Wipro adds new German hub and wins in Italy

Wipro has unveiled a new digital innovation hub in Dusseldorf, as it looks to target new opportunities in Germany’s manufacturing heartland.

The centre is designed support digital transformation programmes in areas such as smart manufacturing, and will also work with clients and academia to support talent development in the wider North Rhine-Westphalia region.

The company has also announced a new deal with automotive engineering company Marelli, which will see it establish a software engineering factory for the 60,000-strong group. The deal builds on an existing engagement revealed earlier this year, which will see Wipro delivering applications management and workplace services using its HOLMES automation platform.

Marelli is now 15 months into a complex restructuring programme after investment group KKR brought together two major international auto components suppliers: Fiat-controlled Magneti Marelli and Nissan-controlled Calsonic Kansei of Japan. The combined company is looking to grow its global business by expanding outside its former parent organizations, and developing products that support the growing adoption of connected and electric vehicles. Part of Wipro’s new role will be in helping to speed the time-to-market of new product development.

The win keeps up the momentum that Wipro has built in Europe. In the last three months, the company announced new deals with UK retail group John Lewis Partnership (supporting 80,000 employees, and taking on 244 staff from the IT function), challenger bank Metro (for testing and environment services), as well as German utilities E.ON (supporting grid and infrastructure modernization) and Uniper (implementing a blockchain-based trading platform).

These contracts have bolstered the order book, and the company has fared relatively well given the challenging economic backdrop: European sales were down just 1% in the quarter ending June. It has also been active on the M&A front, adding Belgium-based Salesforce partner 4C, which added 350 employees across regions including the UK, France, Benelux and Nordics. The move built on the earlier acquisition of Salesforce partner Appirio and puts the company in a good place to capitalize on the changing nature of the opportunity for IT services partners supporting Salesforce’s evolving portfolio and positioning.

Wipro now has a European in the bridge seat, following the appointment of former Capgemini COO Thierry Delaporte as its new group CEO in May 2020. But the recent run in Europe perhaps owes more to an earlier move to grant greater power to the regional leadership teams, striking a better balance with the global industry business units. The further development of its local delivery capabilities in markets such as Germany will certainly help it to the many manufacturers in the region that are looking to accelerate their digital journeys in the post-pandemic environment.