By: Sue Lyon-Boggs
Ethisphere had the opportunity to catch up with Abidali Z. Neemuchwala, Chief Executive Officer & Member of the Board of Wipro Limited. Neemuchwala, combines deep operational knowledge with broad strategic insight and has a track record of building and scaling businesses. He is passionate about driving change and believes simplification of processes, belief in people & customer centricity is the key to success (more on Neemuchwala below). In the following interview, Neemuchwala talks about Wipro’s approach to compliance and ethics.
Q: How does the compliance function intersect with the business model for the company? Can you tell me about the communication between the compliance and sales teams, for example?
Neemuchwala: Wipro, through its compliance function, has implemented programs to monitor and assure compliance with applicable laws and adherence to Wipro’s policies. Our legal & compliance team monitors the statutory developments and integrates them into business models covering transaction level engagements. Our sales force works closely with the legal & compliance team and when exploring a new opportunity or business in a new geography, they reach out to the legal & compliance team for support and guidance on applicable regulations, risks, etc.
Knowledge sessions are conducted periodically to update teams on changes in the regulatory landscape, its implications and adoption best practices through benchmarking.
Q: What is the company’s overall approach to compliance and ethics?
Wipro, a company with a rich heritage of technology and innovation, is built on a foundation of ethics and responsibility. At the core of Wipro is the “Spirit of Wipro”. It encapsulates the values, which are the guiding principles for our culture and behavior in Wipro and inspires us to achieve excellence in our business conduct.
At Wipro, we believe in adopting best practices of corporate governance and focus on enhancement of long-term stakeholder value without compromising on ethical standards and corporate social responsibilities. Corporate governance philosophy of Wipro is put into practice through robust board governance processes, internal control systems and processes, and strong audit mechanisms. These are articulated through Company’s Code of Business Conduct (COBC), Corporate Governance Guidelines and charters of various sub-committees of the Board of Directors and Company’s Disclosure Policy. Right tone at the top is set and we have clear policies and strong controls in place to continue to achieve high standards while also being ethically grounded as encapsulated in our COBC.
Q: How are your suppliers and distributors integrated into your compliance program?
We value our suppliers as key stakeholders and believe in engaging with them beyond the scope of legal compliance. Our Code of Business Conduct which provides the ethical guidelines and expectations for conducting business directs Wipro’s relationship with its suppliers and is applicable to all suppliers, agents, service providers, channel partners, dealers, distributors, and vendors (“Suppliers”).
We also have a Supplier Code of Conduct that is applicable to all our suppliers which are in line with our principles contained in the COBC. As the first step in this program, each supplier is expected to accept and sign the Supplier Code of Conduct (SCOC). Our approach to engagement is multi-pronged and the focus is to improve the capabilities of suppliers in managing their sustainability performance.
Multiple initiatives including meeting, training and audit are undertaken to ensure Suppliers follow the risk and compliance processes, and statutory guidelines. A dedicated vendor helpdesk handles supplier queries on payment issues, policy clarifications and provides the initial contact for grievance redressal.
Q: Are there any challenges you see on the horizon that you are already working towards solving?
Regulatory environment is dynamic. However, as mentioned above, we are at all times geared up to ensure that Wipro is in compliance with its obligations. Where relevant we work with trade groups to advocate our position, continue to stay informed and proactively incorporate changes as needed.
Abidali Z. Neemuchwala is currently Chief Executive Officer & Member of the Board of Wipro Limited. Previously as COO, he spearheaded several initiatives across Global Infrastructure Services, Business Application Services, Business Process Services, and Analytics to create a more nimble and agile organization. These measures helped accelerate Wipro’s ability to respond to customers and ensured deeper employee engagement. Read more here.