Rishad Premji said Wipro was against any kind of integrity violation or harassment and even he could lose his job for violating any of the two
Weeks after disclosing that Wipro fired hundreds of employees caught moonlighting, its chairman Rishad Premji made yet another stunning disclosure on a public platform.
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He said the software services firm fired one of its top 20 leaders ten minutes after he was found to have committed a “huge integrity violation.” Premji was speaking at the Nasscom Product Conclave in Bengaluru on October 19.
“We made that decision in 10 minutes. It was an important role that this person ran for the organisation but when the times are tough, and you have to make those tough calls,” he said.
He did not elaborate on whether this violation was also related to moonlighting or something else. Premji also did not take questions from the press on the sidelines of the event.
This is the second time in a month that Premji has emphasised how the IT services company values integrity. As a debate raged over moonlighting in the tech sector, Premji in September described it as a “complete violation of integrity in its deepest form”. This disclosure too was made at an event of the All India Management Association.
The policy is black and white for any kind of integrity violation or harassment, he stressed on October 19. "There is a zero-one policy for any form of integrity violation, any form of harassment. You can be me in the company, and I won't have a job if I violate one of those two," Premji said.
He also talked about another senior person the Bengaluru-based company had let go of six-seven years ago, who was getting someone else to tag in and out for them.
“We found that out and that person got fired effective immediately. This person was well connected, and reached out through every form of medium to put a lot of pressure on the organisation to give him a clean, relieving certificate. We said we are black and white about this,” he said, asking startups to make tough calls.
In his advice to startups, he said they must focus on building valuable businesses instead of valuation.
“This is an obsession today on the unicorn status and how much you're valued at… the journey to build sustainable businesses is long, it's complex, it's slow at times. If your journey is to make money quickly, the kind of organisation you will build is very different than an organisation that you want to last,” he said.
He added that founders must choose the right people for the companies. "The most dangerous people in organisations are people who are incredibly successful, but leave 1,000 dead bodies on the way while they succeed. But that's not sustainable. I think, in large organisations, it doesn't take you very far. It only takes you to a certain point," he added.
Talking about hybrid work, Premji said all of Wipro’s employees should come back some of the time. “We don't want all of our people to come back all the time.”
“We can't be dogmatic and fixated about that. You have to be quite adaptive in terms of how this evolves,” he added.