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Abidali Neemuchwala Can Do to Wipro what Vishal Sikka Did to Infosys

Jan 04, 2016 | Technology | Future Market Insights

Abidali Z Neemuchwala, former TCS stalwart and current chief operating officer, will be the next chief executive of Wipro. Mr. Abidali, who spent 23 years at TCS, is widely known in industry circles for his rich experience in business and technology operations. TK Kurien, the incumbent CEO will become the new vice chairman of the company.

Analysts at Future Market Insights (FMI) are not at all surprised at this development, as Wipro has seen sluggish growth rates in the recent past. Its growth rate has been starkly lower than its competitors TCS and Infosys. Compared to the IT industry’s growth rate, which is between 12%-14%, Wipro just managed to grow between 6%-7% in the last two fiscals. The move to give the reins of the company to Abidali is aimed at giving a much-needed boost to the lagging company.

Abidali comes with decades of experience at building and scaling businesses. His forte as a key strategy person in TCS, combined with his expertise in the new era of IT services and consulting industry, is expected to augur well for Wipro. Considering the pace at which Wipro’s competitors and the overall Indian IT industry is growing, it’s a good move by the company,” said Nandini Roy Choudhury, market research analyst at Future Market Insights.

Abidali Neemuchwala – The Go-To Person of India’s IT Sector

Abidali is an alumni of Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Bombay, and after earning his master’s degree, he joined TCS where he worked for the next 23 years. His decision to quit the company in April last year caused a furore, as he was known to be quite close to N Chandrasekaran. The business process outsourcing (BPO) unit of TCS – conceived by N Chandrasekaran – was successfully headed for a very long time by Abidali. It is believed that Abidali’s extraordinary expertise in understanding technology and the end-user is a key reason why Wipro is banking so heavily on him.

Wipro’s restructuring move also seems to be inspired by the change of fortunes of its arch-rival Infosys, after it brought in Vishal Sikka as it CEO and managing director. His focus on automation and digital technology -- two key factors Wipro Chairman Azim Premji focused on while welcoming the news of Abidali’s appointment as CEO -- helped Infosys post two quarters of industry leading growth.

For Wipro, it wasn’t a question of should we or should we not, it was a question of when. I reckon to make this announcement at the start of the new year is a good move, and it will set the tone for what the company wants to achieve in 2016 and beyond,” added Nandini Roy Choudhury.