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Wipro's acquisition tempo intact

By Suveen K Sinha in New Delhi
October 09, 2006 10:18 IST
Wipro Technologies, which has acquired as many as eight companies since December last year for amounts ranging from $20 million to $56 million, will continue to acquire companies at the rate of six to eight a year, whose cost will be in the same range.

In addition, the Bangalore-based information technology company will embellish this strategy of acquiring small targets - referred to by chairman Azim Premji as the string of pearls - with the acquisition of bigger companies.

"We will continue looking for smaller and focused companies. My hope is that our run-rate will be six-eight transactions a year, though it may be even more. We are also looking at big companies. We have some in our funnel right now, though I cannot say if it will happen in this quarter or the next," Sudip Nandy, Wipro's chief strategy officer, said.

Wipro began to string together its pearls in December last year after a two-year pause in its acquisition spree that followed the takeover of Nervewire Consulting, a Boston-based

consulting company.

However, Wipro's last big-bang acquisition was that of Spectramind, the business process outsourcing company promoted by Raman Roy, four years ago. Although Nandy said the Spectramind acquisition went down very well, he added it could have been better but for the high attrition plaguing BPOs.

"With Spectramind, we have learnt a lot of lessons, which have strengthened our acquisition integration capabilities. Since then, we have tried to incorporate the do's and dont's in the new acquisitions; the early integration planning, the role of the integration lead in getting the two companies to blend, etc," Nandy said.

In January 2005, each of Wipro's verticals, totalling over 25, prepared a three-year strategic plan, including a wish-list for acquisitions, which were presented to the board in June 2005.

Each of these verticals was $50-200 million in size and wanted to acquire something smaller than itself, something that could be acquired for $30-50 million.

Suveen K Sinha in New Delhi
Source: source