Wipro Interview

Knowledge@Wharton has an interview with Azim Premji and Pratik Kumar, Wipro’s head of human resources. An excerpt:

Knowledge@Wharton: What leadership qualities do you look for in executives you hire at Wipro?

Premji: We have defined seven or eight leadership qualities. We have defined those because we needed some consistency in terms of what we measure against when we recruit; what we measure against when we promote; and what we want our training to be oriented towards in terms of the skills and competencies we want to build into people. Pratik, could you add more about the leadership qualities?

Pratik Kumar: We look for people who can work effectively in an unstructured environment, who have great adaptability and who can be reasonably comfortable in situations that are not crystal clear and where there is a level of ambiguity. We also recruit people who have a lot of self-initiative because these are qualities that will lead them to succeed in our kind of environment.

In addition, we have a clearly crafted list of leadership qualities with which we measure our own managerial talent and I will touch on those very quickly. One is customer orientation, because we believe that for an organization to be successful, this is a particularly important rule. Strategic thinking is becoming more and more important; we need people who can balance short-term and long-term goals, and who are ready to sprint and run a marathon at the same time.

Self-confidence is another quality that I think is becoming increasingly important.

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Rajesh Jain

An Entrepreneur based in Mumbai, India.