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Abstract:

The case describes the innovation process at Wipro one of the leading IT companies in India. The focus of the case is on the innovation process at Wipro and the elements of the innovation process. The case also describes in detail the implementation of innovation process in the company. The case discusses how the top management at Wipro created a culture of innovation and encouraged employees to come out with new innovative products.
'Applying Thoughts' The Process of Innovation Future Prospects Exhibits

'Applying Thoughts'
In July 2001, Anurag Seth along with his team at Wipro Technologies (WT), the flagship company of Wipro, created workflow automation solutions for the publishing industry. This was a significant step as it resulted in a framework around which Wipro built a huge market for automation of business processes. In November 2001, the workflow automation solutions were named Content Commerce. Initially, Wipro focused on the publishing industry, but with the huge success of Content Commerce, the company decided to expand the solutions to other areas such as finance, insurance and manufacturing. Wipro believed that innovation was essential to achieve growth and a competitive advantage. Innovation was one of the values in Wipro's promise statement (Refer Exhibit I). According to analysts, the deep-set culture of innovation in Wipro gave it an edge over others in the knowledge-based industry. The top management at Wipro believed that to achieve its goal of being among the top 10 IT

services companies in the world by 2004, it had to focus on offering innovative solutions to customers. Commenting on the innovation process at Wipro, Divakaran said, "Have we done innovation in different parts of the organization. Yes, we have, but it was done in different parts of the organization. The individual business units looked at business opportunities from their own viewpoint. This time it is a corporation-wide initiative." In 2003, Wipro was concentrating on innovative ideas in themes like Home Networking, Wireless telecommunications and Workplace Collaboration.

The Process of Innovation


Innovation was defined at Wipro as "the implementation of a new idea resulting into a marketable product or service." According to Wipro sources, an idea would be considered as a good innovation only when the company could get benefits out of it. So, in Wipro, commercial viability of an idea was also given importance along with innovation. Wipro's goal was to create components with Intellectual Properties that would generate revenues over a period of time rather than a onetime revenue from projects. Innovation initiatives at Wipro were based on an in- depth study of methods for fostering innovation, in companies like Nike , 3M , and Home Depot that were known for their innovative practices. The top management developed a framework for innovation and tried to foster innovation within it. The framework provided guidelines right from the idea generation stage to commercialization of that idea. The innovation process at Wipro was represented through the Innovation Clock (Refer Figure I). The Innovation Clock consisted of 12 steps. The initial step was the creation of an innovation

framework followed by identifying the themes to be worked on. Another step involved generating ideas from employees followed by a customer validation process for the ideas. Along with starting the innovation process, the top management at Wipro also realized the role played by rewards and recognition in motivating employees to come up with innovative ideas and framed a detailed rewards policy. The rewards and recognition were given to employees based on their competence and response from the market. The idea generator and the team as a whole, which was accountable for the success of a project, were rewarded and the name, picture and the idea in brief were listed on the company's intranet...

Future Prospects
According to Wipro sources, the innovation process enabled the company to come up with a strong product portfolio that assured the company of good revenue streams. Analysts felt that with its focus on innovation, Wipro would be able to achieve its goal of being one of the top 10 IT players in the world. They were also of the view that as the company was focusing on consultancy services, its innovative software solutions might enhance its image in the global software industry...