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India's biggest destination for U.S. offshoring is branching out by setting up global delivery centers and acquiring other businesses
Investors are used to good things from Wipro (WIT). One of India's premier outsourcing companies, the Bangalore giant has been on an impressive winning streak and in April reported a 44% increase in quarterly profits, to $205 million, on a 42% increase in sales. That's the seventh quarter in a row that Wipro has posted an earnings record.
In the past couple of years, Wipro has made steady inroads into developing new markets in Europe to shed its reliance on the U.S. market. The results are starting to show. In fiscal 2007 the U.S. business market share was down to 48% from 50% the previous year. Today, Europe accounts for 25% of Wipro's global business.
Wipro is hardly giving up on the U.S., though. The company is looking to expand its presence there in hopes of adding hundreds of U.S. programmers. The goal is to get closer to U.S. customers.
Wipro Chairman Azim Premji believes it's important for the company to have more local employees who can better understand the needs of Wipro customers. With that in mind—and in order to counteract the impact of the rising rupee—Wipro has a target of 10% for its non-Indian workforce, up from just 2.5% today.
Apart from setting up global delivery centers across the world, Wipro is also focusing on making acquisitions in niche areas. Unlike IT rivals like Infosys (INFY) and Tata Consultancy Services, Wipro has a division that makes lighting equipment and soap and competes at home against consumer products heavyweights like Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) and Hindustan Lever. Now, Wipro is trying to strengthen its consumer business outside India.
On July 6 the company announced that it will spend $250 million to acquire Unza Holdings, a Singapore consumer products company. That's just the latest in a string of deals. Since April, 2006, Wipro has purchased eight companies in fields including computer-aided design and engineering services.
Another thing differentiating Wipro from its Indian IT rivals is the control that the chairman exercises. Premji owns more than 70% of Wipro and is chairman, chief executive officer, and managing director. In June his son Rishad joined the company.