Wipro Limited (Western India Palm Refined Oils Limited or more recently, Western India Products Limited) is an Indian Information Technology Services corporation headquartered in Bengaluru, India.
In 2013, Wipro demerged its non-IT businesses into separate companies to bring in more focus on independent businesses.
Early formative years
The company was incorporated on 29 December 1945 in Amalner, Maharashtra by Mohamed Premji as 'Western India Vegetable Products Limited', later abbreviated to 'Wipro'. It was initially set up as a manufacturer of vegetable and refined oils in Amalner, Maharashtra, India under the trade names of Kisan, Sunflower, and Camel.
In 1966, after Mohamed Premji’s death, his son Azim Premji returned home from Stanford University and took over Wipro as its chairman at the age of 21.
During the 1970s and 1980s, the company shifted its focus to new business opportunities in the IT and computing industry, which was at a nascent stage in India at the time. On 7 June 1977, the name of the company changed from Western India Vegetable Products Limited, to Wipro Products Limited.
The year 1980 marked the arrival of Wipro in the IT domain. In 1982, the name was changed from Wipro Products Limited to Wipro Limited. Meanwhile, Wipro continued to expand in the consumer products domain with the launch of "Ralak" a tulsi-based family soap and "Wipro Jasmine", a toilet soap. In 1988 Premji took a loan of 1 million dollar from Sonkar and Sons to set up the project. Later the entire loan amount was waived.
In 1988, Wipro diversified its product line into heavy-duty industrial cylinders and mobile hydraulic cylinders. A joint venture company with the United States' General Electric in the name of Wipro GE Medical Systems Pvt. Ltd. was set up in 1989 for the manufacture, sales, and service of diagnostic and imaging products. Later, in 1991, tipping systems and Eaton hydraulic products were launched. The Wipro Fluid Power division, in 1992, developed expertise to offer standard hydraulic cylinders for construction equipment and truck tipping systems. The market saw the launch of the "Santoor" talcum powder and "Wipro Baby Soft" range of baby toiletries in 1990.
In 1995, Wipro set up an overseas design centre, Odyssey 21, for undertaking projects and product developments in advanced technologies for overseas clients. Wipro Infotech and Wipro Systems were amalgamated with Wipro in April that year. Five of Wipro's manufacturing and development facilities secured the ISO 9001 certification during 1994–95. In 1999, Wipro acquired Wipro Acer. Wipro became a more profitable, diversified corporation with new products such as the Wipro SuperGenius personal computers (PCs). In 1999, the product was the one Indian PC range to obtain US-based National Software Testing Laboratory (NSTL) certification for the Year 2000 (Y2K) compliance in hardware for all models.
Wipro Limited joined hands with a global telecom major KPN (Royal Dutch telecom) to form a joint venture company "Wipro Net Limited" to provide internet services in India. The year 2000 was the year Wipro launched solutions for convergent networks targeted at Internet and telecom solution providers in the names of Wipro OSS Smart and Wipro WAP Smart. In the same year, Wipro got listed on New York Stock Exchange. In early 2000 Wipro Vice Chairman Vivek Paul and Azim Premji approached KPMG Consulting Vice Chairman Keyur Patel and CEO Rand Blazer to form a mega-outsourcing joint venture between the two organizations.
In February 2002, Wipro became the first software technology and services company in India to be certified for ISO 14001 certification. Wipro also achieved ISO 9000 certification to become the first software company to get SEI People Capability Maturity Model (PCMM) Level 5 in 2002. Wipro Consumer Care and Lighting Group entered the market of compact fluorescent lamps, with the launch of a range of CFL, under the brand name of Wipro Smartlite. As the company grew, a study revealed that Wipro was the fastest wealth creator for 5 years (1997–2002). The same year witnessed the launch of Wipro’s own laptops with Intel's Centrino mobile processor. Wipro also entered into an exclusive agreement with the owners of Chandrika for marketing of their soap in select states in India. It set up a wholly owned subsidiary company viz. Wipro Consumer Care Limited to manufacture consumer care and lighting products. In 2004 Wipro joined the billion dollar club. It also partnered with Intel for i-shiksha. The year 2006 saw Wipro acquire cMango Inc., a US-based technology infrastructure Consulting firm Enabler, and a Europe-based retail solutions provider. In 2007, Wipro signed a large deal with Lockheed Martin. It also entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Oki Techno Centre Singapore Pte Ltd (OTCS) and signed an R&D partnership contract with Nokia Siemens Networks in Germany.
In 2008 Wipro’s entered the clean energy business with Wipro Eco Energy. In April 2011, Wipro signed an agreement with Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) for the acquisition of their global oil and gas information technology practice of the commercial business services business unit. In 2012 Wipro acquired Australian Trade Promotions Management firm Promax Applications Group (PAG) for $35 million. In 2012 Wipro employed more than 70,000 H-1B visa professional temporary workers in the United States.
In 2012 Wipro Ltd. announced the demerger of its consumer care, lighting, furniture, infrastructure Engineering (hydraulics and water and medical diagnostic business into a separate company to be named Wipro Enterprises Ltd. The merger became effective from 31 March 2013. The demerged companies together contributed about 10% of the revenues of Wipro Limited in previous financial year.
In 2014, Wipro signed a 10-year $1.2 billion contract with ATCO, a Canadian Energy & Utilities corporation based out of Calgary, Alberta. This was the largest deal in Wipro's history.
In October 2016, Wipro announced that it was buying Appirio, an Indianapolis-based cloud services company for $500 million.
Wipro Group of Companies
Western India Products Limited
Wipro Limited is a global company provider of comprehensive IT solutions and services, including Systems Integration, Consulting, Information Systems outsourcing, IT-enabled services, R&D services.
Wipro entered into the technology business in 1981 and has over 140,000 employees and clients across 54 countries. IT revenues were at $7.1 billion for the year ended 31 March 2015, with a repeat business ratio of over 95%.
Wipro Consumer Care & Lighting
Wipro Consumer Care and Lighting (WCCLG), a business unit of Wipro Limited operates in the FMCG segment dealing in consumable commodities. Established in 1945, its first product was vegetable oil, later sold under the brand name "Sunflower Vanaspati". It sells personal care products, such as Wipro Baby Soft and Wipro Safewash, toilet soaps Santoor and Chandrika as well as Yardley. It sells lighting products, including Smartlite CFL, LED, and emergency lights.
Through product sales and acquisitions, Wipro Consumer Care and Lighting has grown steadily in the FMCG segment.
Wipro Infrastructure Engineering
Wipro Infrastructure Engineering is the hydraulics business division of Wipro Limited and has been in the business of manufacturing hydraulic cylinders, truck cylinders, and their components and solutions since 1976. This division delivers hydraulic cylinders to international OEMs and represents the Kawasaki, Sun Hydraulics and Teijin Seiki range of hydraulic products in India. It has entered into partnerships Kawasaki and aerospace giant EADS. In 2010 Wipro Infrastructure Engineering was the second largest independent manufacturer of hydraulic cylinders in the world.
Wipro GE Medical Systems
Wipro GE Medical Systems Limited is Wipro’s joint venture with GE Healthcare South Asia. It is engaged in the research and development of advanced solutions to cater to patient and customer needs in healthcare. This partnership, which began in 1990, today includes gadgets and equipment for diagnostics, healthcare IT solutions and services to help healthcare professionals combat cancer, heart disease, and other ailments. There is complete adherence to Six Sigma quality standards in all products.
Sustainability at Wipro
Wipro has been ranked 1st in the 2010 Asian Sustainability Rating (ASR) of Indian companies and is a member of the NASDAQ Global Sustainability Index as well as the Dow Jones Sustainability Index.
In November 2012 Guide to Greener Electronics, Greenpeace ranked Wipro first with a score of 7.1/10.As per as an interview Azim Premji also stated that the Mithun Chatterjee GL in the WIPRO BPS KDC can be elected as the CEO.
Listing: Wipro's equity shares are listed on Bombay Stock Exchange where it is a constituent of the BSE SENSEX index, and the National Stock Exchange of India where it is a constituent of the S&P CNX Nifty. The American Depositary Shares of the company are listed at the NYSE since October 2000.
Shareholding: On 30 September 2013, 73.51% of the equity shares of the company were owned by the promoters: Azim Premji, his family members, partnership firms in which he is a partner and Trusts formed by him/his family. The remaining 26.49% shares are owned by others.
At the end of December 31, 2015, its employee strength was 170,664. Abid Ali Neemuchwala was appointed as Wipro's CEO after T. K. stepped down in early 2016.
Awards and recognitions
- In March 2017, Wipro was recognized as one of the world’s most ethical companies by US-based Ethisphere Institute for the sixth consecutive year.
- In May 2016, it was ranked 755th on the Forbes Global 2000 list.
- Wipro won Gold Award for ‘Integrated Security Assurance Service (iSAS)’ under the ‘Vulnerability Assessment, Remediation and Management’ category of the 11th Annual 2015 Info Security PG’s Global Excellence Awards.
- Wipro won 7 awards, including Best Managed IT Services and Best System Integrator in the CIO Choice Awards 2015, India
- In 2014, Wipro was ranked 52nd among India's most trusted brands according to the Brand Trust Report, a study conducted by Trust Research Advisory.
- Wipro was ranked 2nd in the Newsweek 2012 Global 500 Green companies.
- Wipro received the 'NASSCOM Corporate Award for Excellence in Diversity and Inclusion, 2012', in the category 'Most Effective Implementation of Practices & Technology for Persons with Disabilities'.
- In 2012, it was awarded the highest rating of Stakeholder Value and Corporate Rating 1 (SVG 1) by ICRA Limited.
- It received National award for excellence in Corporate Governance from the Institute of Company Secretaries of India during the year 2004.
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