Ankur Prakash, former chief operating officer of Tata Consultancy Latin America, has been hired by Wipro as head of its emerging market business. A graduate from the Indian Institute of Technology, like Google’s CEO Sundar Pichai, Prakash is often credited with widening and bolstering TCS operation in the nearshore region over the last several years – including some big wins in Mexico.
In his new role, Prakash will oversee Wipro’s operations in Latin America, Canada and Africa. Prakash is the second top TCS executive to join Wipro in recent months after Abidali Neemuchwala became the chief operating officer of the Bangalore-based outsourcing firm in March this year.
Wipro is India’s third-largest software exporter in terms of sales. Under his leadership, TCS has grown substantially in Latin America, gaining dozens of new customers in mining, media, financial services and government. In 2007, Prakash led TCS to launch a global delivery center in Guadalajara. Today, nearly 2000 professionals are employed at two TCS facilities in Guadalajara, providing a range of IT and BPO services, for domestic and international clients.
Prakash, who completed a General Management Program from Harvard Business School and Management, has been quoted and featured numerous times in Nearshore Americas over the years and was a guest speaker twice at Nexus, in 2011 and 2014.
In an interview with Nearshore Americas following the opening ceremony of TCS’ Global Delivery Center, in Queretaro, Mexico, in December 2012, Prakash revealed that staying closer to the customer holds the key to success.
“Today’s customer wants ever more from their vendors. So if you have to go and achieve that on a sequential basis and on a sustainable basis, the only way to do that is focus and be very close to the customer.” In Latin America, he made sure that almost every new recruit underwent training before taking up the job, and insisted that understanding the business of the customer is vital to the success of the IT vendor. Another of his suggestions was speaking the language of the customer. “To remain successful, we must speak the same language in terms of industry understanding not only in terms of specific languages such as English or Spanish,” he said.
Unlike Japan and some European countries, Mexico, the United States and India will continue to generate high number of young workers in the decades to come, he argued in one of the video interviews with Nearshore Americas. “There are lot of opportunities and talent available in Latin America. We have to leverage these advantages and provide the kind of service we were not able to provide yesterday.”
Prakash had left TCS earlier this year, during a period in which responsibilities for LATAM operations were consolidated around the direction of Henry Manzano, CEO of TCS Latin America, who is based in Santiago, Chile.
Wipro has been far less visible in Latin America and ranks well behind TCS in overall revenue and headcount in the Nearshore region. It is likely Prakash will be focused on accelerating the performance of Wipro. In his new role, Prakash will be based in Mexico City.