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Wipro Infotech upbeat on W. Asia

Rukmini Priyadarshini

Bangalore , Sept. 8

WIPRO Infotech, the India, Asia-Pacific and Middle East arm of Wipro Ltd, expects the Qatar Petroleum pilot project implemented by it to expand in scope and size to at least $10-15 million in value and utilise a large pool of its people resources.

``We implemented a pilot project for Qatar Petroleum and are now looking for a larger implementation expected to be done on Cisco technology. This will require a large team and the pace will depend on how Qatar Petroleum wants to take this forward,'' said Mr Rajat Mathur, Vice-President, International Business Operations, Wipro Infotech.

Wipro is to design and supply an IP telephony network for Qatar Petroleum, on the requisite Cisco switch, provide the software and integrate it, according to Mr Mathur.

``We are experiencing good traction in the Middle East in our oil and gas vertical and in catering to the Government sector,'' Mr Mathur said. For the quarter ended June 30, Wipro Infotech earned revenues of Rs 270 crore and accounted for 15 per cent of Wipro's Rs 1,769 crore revenues during the quarter.

In Saudi Arabia, Wipro has concluded a $3-4 million project deal with the country's largest hospital for an executive information dashboard that lets all employees including doctors and administrators get relevant reports and demographics and information on emerging disease patterns to enable better care, according to Mr Mathur. It has deployed 25 people onsite and expects execution to be completely onsite.

Run of the mill application development projects do not get very premium rates, but Wipro has been able to negotiate substantial premiums for doing niche telecom or BFSI work. `

``Package implementation deals for SAP, Siebel, Oracle etc get us good rates," Mr Mathur said, adding that the company was involved in such transactions with a utility in Sharjah and a pharma company in Riyadh where it was implementing Oracle 11i.

Wipro has also entered into a strategic partnership with a local partner, the S.A.H.M group, for providing nearshore offshoring services as a strategy to enter the market. ``The Middle East is a large Oracle base and in our Nearshore Oracle Sustenance programme, we are trying to cater to the large and medium enterprises since they are not yet open to the concept of full offshoring. Nearshoring is one way of leveraging our partner's local expertise to enable us to bring back more work offshore in the medium to long term," Mr Mathur said.

An extension of this activity is to provide remote network management, where the nearshore will provide L1 support and the offshore centre provides L2 and L3 support. Large corporates in Dubai have already signed on for the scheme, according to Wipro.

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