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Destiny led me and Culture kept me here : A Wipro Story

Category: vice president, testimonial, Work-Life Balance, Gender Focus, Female Initiatives, Work Life Balance, Mentoring, What Our People Say, Staff Testimonial, female, mentor, Wipro, senior women, female potential

Gender Focus

After graduating as an electrical engineer , I joined an engineering firm in Pune and dreamt of following in the footsteps of my hero, Lila Poonawalla, MD of Alfa Laval at the time and eventually heading a large manufacturing company.

This was in the early nineties, when India had just started on the path of liberalization and manufacturing was seeing a resurgence. But destiny had other plans. At the early age of 23, I married and moved to New Delhi. It was soon clear that I would have to look for a non-manufacturing career if I had to continue working. At the same time the IT Industry in India too growing rapidly. Rapid technological advancement, the Y2k preparations, a growing workforce of highly skilled engineers, all came together to create a flourishing IT services industry. An interesting, and rewarding turn of luck as I began my journey in IT and Wipro.

In the last 20 years, Wipro has become one of the most inspiring success stories in the sector and being part of that journey has been a phenomenal experience. I started off as a Systems Engineer (a designation not used today) in a sub $1Bn company. Today, I am the Country Head for Wipro in the UK, the 2nd largest country for Wipro by revenues, and I am part of the extended leadership team of this $8.5 billion company.

Wipro’s values, its culture and the people it nurtured have made the last twenty-five years here memorable. I am proud to be a career Wiproite and have grown professionally under the guidance and belief system set up by our Founder Chairman, Mr Azim Premji.

Wipro has given me inspiring mentors, close friends and a strong sense of values that pervade all aspects of my life, one of the most important one being one’s responsibilities to society. Wipro gave me multiple opportunities in diverse businesses and I grew organically into senior leadership roles.At one point, I moved to Wipro Cares, which is now part of Wipro Foundation, for 5 years to enable me to fulfill my passion to give back to society! Last year we started our CSR projects in the UK and I have the privilege of leading these initiatives in the area of STEM education in partnership with Kings College, London, and Sheffield Hallam University.

Managing work-life balance is not easy, especially for a woman. Here too, Wipro’s support along and my passion and drive kept me going from strength to strength. Today I am part of Wipro’s Diversity Council and I’m happy that I contribute and drive this great culture that has shaped me into the person I am today.

As I close 25 memorable years with Wipro, my experience can be summed up as, “you can do anything as long as you have the passion, the drive, the focus and the support”, and Wipro has been that great pillar of support and strength for me.

I am grateful for this wonderful company that nurtures passion, and considers it an inseparable part of its people development programs & growth journeys and provides an inclusive culture where everyone wins!

- Sharmila Paranjpe (VP & Country Head-UK&I),Wipro

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