Wipro chairman Azim Premji has denied media reports that suggested that the promoters are evaluating the sale of the IT major. In a letter to the employees, Premji wrote, “I remain as committed to Wipro as I have ever been. The news article about promoters of Wipro evaluating the sale of their holding in the company is baseless and malicious. There is no truth to these unsubstantiated rumours.”
On 5 June, a news article had reported citing sources that the company is considering a partial or full sale of the company, either to a multinational or a private equity player.
Premji’s letter comes as a reassurance to the employees at a time when the IT industry is laying off hundreds of employees due to technological disruptions like artificial intelligence (AI) and changes in the H1-B visa norms under US President Donald J. Trump. Premji along with his family own a controlling stake of about 73.25 per cent in the company and therefore he is the final authority for any management decision within the IT major.
Last year, Wipro launched its AI platform Holmes which is expected to replace thousands of routine jobs currently done by engineers at the company. “Our hyper-automation journey has been progressing very well and we continue to scale the deployment of the instances of Wipro Holmes, our AI platform across clients. In FY’17, we generated productivity of over 12,000 people across 140 customer engagements by deploying over 1,800 instances of Holmes bots in IT services across application, business process operations and infrastructure services,” Abidali Z. Neemuchwala, CEO, Wipro said during the Q4 earnings.
As a consequence of the protectionist measures under the new US government, Wipro has been significantly investing in the US in terms of increased hiring and setting up of delivery centres. It has recently added two more multi-client delivery centres in the US – one is located in Mountain View, California, which focuses on creating advanced digital offerings for its US customers. The second centre is located in Farmington Hills, Michigan which offers engineering services. “In Q1 FY’18, we expect to have more than 50 per cent of our US operations localised,” Neemuchwala said.
Talking about the potential of the company, Premji said, “Over the past 50 years, I have seen Wipro grow from a small regional player in vegetable oils to a global leader in technology. I continue to be incredibly excited about the potential of the IT industry and Wipro. I see enormous energy within the company to power the success of our clients and therefore the success of Wipro.”
For the fourth quarter ended March 31, 2017, Wipro beat Street expectations as it posted a 2.7 per cent sequential growth in dollar revenue to $1.95 billion. It, however, projected flat revenue growth for the next quarter (April-June) in the range of $1.91-1.95 billion.