On 29 April this year, Indian IT major Wipro completed its acquisition of UK-based technology consultancy Capco. It was a big deal, and not just because it cost Wipro US$1.45 billion. Capco is the company’s largest buy so far, marking a key milestone in its comeback trail. A trail headed by Wipro’s new chief executive officer (CEO), industry veteran Thierry Delaporte, who joined in July 2020.

Wipro’s fall had been in the making for nearly two decades now. Once the top dog of India’s IT sector after TCS, the Bengaluru-headquartered company slowly and steadily fell behind rivals such as Infosys, Cognizant, and HCL Technologies. In fact, Wipro lost its position as the third-largest Indian IT service provider by revenue (after TCS and Infosys) to HCL as recently as fiscal year ended March 2019.

The company had been underperforming for years—its 10-year compound annual growth revenue is in single digits compared to the double-digit growth of peers. It seemed like there was no way to stop the slide. Delaporte, ex-chief operating officer of Paris-headquartered IT major Capgemini, had his work cut out.

In less than a year, he dismantled and remade Wipro’s management structures and teams, letting go of some of the old guard, while others left on their own. He also infused aggression, chasing growth organically and through acquisitions, such as the Capco one.

The acquisition is significant in more ways than one. It brings in capabilities and clients for Wipro, expanding the company’s presence in its mainstay banking, financial services and insurance (BFSI) segment. More importantly, however, it signals that the company’s promoters have given Delaporte a free hand to turn around Wipro.

The Premjis—Indian business tycoon Azim Premji and his son Rishad Premji, who took over as chairman from his father in July 2019—own about 73% of Wipro. This is among the largest promoter stakes in Indian IT. The big promoter shadow, it has been speculated, contributed to the revolving door of Wipro CEOs; Delaporte is the third to hold that position in five years.

Revolving door

Delaporte replaced Abidali Neemuchwala as CEO. Before him, T.K. Kurien completed his five-year tenure. Prior to that, the company had joint CEOs—Suresh Vaswani and Girish Paranjpe whose terms had been cut short.

Delaporte, though, is seemingly being allowed to run the show the way he thinks best—without the need to look over his shoulders for a nod from the promoters. Responding to queries from The Ken, a Wipro spokesperson said, “CEO Thierry Delaporte has the complete freedom and authority to drive the changes he wants. He enjoys the confidence and support of Chairman Rishad Premji and other Board members.”

The changes have meant that the Wipro narrative is now one of an underdog picking itself up. Its March 2021 quarterly results were its best in a decade, marked by big deal wins, a sharp jump in operating margin and a 27% year-on-year growth in profit to Rs 2,974 crore (US$406.4 million).


Anand Kalyanaraman

A certified Chartered Accountant, Anand chose to pack the power of numbers with words when he left a career of seven years in accounting, putting together MIS reports, and investment research to enter journalism. Before joining The Ken, Anand was Deputy Editor at The Hindu BusinessLine, a newspaper he worked at for 11 years.

View Full Profile

Read this story. Subscribe Now

This story is available across both editions. Subscribe to the one that’s most relevant for you. Questions?

Pick an edition


Annual Subscription

12-month access to 200+ stories, archive of 800+ stories from our India edition. Plus our premium newsletters, Beyond The First Order and The Nutgraf worth Rs. 99/month or $2/month each for free.

Rs. 2,750


Single Story

Instant access to this story for a year along with comment privileges.

Rs. 500


Annual Subscription

12-month access to 150+ stories from Southeast Asia.

$ 120


Single Story

Instant access to this story for a year along with comment privileges.

$ 20



What is The Ken?

The Ken is a subscription-only business journalism website and app that provides coverage across two editions - India and Southeast Asia.

What kind of stories do you write?

We publish sharp, original and reported stories on technology, business and healthcare. Our stories are forward-looking, analytical and directional — supported by data, visualisations and infographics.

We use language and narrative that is accessible to even lay readers. And we optimise for quality over quantity, every single time.

What do I get if I subscribe?

For subscribers of the India edition, we publish a new story every weekday, a premium daily newsletter, Beyond The First Order and a weekly newsletter - The Nutgraf.

For subscribers of the Southeast Asia edition, we publish a new story three days a week and a weekly newsletter, Strait Up.

The annual subscription will get you complete, exclusive access to our archive of previously published stories for your edition, along with access to our subscriber-only mobile apps, our premium comment sections, our newsletter archives and several other gifts and benefits.

Do I need to pay separately for your premium newsletters?

Nope. Paid, premium subscribers of The Ken get our newsletters delivered for free.

Does a subscription to the India edition grant me access to Southeast Asia stories? Or vice-versa?

Afraid not. Each edition is separate with its own subscription plan. The India edition publishes stories focused on India. The Southeast Asia edition is focused on Southeast Asia. We may occasionally cross-publish stories from one edition to the other.

Do you offer an all-access joint subscription for both editions?

Not yet. If you’d like to access both editions, you’ll have to purchase two subscriptions separately - one for India and the other for Southeast Asia.

Do you offer any discounts?

No. We have a zero discounts policy.

Is there a free trial I can opt for?

We don’t offer any trials, but you can sign up for a free account which will give you access to the weekly free story, our archive of free stories and summaries of the paid stories. You can stay on the free account as long as you’d like.

Do you offer refunds?

We allow you to sample our journalism for free before signing up, and after you do, we stand by its quality. But we do not offer refunds.

I am facing some trouble purchasing a subscription. What can I do?

Please write to us at support@the-ken.com detailing the error or queries.