.

What is the scale business Wipro is talking about

It is the TIS and ADM. We have witnessed that the application development is degrowing while applications services has been growing. Traditionally, our portfolio has been overweight on discretionary spending and we are trying to change that. Now we have ensured that we get annuity and scale of business along with building a lot of predictability around it. We are interested in having a strong anchor with these services and then build all the value added services like cloud, mobility, analytics etc on them. Remember we are one of the biggest in India in the TIS segment and from last year we have started to get our growth back.

Will Wipro be able to focus on both discretionary and non-discretionary segments of IT spending

We will be able to build on both the segments and we are doing that. Today customers want an integrated approach where we will be able to address a business problem through a technology solution. To drive all this, Wipro will be engaged in non-linearity more than what we have done last year. For example, in the TIS segment we have employed a lot of self-healing technologies or robotics, which do not require human intervention, which is an example of non-linearity.