Could Thierry Delaporte Be That Knight In Shining Armour For Wipro?

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On 29th May 2020, Wipro announced the appointment of Thierry Delaporte as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Managing Director (MD) Wipro Ltd. He replaces Abidali Neemuchwala who was the company’s CEO since February 2016.

#GreyhoundStandpoint 1 – First things first, over the past few years under Abidali Neemuchwala, Wipro made a significant amount of course correction.

Abid, in his tenure first as a COO and then the CEO, has done a phenomenal job in taking Wipro on the path of becoming a Digital services provider. Albeit the number necessarily do not talk to this effect, the fact is a ton of background work and cleaning up was done under Abid’s tenure. This is similar to Ginni Rometty’s tenure at IBM wherein the company revenue skid for 22 quarters before circling back into the positive. Ginni authorised and actioned significant changes in both the company’s products and structure to help it put it back on the growth trajectory.

#GreyhoundStandpoint 2 – Thierry Delaporte comes to Wipro at a rather difficult moment.

The one where Wipro’s numbers from previous quarters are not very handsome and the markets are severely impacted due to COVID-19. Not to mention that the company has had many a change in guard over the past few years. To put this in context, in FY 20, Wipro grew least compared to its peers (TCS, HCL, Infosys) and reported growth of only 3.9% in constant currency terms.

#GreyhoundStandpoint 3 – Along with the need to deliver on the agenda of Digital, Delaporte will have to work hard to ensure the success of this marriage.

Critical to highlight that Wipro is similar to Infosys in the sense of it having involvement from the promoters. The industry still has vivid memories of the battle that ensued between Vishal Sikka and the old guard of Infosys. Fact is, Thierry Delaporte is the first non-Indian to appointed as the CEO of any large Indian IT services company. Both Thierry and Rishad will have to work closely on accounts of integration with the Wipro culture and ensuring synergies with the latter’s outlook for Wipro. This is much needed to ensure no issues like what Infosys faced become a roadblock for Wipro. While this appointment is a testimony to Wipro’s openness to outside talent, everyone is observing it since it will reflect upon the Indian IT services industry as a whole.

#GreyhoundStandpoint 4 – Thierry Delaporte has a great handle on the subject matter and brings along a wealth of expertise on some of the newer areas of Digital that Wipro really needs right now.

Capgemini, as an organisation has expertise in newer practices and therefore, Delaporte’s experience could help Wipro in its next phase of growth. Also, the fact that he is from Europe could help Wipro build its global presence as the next wave of growth is coming from the European markets driven by GDPR, Brexit, etc. Delaporte could also be pivotal in helping Wipro in its M&A (mergers & acquisitions) strategy. The company could do with nifty tools in the areas of AI and IoT, which have been relatively slower for the company.


Analyst:

Sanchit Vir Gogia: Sanchit is the Chief Analyst, Founder & CEO of Greyhound Research, a Global, Award-Winning, Digital & Technology Research & Advisory firm. To read more about him, click here.

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