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Managing Growth at Wipro and ITC

In a special session, HR leaders from the two firms provide students with insights on corporate strategy  

16 MAY, 2022: As part of the Corporate Strategy course of the Post Graduate Programme in Enterprise Management (PGPEM), IIMB hosted two guest speakers, Dr. Sridhar R and Sri. Saurabh Govil, for a session on ‘Managing Growth at ITC and Wipro’. The speakers were invited by Prof. Deepak Chandrashekar, who teaches Corporate Strategy at IIMB.

The Post Graduate Programme in Enterprise Management is IIMB’s MBA program for working professionals.

Dr. Sridhar R is an HR leader with more than 35 years of experience of working with ITC Ltd. in various leadership roles. He did his Post Graduate Diploma and Fellowship in Human Resource Management from XLRI. In his session, he brought in his experience and knowledge about ITC’s growth journey, through vertical integration and diversification as growth strategies, to a multi-business conglomerate.

Sri. Saurabh Govil, currently the President and Chief HR Officer at Wipro Ltd., has industry experience of over 30 years in various HR leadership roles. He did his Post Graduate Diploma in Human Resource Management from XLRI and has been with Wipro for over 13 years. In his talk, he detailed Wipro’s growth strategy, via acquisition and planning, and spoke of the execution nuances of different kinds of acquisitions.

The students gained insights into the growth strategies followed by ITC and Wipro.

Dr. Sridhar explained the multiple phases of ITC’s growth strategy and the motivation behind it. “In phase 1 with vertical integration, the focus and motivation was on reducing risk while phase 2 was driven by nation-building and subsequently matching the internal resources and competencies with the opportunities present in the market,” he said, remarking: “Even if you don’t solve the problem properly, you learn from the experience.”

Sri. Saurabh Govil took the students through various acquisitions, which he termed as one of the predominant vehicles of growth for Wipro. He spoke at length about reaping value from the acquisitions to grow a business, the challenges of integrating the culture between the acquired and the acquirer companies, and the challenges faced in acquiring companies in very different businesses, among other things. “The intent of acquisitions is to ensure that we create value and not destroy it,” he said. He also touched upon the importance of honesty, transparency, and working on the acquisition well ahead of time.   

Both sessions helped the students learn from real-world examples of growth strategies. The insights could help them map the frameworks learnt in class with the reality of business.

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