Wipro expands South Africa internship programme
Wipro Ltd a leading global Information Technology, Consulting and Outsourcing company, has announced plans to expand the intake of graduates for its successful internship programme in South Africa.
Now in its second year, Wipro’s local internship programme in South Africa had enrolled 70 graduates in 2013 and this will be increased to 150 in 2014.
Saurabh Govil, Senior Vice President, Human Resources, Wipro Ltd, said: “The internship programme is becoming a crucial enabler of Wipro’s growth in Africa.
“For us, the programme is about nurturing talent for local leadership and ensuring that we have the right people on board – people who understand local culture, local markets and local customers across the African continent.
“We look for people that fit the entrepreneurial spirit of Wipro – those who have a willingness to learn and a creative and innovative bent of mind.”
Internship applicants (B.SC students with a specialisation in Mathematics and Science) from disadvantaged backgrounds are put through a process of entrance exams and interviews with local Wipro leadership to test attitudes to learning in addition to technical aptitude.
Post completion of the initial three months of theoretical training the interns are interviewed for an apprentice role on a number of live projects.
Once placed, the interns will receive supervised on-the-job training and mentorship for a further three months. The performance records will be reviewed and qualifying interns will be absorbed into Wipro’s operations in South Africa.
Govil said: “The programme gives the interns a chance to work on ‘live’ client projects, to gain in-depth experience in everything from software development and project management, to client relationships, and crisis management.
“The programme offers a very high chance of being absorbed into the company - the first batch of 30 interns from 2013 is now employed full-time at Wipro. This programme literally opens up a world of opportunities to work on projects wherever Wipro operates.”
Interns are assigned mentors, and receive weekly feedback and undergo periodic assessments on their performance. The overall curriculum has been designed to bridge the gap between campuses and the industry, and covers both technical and behavioural aspects.
In addition to South Africa, Wipro has an ‘India Gateway’ internship programme for the United Kingdom wherein Wipro gives the interns an opportunity to spend nine months in India to gain hands-on industry experience.
The local internship programme is also being expanded to Germany and the Nordic Region, which are important markets for Wipro.
5 minutes with... Janthana Kaenprakhamroy, CEO, Tapoly
Founder and CEO of award-winning insurtech firm Tapoly, Janthana Kaenprakhamroy heads up Europe’s first on-demand insurance platform for the gig economy, winning industry awards, innovating in the digital insurance space, and leading with inclusivity.
Here, Business Chief talks to Janthana about her leadership style and skills.
What do you do, in a nutshell?
I’m founder and CEO of Tapoly, a digital MGA providing a full stack of commercial lines insurance specifically for SMEs and freelancers, as well as a SaaS solution to connect insurers with their distribution partners. We build bespoke, end-to-end platforms encompassing the whole customer journey, but can also integrate our APIs within existing systems. We were proud to win Insurance Provider of the Year at the British Small Business Awards 2018 and receive silver in the Insurtech category at the Efma & Accenture Innovation in Insurance Awards 2019.
How would you describe your leadership style?
I try to be as inclusive a leader as possible. I’m committed to creating space for everyone to shine. Many of the roles at Tapoly are performed by women and I speak at industry events to encourage more people to get involved in insurance/insurtech. Similarly, I always try to maintain a growth mindset. I think it’s important to retain values to support learning and development, like reliability, working hard and punctuality.
What’s the best leadership advice you’ve received?
Build your network and seek advice. As a leader, you need smart people around you to help you grow your business. It’s not about personally being the best, but being able to find resources and get help where needed.
How do you see leadership changing in a COVID world?
I think the pandemic has proven the importance of inclusive leadership so that everyone feels supported and valued. It’s also shown the importance of being flexible as a leader. We’ve had to remain adaptable to continue delivering high levels of customer service. This flexibility has also been important when supporting employees as everyone has had individual pressures to deal with during this time. Leaders should continue to embed this flexibility within their organisations moving forward.
They say ‘from every crisis comes opportunity’, what opportunities do you see?
The past year has been challenging, but it has also proven the importance of digital transformation in insurance. When working from home was required, it was much harder for insurers to adjust who had not embedded technology within their operating processes because they did not have data stored in the cloud and it caused communication delays with concerned customers at a time when this communication should have been a priority, which ultimately impacts the level of customer satisfaction. This demonstrates the importance of what we are trying to achieve at Tapoly in driving digitalisation in insurance and making communication between insurers and distribution partners seamless.
What advice would you give to your younger self just starting out in the industry?
Start sooner, don’t be afraid to take (calculated) risks and make sure you raise enough money to get you through the initial seed stage.