Wipro Infotech Weighs China Options, Bullish On Mid-East

New Delhi: | Updated: Aug 26 2002, 05:30am hrs
Wipro Infotech, a division of Wipro Ltd, is still making up its mind to enter China. The company, however, is eyeing Middle East markets to drive its future business growth in the region.

Wipro Infotech is involved in the business of software and hardware oriented services in the Asia Pacific market including India. However, Wipro Technologies, the other division of Wipro, operates primarily in the US, Europe and Japan.

Wipro Infotech general manager for business development Anil K Jain told eFE that the company was not interested in setting up a sourcing base in China right now but it might look at the local market. We are watching the local market in China and figuring out an appropriate niche area/segment that we could enter, he said.

However, the company is keen to expand its operations in Middle East countries. Middle East is the fast emerging market. IT investments are taking off and there is not much competition from local companies. Moreover, India and Wipro enjoy good brand equity in these markets, said Mr Jain.

Mr Jain also indicated that the company will either be setting up its office in Saudi Arabia or will enter into a strategic partnership with a local company to create its presence. Wipro Infotech currently has its office in Dubai and already executing a few projects including a SAP implementation and a Dubai government project.

According to Mr Jain, the company will also look at setting up an offshore development facility in India. The aim is to reduce the cost by bringing the offshore component of the onsite projects back to India. Currently, the entire software services business of Wipro Infotech is onsite centric. We are expecting a change in our business model in near future and will look at setting up a offshore center in India, accordingly, he said.

Wipro Infotech, which employs around 2,000 employees, is currently involved in the business of enterprise software application implementation, enterprise integration, system integration and offering solutions around hardware products like servers, networking and storage devices. It also undertakes software development as a part of its offering.

The company, which was earlier operating in consumer market and offering its branded desktop computers, has completely withdrawn from the retail market. As part of the business strategy, we have decided to transform ourselves from a hardware company to a comprehensive IT services company. Therefore, we moved away from the consumer market, Mr Jain said, adding that it was now concentrating on delivering end-to-end service to its customers. We are investing in senior resources (recruiting senior employees) to dedicate them to create a single point interface with valuable clients. The company has identified around 85-90 customers who will be given account managers, he added.