Thierry Delaporte, the first foreign CEO of Wipro, is no stranger to Indian IT


Thierry Delaporte, the Capgemini executive who has been named as the first non-Indian CEO of Wipro is not a newbie to the country nor the Indian IT services industry.

After Salil Parekh, his former colleague at Capgemini and the current CEO of Infosys, led the French company’s $4 billion acquisition of iGATE five years ago, the largest such deal so far in India, it was Delaporte who integrated the IT services firm into its fold.

“We were worried (of cultural issues) as Capgemini India was running as a cost centre, while we were operating the India services model,” says Salil Ravindran, chief financial officer at Technosoft Corp. “His cultural sympathy was high.”

Indian IT services firms have built over three decades a model of delivering IT services from offshore locations such as India and at higher margins than global rivals.

Ravindran, who was then the deputy CFO at iGATE, engaged with Delaporte during the one and half years of integration of the IT outsourcer into the European consulting firm, helping it to scale its offshore workforce significantly in India. Capgemini calls the integration a success that has helped it grow its India workforce to over 1.25 lakh, nearly half of its global workforce

“He is very calm, composed, an intellectual and takes faster decisions,” says Ravindran about Delaporte, who lost out to Aiman Ezzat for the top job at Capgemini. Ezzat took over as CEO at Capgemini last week.

Delaporte, who joined Capgemini in 1995, through its acquisition of Sogeti, started with auditing. Soon, he led the finance operations for the company across regions outside of Europe. He moved to sales and later led Capgemini’s Global Financial Services Strategic Business Unit before moving on to head the company’s Latin American operations. In 2018, Delaporte was elevated to Group Chief Operating Officer that led to the exit of Parekh, who was also a contender for the role.

Now, two of India’s top IT services firms have an alumnus from Capgemini leading the respective companies.

Wipro Chairman Rishad Premji, who has seen the company lagging in growth for over a decade, has been looking at an outsider to lead the organisation.

“I am looking at teamwork. Other soft things that are needed in leadership is a certain sense of empathy and vulnerabiity,” Premji said during a panel discussion at Nasscom technology summit in February.

“Gone are the days when everybody had the right answer. The world is changing so quickly, the technology industry is changing so quickly. The ability to put people together, the ability to leverage what is outside you and bring it together,” he said.

Ravindran credits Delaporte for turning Capgemini to have a strong India focus model.

“He understands the India model and definitely a great client facing guy,” he says.

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