'We're very bullish on Latin America this year'

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Wipro, one of India's largest global IT consulting firms, with worldwide revenues of US$7.7bn, arrived in Brazil in 2006 ago providing IT services to the largest companies in the banking, telecommunications, retail, manufacturing, oil and gas, and government sectors.

Brazil accounts for 40% of the company's Latin American revenue and is the regional sales leader for the Indian group.

BNamericas spoke to Ankur Prakash, VP of manufacturing, SBU and LATAM at Wipro, about the challenges and opportunities in the Brazilian market.

BNamericas: This is an important year in Latin America, with elections taking place in several major economies. What's your business outlook for the region?

Prakash: People usually refer to Latin America as a unique thing, a single body, a huge country. And we know it's not like that. The most important countries in Latin America all are poised to grow this year, whether in terms of GDP growth or the IT sector. Overall the IT market is being led in sales terms by Brazil and Mexico. Mexico will show the most growth, almost 13% year-on-year.

I'm very bullish about Latin America as a market, and specifically Mexico and Brazil, as well as countries like Colombia, Peru and Chile.

BNamericas: Wipro's 2016 revenues have Brazil as your largest market, growing some 40%; followed by Mexico, with 30%. Is this still the trend for your company?

Prakash: That's correct: 40% of our revenues come from Brazil, 35% now from Mexico, and the remaining split among the other markets.

BNamericas: So despite recent recession in Brazil, the country still remains your main source of revenues in the region.

Prakash: Brazil is a behemoth, the largest economy, representing basically 50% of the LatAm economy. So there is volume and scale there. Besides, it is a dynamic market, and has an overall mature IT segment, not to mention the acquisition we made there last year. [Wipro paid 27.6mn reais (US$8.38mn) in April 2017 for InfoServer, which provides custom application development and software deployment services focused on banking, financial services and insurance.]

BNamericas: Which industries is Wipro focused on in Brazil? 

Prakash: There are three verticals that are growing the fastest: the financial sector, retail and manufacturing. We are also doing a lot of work with the government and the public sector, as well as some work in electric power, and oil and gas.

BNamericas: Which solutions are you selling to the public sector?

Prakash: Almost 75% of the projects we are taking on in Brazil and in other parts of Latin America and emerging markets are dedicated to customer service. We're talking about customer experience, mobility, design, digitization, automation, big data.

We're working with a couple of entities from the Brazilian federal government. This fiscal year we want to identify government agencies that add value and have demand for IT services and projects.

BNamericas: Will the LatAm electoral calendar play any role on your business?

Prakash: There will be some impact at the macroeconomic level, but from the perspective of Wipro and IT market growth, I don't see political parties proposing major policy changes that would alarm us. We will continue gaining clients. We grew almost 50% this fiscal year and next fiscal year we'll be growing close over 35% in the whole of Latin America.

About Ankur Prakash

Ankur Prakash is the vice president for new growth and emerging markets at Wipro. He has 20 years of experience in the IT industry and has worked in the Americas, Asia, and Europe. Prakash's expertise encompasses the areas of business management, process management, client relations, and program management. Prior to working with Wipro, he served as vice president and COO of Tata Consultancy Services, Latin America.

About the company

Wipro is an Indian information technology services corporation that offers system integration, consulting, information systems outsourcing, IT-enabled services and R&D services. Diversification has been at the core of the company, which entered the technology business in the 1980s. Wipro has over 140,000 employees and clients across 54 countries.