Wipro’s 48-year-old CEO Abidali Neemuchwala joined the company in February. Three months into the job, he has set a revenue target of $15 billion by 2020. Neemuchwala talks to HT about the challenges ahead. Excerpts from an interview.
Both you and Infosys CEO Vishal Sikka have a 2020 vision and expect your businesses to double. But, while he is chasing a 30% margin, you are looking at 23%. Why is Wipro conservative?
We looked at our business model, and we looked at where we want to be in four years. Whether it is revenue or margins, we want to be ambitious because as a leader it is extremely important to set the bar high internally. But at the same time, your team should believe in what you are saying. I got my team together. This is not Abid’s ambition, this is Wipro’s ambition represented by our top leadership.
We brought top 100-120 people together and they had a resounding passion for this ambition. They saw it was grounded in reality and they could have a clear line of sight on how this could be achieved. That is why we kept it at doubling of revenue and 23% margin.
But pushing the margins from 20-21% to 23% in four years doesn’t seem very ambitious.
You should remember one thing. 2020 is not the end of the journey. It is just one stop in the journey. Just imagine, when I am in 2019, will I not be making investment for 2025? Will it not have an impact on the margin then?
One of Wipro’s big challenges has been employee attrition. TCS and Infosys have announced 6 to 12% salary hikes. Will Wipro also follow in terms of the quantum of hike?
Our attrition for this quarter has come down to 14.3%. It is the lowest in more than 11 quarters. We have done a lot of communication on our ambition, vision and strategy, on the changes we have brought in terms of how we have reorganised our delivery, how we have invested in our people for digital technology.
I do town halls, top leaders do all-hand meetings, and we are getting very good motivational momentum. On salary hikes, I can’t get into specifics. But our HR head will have a bigger pot than what he had last year.