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Wipro has no plan to lay off employees due to pandemic: Rishad Premji

PTI Bengaluru | Updated on July 13, 2020 Published on July 13, 2020

Wipro Chairman Rishad Premji

Wipro triggered business continuity plans and enabled work from home for about 93% of employees across the world soon after pandemic onset.

Wipro Chairman Rishad Premji on Monday said the company has not laid off any employee due to the Covid-19 impact and has no plans to do so for now.

Premji said this in response to a question by a shareholder at the 74th annual general meeting (AGM) of the company, held virtually.

“We are trying to drive cost reduction through various other means, through operationally and otherwise, but we have laid off no people and have no plans to lay off anybody at the moment,” he said.

This was his first annual general meeting (AGM) as the Chairman of Wipro, after taking charge in July last year.

During his address to the AGM, Premji said without question, employee safety and well-being has been and will remain of paramount importance to us.

“In March, at the early onset of Covid-19, we triggered our business continuity plans and enabled work from home for about 93 per cent of our employees across the world.

It was heartening and inspiring to observe the seamless teamwork which enabled the smooth execution of this massive change,” he said.

In these past few months, we have settled well into this new way of working, and our focus remains on making our clients successful, he said, adding that “I also believe that some of these changes will forever transform how we work in the future.”

Stating that as part of our strategy in enabling businesses and consumers to transform, our plan of driving a ‘Digital’ first approach is particularly relevant in these times, the Wipro Chairman said, “we have made significant investments in Digital, Cloud, Cybersecurity and in our engineering capabilities.”

These investments and focus have helped us achieve leadership in these areas as acknowledged by our customers and analysts, he said, adding “Wipro Ventures, our Corporate venture arm has announced a second fund of USD 150M taking our total commitment to USD 250M.”

Noting that Wipro tried to do utmost, to help tackle the pandemic and its humanitarian fallout, Premji said over the past three-and-half months our efforts had supported about 80 lakh people with about 28 crore meals.

“We have also helped about 30 lakh people regenerate their livelihoods. During the crisis, we supplied about 2 lakh PPE kits to where they were needed the most.”

“We have helped scale up testing capacity and critical care capacity across many regions, by supplying equipment, and supporting frontline healthcare workers,” he said adding this was done in collaboration with the Azim Premji Foundation and Wipro Enterprises Ltd.

Wipro’s new CEO Thierry Delaporte said profitable growth would be the most important priority on his agenda.

“We will do everything to regain the momentum in the marketplace. Building on our strong foundation, we will make bold bets and stretch goals. We will aim to drive a high- performance culture even as we steadfastly hold to our cherished values,” he said.

“I am confident that we will be able to deliver long- term, sustainable growth in the interest of all our stakeholders,” he added.

A Capgemini Group veteran Delaporte took over as Wipro’s Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director effective from July 6.

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Published on July 13, 2020
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