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India Exim Policy

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Are Two CEOs Better Than One? The case of WIPRO

Take an organization with business divisions that overlap, add rapid growth, and flavour with problems arising from an uncertain environment. What you have, potentially, is a recipe for confusion. At Wipro, India's largest software services firm, however, little evidence of confusion has appeared despite the turbulent winds that have buffeted the company for the past few years. When former CEO Vivek Paul left to join Texas Pacific Group, a private equity firm, Wipro has had no CEO since Paul's departure, with Chairman Azim Premji -- who owns more than 80% of this Mumbai- and New York-listed company -- combining the roles of both chairman and CEO.

Wipro was established in 1947. It was a vegetable oil company to start with and was created from an oil mill established by father of Azim Premji, present Chairman and CEO of Wipro. It later ventured into consumer goods in 1966 under Azim Premji's leadership as Wipro Ltd. In 1975 Wipro Fluid Power was set up to make pneumatic cylinders and hydraulic cylinders.
Wipro demerged its non-IT businesses such as in consumer care, lighting, hydraulics and medical diagnostics into a new company to provide more focus for its IT business. Infosys and TCS are pure-play IT services companies. The demerger will help improve profit margins. But analysts think that moving out the small non-IT businesses from the company will alone not help. The company needs to focus on using technology to solve business problems, rather than just emphasize on technology, cost-cutting, and increased productivity. IT services accounted for 79 percent of Wipro's total revenue in the quarter. The company in year 2011-12 earned business revenue of US $ 1929 million.
That situation changed when Wipro announced in mid-April that it had appointed not just one CEO but two: Girish Paranjpe and Suresh Vaswani.…...

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