The demand for talent will outpace supply and become a “key dependency” for growth as enterprises globally accelerate digital adoption with virtual, Wipro Chairman Rishad Premji said.
The Bengaluru-based company has effected “bold changes” in the last six months to help serve customers better and is well-positioned to leverage as well as enable digital transformations for its clients, Premji said in the company’s annual report for FY21.
The former Nasscom chairman noted that technology is often at the forefront of economic recovery, but especially now, as the pandemic precipitated structural changes across industries and challenged established ways of working.
Whether it is digital commerce, online education, or telemedicine, technology-enabled business models have emerged across the board, with cloud technology as the cornerstone of this transformation, he added.
“With the rapid shift to digital, the demand for talent will outpace supply, and become a key dependency for growth. Already we see new delivery models, such as ‘work from anywhere’ and ‘Crowdsourcing’, become the mainstay. We expect virtual, remote, community-based, and distributed work models to be the future of work,” Premji said.
He added that as vaccination efforts ramp up globally and economies start seeing a rebound, clients keen to invest in and accelerate their digital transformation and the key to success for IT players would be “to respond to this opportunity with speed and agility”.
Premji said the company had triggered its business continuity plans to quickly enable remote working as the pandemic broke out, and less than 3 per cent of its global workforce currently is working from office.
“We have settled well into this new way of working and have continued to make our customers successful. We enjoy their confidence, and I have no doubt that a hybrid model may well be how we work in the future,” he added.
Premji said global cooperation is critical, especially in view of the pandemic and that vaccines for COVID-19 are one of the greatest examples of collaboration and pioneering science.
“We must now work to scale the supply chain, build mechanisms for equitable distribution and drive an efficient administration for these life-saving vaccines,” he added.
Rishad, who took over as chairman in 2019 succeeding his father Azim Premji, said Wipro Ltd, Wipro Enterprises and Azim Premji Foundation, together committed about Rs 1,125 crore (about USD 150 million) in April 2020, towards tackling the unprecedented health and humanitarian crisis arising from the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak.
“Over the past 12 months, we have supported more than 1,500 projects covering humanitarian aid, integrated healthcare support, and livelihood regeneration. Cumulatively, we have reached out directly to more than 18 million people through our coordinated and comprehensive COVID-19 response, to provide humanitarian aid and help with livelihood regeneration,” he said.
For employees, the company has undertaken a number of initiatives, including providing COVID-19 Isolation Care centres for staff and their families, partnering with major hospitals to provide medical support to critically ill employees, additional medical reimbursement and leaves related to COVID-19, as well as vaccination at campuses.