Profitable growth will be priority: Wipro CEO Delaporte

World will come out changed in some important ways: Rishad Premji

‘Profitable growth’ will be the priority for Wipro, going forward, said the company’s new CEO Thierry Delaporte.

Mr. Delaporte, who took charge last week, spelt out his priority for the company at the AGM on Monday.

Mr. Delaporte said, “Profitable growth will be the most important priority on my agenda. We will do everything to regain the momentum in the marketplace. Building on our strong foundation, we will make bold bets and stretch goals. We will aim to drive a high-performance culture even as we steadfastly hold to our cherished values.”

He added, “Over the next few weeks, working closely with Chairman Rishad Premji and other senior leaders, I hope to finalise the plan to drive improvements across all spheres in our quest to achieve industry-leading growth.”

As the Covid-19 continues to impact businesses, the pandemic took centrestage in the chairman’s address as well.

Speaking at the AGM, Wipro Chairman Rishad Premji said, “With the vaccine and other efforts, the world will come out of this crisis. But I sense that the world will come out changed in some important ways.”

“With this crisis, the urgency of investment in public health is apparent to all. The criticality of global cooperation has never been clearer. And, we must come out of this crisis with an unflinching commitment to reducing inequity and disadvantage in the world. We have seen what our fellow human beings have gone through and are still living with. We cannot let this continue,” Mr. Premji added.

He foresees virtual, remote, community-based and distributed work models to gain in prominence as he sees it becoming the norm, all powered by collaborative technologies. He believes enterprises will evaluate their technology capacity and investments so that it enables them to operate with flexibility and agility, and work with partners who can respond and adjust quickly to changing circumstances.

Speaking on the financial results for the year-ending March 31, 2020, Mr. Premji said, Wipro’s IT Services Revenues at $8.26 billion, growing by 3.9% YoY (in constant currency and after adjusting for the divestments) and its net income at ₹9720 crore grew by 8.0% YoY aided by improved operating margins, higher other income and lower taxes.

“Our EPS for the year-ending March 31, 2020 grew by 11.2% YoY and the Operating Cash Flows at ₹10,060 crore was at 103.5% of our Net Income. Our payout for FY20 is at ₹11,220 crore through buyback and dividends (including dividend distribution tax) to our shareholders, which is 115.4% of our net Income,” he said.

Wipro’s aid to pandemic affected

Over the past three and a half months Wipro, through the not-for-profits Azim Premji Foundation and Wipro Foundation, has been supporting about 80 lakh people with some 28 crore meals. It has also helped about 30 lakh people regenerate their livelihoods. For instance, it has helped small and marginal farmers by providing seed, bio-fertiliser and other relevant tools.

“During the crisis we supplied about 2 lakh PPE kits to where they were needed the most. We have helped scale-up testing capacity and critical care capacity across many regions, by supplying equipment, and supporting frontline healthcare workers,” Premji said.

“We repurposed the kitchen infrastructure in our facilities in Bangalore, Pune and Kolkata to provide cooked meals twice daily for 74 days running to thousands of vulnerable families. Eventually this served 29.7 lakh meals to over 2.5 lakh people – those who had no capacity to cook even if provided with dry ration. The other example is the conversion of one of our unused campuses in Pune into a 450-bed Covid isolation hospital,” Mr. Premji added.

Wipro chairman said his company has no plans to layoff employees at the back of the pandemic.

“So far, not a single person has been laid off and (we) have no plans of laying off any employees, " said Premji.

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