Western India Palm Refined Oil – Wipro. Every area that Wipro tackles comes back to palm oil, even the technology.
Founded in 1945, Wipro has become a massive multinational company. Though it started out as a palm oil manufacturer and continues to pursue those products through its primary company, in 2013 it spun off Wipro Enterprises to focus on the IT branch of the company’s sales and development. Wipro Enterprises is one in the top three fastest-growing IT companies in the world.
From Oil to IT
Wipro began as a manufacturer of refined oils and vegetable oils in Amalner, Maharashtra in British India. Founder Mohamed Premji was succeeded by his son Azim after he came back to India from his studies at Stanford University in America. The younger Premji was just twenty-one years old when he took the reigns of the already massive company.
The company went public in 1946 on the Bombay Stock Exchange and went live on the New York Stock Exchange fifty-four years later in 2000.
Along the way, Wipro diversified tremendously. IT and computers were a massive opportunity in the 1970s and Wipro jumped onboard. This is when it changed its name from Western India Vegetable Products to Wipro.
Throughout the expansion of its IT division, Wipro continued to expand its soap products offering. This includes products like Wipro Jasmine Toilet Soap.
Palm Oil Controversy
Environmental concerns surrounding the palm oil industry have been a serious consideration for Wipro. Worldwide boycotts of palm oil products led the company to adopt a series of sustainability practices to address customer concerns.
Wipro was ranked first in the Asian Sustainability Rating of Indian companies in 2010. It’s also a member of the Dow Jones Global Sustainability Index and the NASDAQ Global Sustainability Index.
Greenpeace ranked Wipro number one in its 2012 Guide to Greener Electronics. The company is serious about its environmental commitment across both its palm oil and IT branches.
For six straight years, Wipro was recognized as one of the world’s most ethical companies by the Ethisphere Institute.
Wipro has two major subsidiaries, Western India Medical Products Limited, and Wipro GE Medical Systems.
The latter is a partnership with electronic giant General Electric. This company engages in the research and development of new and innovative medical products. It goes all the way back to 1990 and includes healthcare IT, equipment diagnostics, and gadgets.
Wipro has been a part of the manufacture of medical related consumer and industry products since early in its product development. The personal care arm and IT areas were a natural fit for Wipro GE Medical Systems.
Western India Medical Products Limited offers a whole host of IT related services including information outsourcing, IT-enabled services, consulting, R&D, and systems integration.
Size and Scope
Wipro is one of the largest multinational companies to be based out of India. From its base in Bangalore, the company has branches in furniture, healthcare, personal care, lighting, digital strategy, outsourcing, managed services, and consulting.
Annual revenue for Wipro is nearly eight and a half-billion dollars. The company’s assets are more than twelve billion dollars.
Through smart product development, focused research, and a willingness to work towards the future, Wipro has created a company that has sustained itself and grown for almost a hundred years.