Wipro Ltd’s chief operating officer Abid Ali Neemuchwala has entrusted a former Tata Consultancy Services Ltd colleague with the task of leading a new initiative that promises to improve account mining or ability to generate more business from existing clients.
David D’Lima, who joined Wipro in June from International Business Machines Corp. and worked for over 16 years at Mumbai-based TCS, will lead a 15-member integrated services and solutions group that will mentor teams at each of the company’s five service lines to cross-sell offerings to its 1,071 clients.
“We have initiated a new organization called integrated services and solutions group which brings all the services together,” Neemuchwala said in an interview.
Under this new group, D’Lima has formed a team by getting two executives from each of Wipro’s five service lines—product engineering, business applications, business process outsourcing (BPO), cloud computing and analytics. Additionally, D’Lima has got five executives from outside Wipro, who have a “good experience in integrating” service line offering, according to Neemuchwala.
“So if you are going to a bank and telling him that I’ll reduce your turnaround time to give a loan, it may need mobile technology, infrastructure solution, which will need cloud, for application solution, you need web server, and this may need BPO. So to solve one problem of a client, all these services have to brought together,” said Neemuchwala.
“It is an enabling organization. So every vertical will eventually do this in future. But for now, we need to transform and hence this will play a role of mentor to other service lines to do it themselves,” said Neemuchwala.
To be sure, this is the second such step Wipro has undertaken to improve its client mining. At the start of the fiscal year in April, CEO T.J. Kurien linked every account manager’s variable pay to their ability to sell at least three of the five service lines offerings to existing clients, Mint reported on 8 May.
Analysts cheered the measures being rolled out by Kurien. Neemuchwala, though, said that such steps take at least “six months” before the benefits are reflected on growth numbers.
“Historically, the second half of fiscal year is stronger for Wipro. So if the company does better in period starting October this year compared to last, then we can gauge the success of these measures. But it is good that the firm is taking all these measures,” said a Mumbai-based analyst working at a foreign brokerage.
“To truly rejuvenate growth, IT services firms need to hire and develop new talent, with ability to bring more tailored offerings to clients. That said, services firms that place disproportionate effort into mining existing clients, versus hunting for brand new clients, is a good step,” said Rod Bourgeois, founder of DeepDive Equity Research, a US-based equity researcher.
Wipro concedes that its inability to get more business from existing clients is one reason why it has underperformed its peers in recent years. Since taking over as chief executive in February 2011, Kurien has helped Wipro almost quadruple the number of customers who bring more than $100 million in revenue for the company. Wipro has 11 clients that bring in more than $100 million in annual revenue now, versus three such marquee clients in March 2011. However, in the same time, Wipro has struggled to record annual revenue growth of more than 7%.
Wipro’s focus on generating more business from existing customers puts the spotlight on account hunting and account mining, as the country’s software service providers grapple with the challenges of slowing growth.
Wipro’s cross-city rival Infosys Ltd is focusing on client hunting as CEO Vishal Sikka looks to improve the effectiveness of sales teams by incorporating elements of design thinking, among other measures, while making pitches to prospective clients.