Investing in Japan
Success Stories Wipro Japan K.K.
Wipro Japan K.K. is the Japanese subsidiary of the IT company Wipro Limited headquartered in Bengaluru, India. Since setting up a base in Japan in 1998, Wipro Japan has been providing tailored IT services to clients while incorporating strict Japanese industry standards for quality and delivery. Its reputation in the industry continues to grow. In recent years, the company has focused on developing remote medicine and connected car technologies utilizing the latest advances in IoT and AI. We spoke to Wipro Limited’s Senior Vice President, Manoj Nagpaul and Country Head of Japan, Naohide Takatani about current initiatives and doing business in Japan.
Wipro Limited (NYSE: WIT, BSE: 507685, NSE: WIPRO), is a leading global information technology, consulting and business process services (BPS) company. Wipro is recognized globally for its comprehensive portfolio of services, strong commitment to sustainability and good corporate citizenship, and has 170,000 dedicated employees serving clients across six continents.
Wipro expanded to Japan early on, establishing its Japanese subsidiary, Wipro Japan K.K. (hereafter “Wipro Japan”), in Yokohama, Kanagawa. In addition to its Yokohama headquarters, the company also established a delivery center in Osaka. Wipro currently has around 325 employees in Japan, serving more than 50 companies in the automobiles, manufacturing and pharmaceuticals industries.
Supporting the global business of Japanese companies
Japanese companies operating internationally require optimization of their IT estate in order to understand and manage overseas business from their headquarters in Japan. “Through providing integrated IT systems solutions, we at Wipro are contributing to the continued global success of Japanese businesses,” said Manoj Nagpaul, Senior Vice President and Business Head, Asia Pacific and Japan, Wipro Limited..
The Asia-Pacific region (excluding India) comprised 11.1% of Wipro’s 8.1 billion US dollars (approximately 98.1 billion JPY) in global sales for the 2017-2018 fiscal year. According to Mr. Nagpaul, the Japanese market is “one of the big bets” in Wipro’s business. “We predict major growth for the Japanese market in the future, and we are pursuing the necessary investments for further expansion,” he emphasized.
Expanding corporate networks and improving client convenience
Wipro Japan provides infrastructure platform solutions like cloud as well as integration of business applications through combining its global expertise and technologies with knowledge gained from many years of doing business in Japan. The company has also been leading the industry as a pioneer in digital transformation with its IoT and AI technologies, which are key pillars of the fourth industrial revolution.
“Recently, in Japan, we have seen a rise in business which focusses on improving client convenience. For example, digital banking services, that can enable banking from the comforts of the home are on the rise. The customer no longer has to go to the bank, as all transactions can be conducted over a mobile phone,” Mr. Nagpaul explained.
Wipro is expanding its services by acquiring foreign companies that are already established in the Japanese market. For example, in 2015 the company acquired Appirio, a US company which has been providing cloud services in the Japanese market for eight years. Given that Appirio has provided services to companies like Salesforce that is known for its CRM technologies, Wipro can provide support to Japanese clients who are looking to incorporate CRM systems leveraging Appirio’s experience in Japan. Additionally, post the acquisition of Appirio, Topcoder has joined Wipro’s umbrella. Topcoder is the world’s largest talent network and crowdsourcing platform for developers, designers, data scientists and testers. As a leader in its field, some of Topcoder’s notable clients include National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and Harvard University in the US and Fujitsu, Soft Bank and Zurich Insurance in Japan.
According to Mr. Nagpaul, “Topcoder provides clients seeking IT solutions or applications with a crowdsourcing platform. This system enables clients to access high-quality services at optimal cost. By adding Topcoder to the Wipro network, clients using our services gain an early entry into markets and access to global talent, all through a single platform.”
“Wipro also has partnerships with SAP ,Microsoft, Salesforce, AWS, Oracle, Cisco and other major technology organizations. Our global partnerships with these companies put us in a position of advantage as we are able to leverage their presence and technology products to provide services to niche industries in Japan,” said Naohide Takatani, Country Head, Japan, Wipro Limited..
IoT technologies in the medical and automobile industries
Wipro is currently focusing efforts on the utilization of IoT technologies in remote medicine. The Japanese government is aiming to establish new systems for health, medicine and nursing care that extend healthy life expectancies by 2025, when the babyboomer generation will be past 75. To make that a reality, utilization of big data and innovative technology such as AI will be necessary in health management and treatment, and there are great expectations from Wipro’s connected healthcare technology applications in Japan, which makes patient data easily accessible to research institutions and medical professionals.
The company has already contributed to increasing healthcare efficiency, collecting accurate data and improving clinical trials in other countries through the utilization of IT. When a major US non-profit healthcare organization, operating 93 hospitals nationwide, upgraded the network connecting all their hospitals by introducing Wipro’s technology, it made it possible for doctors to provide top-quality medical services to patients in spite of limited resources and budgets. Unifying the reception and data center networks in particular, enabled automatic patient data collection through over 100,000 medical devices, 2,000 servers and 500 databases, which allowed the construction of an equipment failure prediction system that prevents problems from occurring with medical procedures—an outcome that was very well received.
Wipro Japan is also developing systems for connected and self-driving cars. “Cars are loaded with various sensors and software; they are essentially computers on wheels. There is a lot more IT technology required in automobile development today. The decision to purchase a car is often based on which model has the better technology,” said Mr. Nagpaul explaining the background of Wipro’s cooperative initiatives with Japanese manufacturers.
However, Mr. Takatani points out, “The market for AI and IoT technology is not yet in a phase of complete competition. The industry is still aiming to set technological standards, and players like us will be able to contribute to that effort. In fact, we have an IT platform capable of integrating multiple technologies and setting technological standards into one.” The company posesses an original system that automatically converts processes when multiple machines are connected, and provides services for reading data between multiple machines, if needed.
Meeting Japanese standards for quality and delivery
Wipro Japan has established a unique delivery framework tailored to Japan’s high quality standards and precise deadlines, thus garnering the trust of the Japanese market.
Major Japanese companies are among Wipro’s clients. “We contributed to modernizing All Nippon Airways (ANA)’s maintenance process of aircraft parts. An aircraft is manufactured from over two million parts and management of this vast amount of advanced parts is extremely difficult. To address this challenge, we provided them with the necessary IT systems for maintenance and management. We have also been entrusted with providing the IT infrastructure and application management at the Takeda Pharmaceutical Company,” explained Mr. Nagpaul. Mr. Takatani added, “It has been ten years since we began supplying software solutions for Fujitsu Network Communications, a company with an over 30-year history of doing business in North America. These technologies we provide are in use at its offices in every country.”
Wipro provides customized IT services for clients outside of Japan as well. The services built with Japanese standards are highly regarded, globally.
Engineers are trained to speak fluently in Japanese and English
According to Mr. Nagpaul, the biggest challenge facing Japanese business development is language, “The official language for all three of our biggest markets— US, Australia and UK—is English. Therefore, there is no language barrier in these markets. However, Asian countries like Japan and China, as well as parts of Europe, present a challenge because English is not commonly spoken in these regions.
Communication is very important for businesses to build trust. In Japan, by assigning personnels proficient in Japanese and English to our current teams, we provide a harmonious environment not only for our clients, but for our employees as well.” “Having bilingual speakers is important for global businesses to address client needs in the Japanese market, but there are not many bilingual speakers in Japan.”
Wipro conducts a six-month training program which helps employees learn Japanese language and the nuances of Japanese culture. These employees are then deployed in Japan. The company has also participated in JETRO networking events to help foreign-affliated companies hire global talent, including international students who were studying in Japan.
Wipro Bangalore office
Aiming for high growth in the Japanese market
With regards to future aspirations, Mr. Nagpaul stated, “For Wipro, Japan is the second largest market in the Asia-Pacific region following Australia, and has great potential. We hope to accelerate our growth by investing in a greater number of projects over the next four to five years.”
（Interviewed July 2019）
|1945||Incorporation of WIPRO|
|1982||Entry into IT Products business|
|1990||Entered into 3rd party R&D service and IT Services|
|2000||Listed in the NYSE and enters the BPS business|
|2015||Launched ‘Wipro Digital’. Key capabilities acquired through Designit & Appirio|
|2017||Launched New Brand Identity & rearticulated ‘Spirit of Wipro’ to underscore Wipro’s commitment to transformation & evolving client expectations.|
Wipro Japan K.K.
|Business overview||IT services, consulting and software application development|
|Parent Company||Wipro Limited|
|Address||Yokohama Landmark Tower 26F, 2-2-1-1 Minato-Mirai, Nishi-ku, Yokohama, Kanagawa, Japan 220-8126|
Support from JETRO
- Networking opportunities with global human resources