Wipro Has No Plans For Layoffs Due To Covid-19 Pandemic: Chairman Rishad Premji
An employee uses a laptop computer as another walks past while looking at a mobile device at Wipro headquarters in Bengaluru, India, on April 14, 2016. (Photographer: Namas Bhojani/Bloomberg)

Wipro Has No Plans For Layoffs Due To Covid-19 Pandemic: Chairman Rishad Premji

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Software services firm Wipro Ltd. has not laid off any employees due to the Covid-19 pandemic and has no plans to do for now, Chairman Rishad Premji said on Monday.

"We are trying to drive cost reduction through various other means, operationally and otherwise, but we have laid off no people and have no plans to lay off anybody at the moment," he said in response to a shareholder’s question at the company’s 74th annual general meeting that was held online.

This was Premji’s first annual general meeting as Wipro chairman. He took charge of the company from his father, Azim Premji, in July last year.

During his address at the AGM, Premji said employee safety and well-being is and will remain of paramount importance to Wipro. "In March, at the early onset of Covid-19, we triggered our business continuity plans and enabled work from home for about 93% of our employees across the world,” he said. “It was heartening and inspiring to observe the seamless teamwork, which enabled smooth execution of this change.”

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

And Wipro’s ‘digital first’ approach is particularly relevant in these times, the chairman said. "We have made significant investments in Digital, Cloud, Cybersecurity and in our engineering capabilities." These investments and focus has helped the firm achieve leadership in these areas as acknowledged by our customers and analysts, he said. "Wipro Ventures, our corporate venture arm, has announced a second fund of $150 million, taking our total commitment to $250 million.”

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 the Bengaluru-based firm’s efforts have 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 two lakh PPE kits to where they were needed the most.”

Thierry Delaporte, the new chief executive officer of Wipro, said profitable growth will be the most important priority of his agenda at the company. "I'm confident we will be able to deliver long-term, sustainable growth in the interest of all our stakeholders.”

On Monday, Wipro shares rose 2.50% to Rs 227.55 apiece on the BSE while the benchmark Sensex gained 0.27% to end the day at 36,693.69 points.

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