Vivek Paul was hired to run the IT division of a global company that originally sold cooking oil. Paul was brought on board to develop Wipro Technologies into a leading provider of software services to the world’s largest corporations. He was a native of India, yet was educated and had worked in the United States for many years. Paul faced a number of challenges in achieving this goal. His most immediate challenge was attracting, developing, and retaining key talent. Paul needed someone at the helm who had established relationships and held credibility with the employees at Wipro Technologies’ Indian operation centers. He wanted someone who knew the Indian corporate culture and who had the cross-cultural sophistication that comes from extended expatriate experience to be the director of Wipro Technologies Europe. Sudip Nandy was the perfect fit for such an assignment. This story illustrates the cultural challenges of transforming an Indian company to enhance its global effectiveness. The A case (UVA-OB-0755) discusses some of the methods Wipro used to leverage diversity in the workforce to create competitive advantage for the firm. The B case (UVA-OB-0763) further describes some of Nandy’s ideas for business growth. In the C case (UVA-OB-0778), Nandy reviews more strategies and updates the business situation to late 2002. The Wipro series illustrates the importance of national culture and ethnicity issues to everything a large corporation does–including its own culture of origin, the cultures of its potential customers, and the cultures of its employees. The cases lend themselves well to the unfolding of the Hofstede cultural model during class.
Darden Business Publishing – University of Virginia