Business ethics- the Wipro wayThe article is inlarge part based on a book by Steve Hamm
India’s success in the west, especially in the field of outsourcing, is history now .several corporate have launched themselves on amalgamations and merger route, a few of them acquiring companies abroad.
In the IT sector the leader in this enterprise is Wipro.
Wipro stands for Western India vegetable products, the forerunner of the present one owned by Azim Premji. Premji is a billionaire now, perhaps the first one, till he was overtaken by the Ambani brothers after the recent stock market surge.
Wipro has metamorphosed into a polymath.Yet, Premji has his ears to the ground and is highly accessible to his employees as well as business partners.
Where lies Wipro’s uniqueness? Early on, Premji opted for business ethics, both internally as well as externally. The latter has cost him dear occasionally.
Premji and his company ride high on a wave unleashed by modern technology. It made available the intellectual wealth of India to western businesses. In the words of Jack Welch, India’s role will get bigger and bigger. It will be a significant player in the global economy.
Wipro is a class by itself where service is concerned. A top executive of General Motors corporation offered to give more software programming projects to Wipro but he laid down a condition.” Until I can see you from my office window, I won’t know if you’re committed.
There were constraints in setting up office in the US because of 9/11 atttack.So the Wipro man set up an office in Canada, right across the Detroit river, from GM’s headquarters.
“They impressed me”, observed the GM top brass.
Wipro’s foray into medical systems gained for the company lot of credibility.” we are able to evaluate opportunities at the right time and put together an act to make a commercial success of it”, says Premji.
Where business ethics is concerned, the company is strict.Dos and don’ts are posted on the values page of the employee web site. Keeping people waiting for appointments is a “no” and criticizing subordinates is a “no,no”., especially in public. Among the 24 core competencies identified by the company are initiative, persuasiveness, problem solving and customer service orientation.
Whistleblowers are encouraged and confidentiality is assured. the investigation is done by ombudspersons.
The Wipro way is best described by premji: we are developing cross-synergies, so it’s not a matter of 1 plus 2 equals 2.It’s 1 plus 1 equal more than 3.
Premji tolerates dissent and gains from it too. What is the secret of Wipro’s growth? It is like a submarine with its periscope perpetually up and scanning the horizon. It’s on the lookout for techniques established by others that it can apply to its work. In its approach to work, it stresses on respect for the individual, employee empowerment, and aspiration for excellence.
In sum, Wipro is a symbol of Indian ingenuity and innovation.