Wipro CEO TK Kurien’s Statement About Fell share Price of Wipro

downloadThe stock market slammed Wipro on Friday for what it viewed as subpar revenue growth in the June quarter, and guidance for the September quarter. The share price of India’s third largest IT company fell by over 8% on opening trade and ended the day with a drop of 4.6%. But Wipro CEO TK Kurien says he’s focused on the long term.

The stock market isn’t happy with your performance?

To me the short term is immaterial. The long-term growth is what we worry about. Last year same time, the stock was running at Rs 380 (now it is Rs 550); the shareholders have made decent returns. Our year-on-year growth in revenue in the last quarter was at 9.6%, which is more than twice the 4.5% year-on-year growth in the same quarter of last year. The journey has begun, it hasn’t ended yet. We have done a lot of work to change the culture of the company. We were a sleepy company, now we have become aggressive. The number of deal wins is a reflection of that.

You aspire to grow 4% sequentially, but TCS has pulled way ahead. What is it that they have done right?

TCS grows very well in the first two quarters of the year and the next two quarters, they slow down. The momentum in the first two quarters propels their full year growth. That’s the trick we haven’t yet got up to. Our first quarter is lousy and this is the one jinx we have to break. And the only way to break the jinx is through deal flow. We should have closed the Atco ($1.12-billion) deal in the first quarter, but it slipped.

Wipro has won significant deals like Atco and Takeda recently. But the revenue growth forecast remains below expectations?

It takes 2-4 quarters for the full value of the deal to start fructifying. When we went from $50 million contract sizes to $100 million ones, it was a big thing. Then we did $400 million in the last quarter, suddenly life changed and that was our new benchmark. But now, this quarter, it’s become $1 billion (Atco deal). That’s the progress we have made and that changes the mindset.

Talent management firm DDI evaluated 150 senior leaders in Wipro last year. What exactly is the end objective?

It’s very easy to fool our bosses, but what’s innate to you, you can’t manipulate. A guy may come out looking fabulous in the interview, but if you send him to DDI, he may look like a complete washout. You get a sense of the candidate’s reservoir of skills. DDI does a whole day simulation, they will put you into an environment, and they will see if you get angry, see how you react. We are using DDI also for all external hires because it’s important for them to fit into the culture of the company.

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