Azim Premji is among the most media-shy ceos of India Inc., besides, of course, being one of the richest. But his reluctance to face the glare of media has been quite at variance with the understated, yet determined, aggression that Wipro has demonstrated over the past couple of years. In around 24 months, Wipro has acquired 11 companies, most of them overseas, including most recently, Infocrossing, a New Jersey-based IT outsourcing company, for $600 million (Rs 2,460 crore).
Why has Premji been in such a hurry to buy so many companies? Chiefly, it is because of Wipro's position with regard to the other big Indian IT majors. Wipro is neither the biggest, nor the most valuable of them. Acquisitions, particularly of the Infocrossing kind, can help it bag bigger ticket customers in markets like the US and Europe and, in turn, enable Wipro to grow faster. Senior Editor Venkatesha Babu and Special Correspondent Rahul Sachitanand from our Bangalore bureau interviewed Premji and spent hours with key members of his A-team for a cover story that unveils Wipro's grand plans to become a truly global corporation.
What's interesting is the fact that the strategy isn't restricted to IT alone. Wipro also has a thriving consumer products division and its stringof-pearls acquisition strategy extends to that part of its business as well. In the past four years, Wipro has been snapping up biscuit, soap, beverage, personal products and even lighting companies and brands to grow its consumer businesses.
The crisis on Wall Street, caused by the bottom falling out of the subprime mortgage market, spread like wildfire to stock markets around the world, including India. Assistant Editor Mahesh Nayak brings you an insight into how this domino effect gathered momentum and what you could expect to see in the coming months.
Our special report package this time is on the Indian aviation industry where, although a round of consolidation has happened (examples: the Jet-Sahara, Air India-Indian, and Kingfisher-Deccan deals), there are many wrinkles that need ironing out. The lack of adequate infrastructure is one of them. Besides this, Assistant Editor Kushan Mitra and Special Correspondent T.V. Mahalingam cover issues like the future of low-cost airlines, global ambitions of India's domestic players and how the big two-Boeing and Airbus-as well as other aircraft makers, are targeting India.
With the contagion of a global sell-off also affecting the Indian stock market, prices are down. So, is this the time to invest? BT Money, our personal finance section, tells you where to invest during this season of volatility.