Abidali Neemuchwala, 48, comes in as the chief executive officer (CEO) of Wipro at a time when India’s third largest IT services exporter continues to struggle to meet the industry benchmark of 12-14% growth set by Nasscom for this fiscal. Neemuchwala has a strong reputation on the delivery side of business and is rated very highly by company chairman Azim Premji, who believes that the new CEO has “effortlessly assimilated” into Wipro’s culture in a span of just nine months.
“He is very focused on what he does and has a great ability to motivate the team to do the task,” a Wipro executive told FE. People familiar with the working pattern at Wipro feel that Neemuchwala may have to encourage the employees more.
Starting from FY13 when Wipro’s annual revenue growth rate in US dollar terms was 5%, it has struggled with single digit growth. In FY14 it stood at 6.4% and at 7% for FY15. This was much below the industry benchmark set by Nasscom.
But analysts seem happy with the timing of the change. On the management change, Sid Pai, a prominent IT industry analyst said, “This is a very effectively handled change that is transparent to all the stakeholders. The new CEO also has had enough time understand the organisation.”
In an earlier interaction with FE, Neemuchwala had said, “Change management is one of my strengths. When you look at the organisation of our size one should be able to reach across the employee base, motivate them and bring energy for that change. The most important thing is that the changes I am making are resonating very well. This is the biggest satisfaction I have in terms of bringing the change.”
Neemuchwala who joined Wipro from rival Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), where he spent 23 years, was last heading TCS’ BPO operations. His task will be cut out at Wipro having spent nine months in the organisation to bring it back on the track of the high growth rate while ensuring that it remains focused on the future business opportunities. He will have to effectively pitch for the big business deals while also making investments into newer technology areas, an executive who is familiar with its style of operations said.