And Indian Corporate Biggies.
Wipro (an acronym of “Western India Palm Refined Oils”) started as a vegetable oil trading company in 1947 from an old mill at Amalner,Maharashtra,founded by Azim Premji’s father. This company later became Wipro Products Ltd, Wipro Technologies and Wipro Corporation.
Under Premji s leadership Wipro embarked on an ambitious phase of expansion and diversification. The Company began manufacturing light bulbs with General Electric and other consumer products including soaps, baby care products, shampoos, powder etc. In 1975, Wipro Fluid Power business unit manufacturing hydraulic cylinders and truck tippers was started.
However, Mr. Premji s ambitions did not stop there. In the 1980s Wipro entered the IT field, taking advantage of the expulsion of IBM from the Indian market in 1975. Thus, Wipro became involved in manufacturing computer hardware, software development and related items, under a special license from Sentinel. As a result, the $1.5 million company in hydrogenated cooking fats grew within a few years to a $662 million diversified, integrated corporation in services, medical systems, technology products and consumer items with offices worldwide.
Today WIPRO is one of the largest IT services companies in India. The company s IT division became the world s first to win SEI CMM level 5 and PCMM Level 5 (People Capability Maturity Model) certification, the latest in quality standards.
A large percentage of the company s revenues are generated by the IT division. Wipro works with leading global companies, such as Alcatel, Nokia, Cisco and Nortel and has a joint venture in Medical Systems with General Electric Company.
About the Logo
In an interview, Shombit Sengupta, international management consultant and the founder of Shining Emotional Surplus, spoke about how he created Wipro’s ‘Rainbow Flower’ logo using his ‘Emotional Surplus’ strategy, When we started work for Wipro in 1996 we found that every division was a different company in spirit and there was no linking concept that bonded the divisions, no branding coherency across businesses.
Each division had its own separate mission ¦ It revealed a clear picture of the different competitors, and formed the foundation for our interaction with customers. Wipro had communicated a lot of things over the years, but in the competitive scenario, what had the end-user picked up? We tried to extract this.
Our research revealed that Wipro has diligent, hardworking and sincere employees. But end – users felt Wipro had unfocussed multifaceted businesses. Wipro was seen as very cold and process-oriented, yet Wipro delivered on its commitment.
We found the corporation could take a platform of the value of essential to intelligent, from consumer products up to technology. It was important to provide an identity that linked all of Wipro’s diversified businesses.
We identified four values that would provide critical benefits to end users – human values, integrity, innovative solutions and value for money. Having done that we created the core concept of ‘Applying Thought’ (Wipro is process oriented + thinks for you) that signifies being ahead of time.
This was the strategic leap for Wipro. The four values would converge on Wipro’s corporate promise of ‘Applying Thought’. And information technology would lead the corporation as an engine, while all the other businesses would be the wagons of the locomotive.
The brightness of the ‘Rainbow Flower’ would manifest the corporation’s value of integrity, while the rainbow’s fresh appearance after the storm would reflect human values. Everyone can relate to the rainbow because it’s in nature. It’s rare, but when it appears everyone can see it. This simplicity and rareness would comprise value for money. The central part of the flower denoting digital complexity would reflect the value of innovative solutions. Customer interactions through research confirmed that Wipro’s identity made the corporation into a young, vibrant diversified group with a single personality.
Customers said ‘Applying Thought’ means that Wipro thinks for the customer’s well being, is strong in R&D and thinks out-of-the-box. The flower symbolizes that Wipro cares for the environment, its center shows the digital age, science and technology, its petals reflect the softness of human values.
Born on July 24, 1945, Azim Hashim Premji was studying Electrical Engineering from Stanford University, USA when due to the sudden demise of his father in 1966; he was called upon to handle the family business. Under Azim Premji’s leadership Wipro has metamorphosed from a Rs.70 million company in hydrogenated cooking fats to a pioneer in providing integrated business, technology and process solutions on a global delivery platform. Today, Wipro Technologies is the largest independent R&D service provider in the world.
Premji is known for his modesty and frugality in spite of his wealth. He drives a Toyota Corolla and flies economy class, prefers to stay in company guest houses rather than luxury hotels and even served food on paper plates at a lunch honoring his son’s wedding.
Azim Premji has several achievements to his credit. In 2000, Asiaweek magazine, voted Premji among the 20 most powerful men in the world. Azim Premji was among the 50 richest people in the world from 2001 to 2003 listed by Forbes. In April 2004, Times Magazine rated him among the 100 most influential people in the world by Time magazine. He is also the richest Indian for the past several years. In 2005,Government of India honored Azim Premji with Padma Bhushan. His wealth in 2010 was estimated at US$17 billion which places him as the second richest Indian and 28th on the Forbes World’s Richest People in 2010.
Mr. Premji reportedly holds about 78% stakes in Wipro.
In the year 2001, Premji established Azim Premji Foundation, a not-for-profit organization with a vision of influencing the lives of millions of children in India by facilitating the universalization of elementary education. The foundation works closely with the state governments of Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh etc and the programs cover over 5000 rural schools. Premji contributes the financial resources for the foundation.
Premji is married to Yasmeen, the couple have two children, Rishad and Tariq.
Major Divisions Of Wipro
Wipro provides complete range of IT Services to the organization. The range of services extends from Enterprise Application Services (CRM, ERP, e-Procurement and SCM) to e-Business solutions. Wipro’s enterprise solutions serve a host of industries such as Energy and Utilities, Finance, Telecom, and Media and Entertainment.
Product Engineering Solutions:
Wipro is the largest independent provider of R&D services in the world. Using “Extended Engineering” model for leveraging R&D investment and accessing new knowledge and experience across the globe, people and technical infrastructure, Wipro enables firms to introduce new products rapidly.
Technology Infrastructure Service:
Wipro’s Technology Infrastructure Services (TIS) is the largest Indian IT infrastructure service provider in terms of revenue, people and customers with more than 200 customers in US, Europe, Japan and over 650 customers in India.
Business Process Outsourcing:
Wipro provides business process outsourcing services in areas Finance & Accounting, Procurement, HR Services, Loyalty Services and Knowledge Services. In 2002, Wipro acquiring Spectramind and became one of the largest BPO service players.
Wipro offers services in Business Consulting, Process Consulting, Quality Consulting, and Technology Consulting.
I have always maintained that a multi-color logo is a power blend of all the colors present in it. The use of several colors in a logo is justified if there are several independent divisions within a company. The Wipro logo might have made a clever use of the gradient in amalgamating all the colours but I do feel that the colors should retain their pristine identity. Also, I would have let the flower retain its natural splendour rather than a borrowed one.
Google is a good example of what I am saying.. Google has a colorful childlike logo set against a pure white background. It conveys purity and a skeptical view of authority and gels with their corporate motto Don t be Evil .
When the logo was introduced Google only had a search engine. Since then it has added many other business divisions; yet all of them have found comfortable space within the original logo.
When I did the logo for GTL it was these considerations – among others – that finally gave shape to the multi – color design. As it turned out, all the separate divisions have found synergy amongst themselves and contribute handsomely to the company s profitability and growth.
(The GTL logo appears daily on the Times of India sports page. For more on the GTL logo read Vaastuyogam Volume 10, July 2009).