From its humble beginnings as a consumer products business in 1945, Wipro has become a global company that serves customers in IT, BPO and R&D. Although its headquarters remain in Bangalore, India, Wipro has expanded its service horizons to include, North America, Latin America, Europe and Asia.
Sramana Mitra: Manish, before we get into the industry issues, I would like to establish context about Wipro’s BPO business and its scale. What are you focusing on these days, and where are the different operations? This is to give some context to readers on the agenda you are dealing with.
Manish: Sure, Sramana. From the size of the business perspective as available in our public records, BPO business overall contributes to about 9% of Wipro’s IP services revenue. We deliver from 28 centers, nine in India and 19 outside India. We are present across the globe almost follow the sun, starting from Australia on one side right up to Atlanta and all the countries en route. From a service portfolio perspective, we do what we call mid office, front office and back office, all three. Starting from providing pure back office services like F&A, HR, procurement, to investment banking operations, insurance operations, claims processing to knowledge process outsourcing — which relates to analytics which relates to algorithmic solutions — to our customers to the front office work where we do customer support in terms of billing, collections, including things which are to do with customer satisfaction and things which are to do with relationship management.
In terms of industry verticals, again, we serve industries like BFSI, which is one of the largest segments. We have a significant presence in retail and consumer group. We have a decent presence in energy utilities. We have a good presence in the manufacturing and hi-tech sectors as well. From the perspective of a portfolio of services, we can look at it in one more form, which is to say that there are certain things that are horizontal in nature as we call it. These are processes that run across industries in the same form, like order-to-cash, procure-to-pay, and hire-to-retire processes. Ten we have certain vertical-specific processes, which are domain-centric and are unique to an industry. These are things like pharmaco vigilance, investment banking operations for investment banks, lower balancing for airline industries, and billing and collections for telcos. They are unique industry solutions that are run in other industries.
Keeping this in mind, we have a horizontal structure that supports the global horizontal processes. Then we have a vertical structure that comes up with domain-centric solutions and that are unique to various industries. And then we have the front line, or the front end, which focuses on getting businesses across the globe, and that is geographically defined. We have an entire piece around being able to provide end-to-end services for our customers. BPO business, similar to IT business, started with labor arbitrage and then we moved to providing value services. Then it moved to providing transformational work to the customers.
As we speak, it’s moving in the direction of an end-to end-service provider with ownership of the outcome. For example, we used to earlier talk about providing, say, a call center job for you. I do F&A for you. I will come and get my consultant to look at the lay of the land, advise you on what your process should be. Throughout that process, if there is a need to implement IT for that process, if there is a need to change IT infrastructure, for that there is a need to conduct change management with employees. If it requires us to do processing differently, we will come and do all of that for you. We will not only own the IT, we will not only own the infrastructure, we will not only implement apps for you, we will not only do the change of management for you, but we will also own the operations and deliver the outcome.
So, it’s not about doing F&A. Now it’s about you getting your billing and collection done properly. Your days of pay outstanding goes down and your collections become better. This, I would say, is we are at this point. Organizations that are able to do the end-to-end services, that are able to move from being pure-play niche providers to end-to-end service providers, will see a lot of business coming their way. It’s moving away from BPO to BFO, or business function outsourcing.