Ranjita Ghosh, CMO of APMEA at Wipro Limited, discusses adapting global brand values to local market needs to emphasize customer value and brand commitment to stakeholder ambitions, sustainability, and diversity.
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Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:
- Future marketing opportunities that lie in leveraging technology, data-driven approaches, and continuous learning in talent development
- The crucial role of brand commitment and loyalty to stakeholder ambitions, sustainability, and diversity
- Adapting global brand values to the local market needs to emphasize customer value and integrate global-local capabilities
- The company’s marketing leadership approach to talent recruitment and development focuses on nurturing a mindset open to innovation, upskilling, and industry dynamics.
What does your company do?
Wipro Limited is a $11.3 billion technology services and consulting company with a proud history and heritage spanning over 75 years. We are focused on building innovative solutions that address our clients’ most complex digital transformation needs. We are recognized globally for our comprehensive portfolio of services, our strong commitment to sustainability, and our good corporate citizenship. We have over 250,000 employees across 66 countries in the world—we are quite large, quite spread out, very diverse, and absolutely rooted in our purpose and core values. Wipro is divided into P&L units, our strategic market units that are focused on geographical areas. As for my role as a CMO, the geographical area that I focus on is Asia, the Pacific, the Middle East, and Africa. This is one of the four strategic market units for the organization, and I lead the marketing efforts for this unit. I work very closely with the stakeholders for this unit and key decision-makers across the organization.
What are the major opportunities your company’s solutions aim to address? Can you give an example of how your company’s solutions solve problems for its customers?
I can give a number of examples ranging from small, mid-sized, to large—but let me start with something that’s large and complex and sort of break that down for you. Today, where we are in the technology realm, where we are in terms of enabling our customers, our communities, and societies with tech, a company like ours plays a very important role in that technology enablement, and in that process, a whole transformation initiative that our customers would want to drive.
An example is a complete transformation of a bank’s infrastructure or a total relook and reimaging of a customer’s retail journey and the various touchpoints they have with their end consumers. How can you be more proactive in understanding the needs of your end consumers? How can you be more digital in your outlook and in your way of operating? While that’s the front end, at the core, do you even have the right technology set to enable efficient problem-solving with a digital technology-first outlook for your marketplace? Ultimately, the aim is to ensure that organizations are technology-enabled and help them leverage the full potential of digital channels and what digital enablement really means for the marketplace. With this, they’re able to be competitive in the marketplace—and in effect, they are able to serve their customers better.
We’re essentially looking at services technologies; A complete portfolio of offerings that can help companies meet this particular goal of transformation, meet their ambitions of who they want to be in the industry, and help them be at the cutting edge of the services that they provide.
As the CMO in your company, what is your main marketing focus currently?
To set a bit of context, my geography focus is incredibly diverse in many ways. It is diverse in terms of its demographics and its outlook towards technology and growth. They are also diverse as customers: the drivers that they have, in terms of what they want to become in this market, how they want to lead in this particular market, and even the journeys that they are on. Some are very advanced in their journey of technology, some are starters, and some are on that journey but have yet to figure out their path.
Given the whole realm of what we are sort of looking at in this geographical spread, which is so diverse from one region to the next, the one thing that I bring in as a marketing lead is an absolute focus on what we should be in each of these markets. Basically, how do we localize ourselves to the needs and ambitions of these markets while still keeping to the essence of our brand?
In these markets, we are, again, looking at many different types of sectors and industries. We are looking at various levels of technology maturity, customers in different kinds of demographics, and even the ability to see how far you can go with the technology set you have today versus what you envision the end state looking like. With this, how do we bring in our global capabilities? How do we expand our local capabilities? And how are we able to sort of bring all of that together as an offering for customers?
The role that marketing therefore plays is influencing and driving growth for the organization in this geography. That, for me, is my number one focus: building an everlasting and versatile brand. It is a brand that can be what it is at its very core, but also be local in the geographies we are in. We aim to be a brand that speaks to the organization’s core values, purpose, and culture, focuses on driving value for customers and the larger ecosystem in the markets that we are in, and develops talent. My focus is to see how we are influencing growth via different marketing channels and strategies by being a part of the growth organization itself, while also ensuring that we have the right talent and the right skills that are able to support us in this journey. A very large part of the work that I do is developing talent, ensuring that we can identify what marketers have today and what marketers of tomorrow need. We aim to be able to support that with the right skills and the right development to ensure that our people have meaningful career paths as they are a part of our organization.
Can you tell me about a particularly innovative or successful marketing campaign your team has recently executed?
I would like to talk about a global campaign for our brand where the campaign message is Ambitions Realized. The whole intent of this campaign is that in our own belief, ambition, irrespective of where we are in the world, has the power to unite, inspire, and move us forward.
Unlocking possibilities by focusing on ambition, or by having, first of all, an ambition and meeting that with action, is where we actually come in very effectively. I talked about how we take our customers forward in their journey, how we help our employees scale, and how we support communities we are a part of. The core of all of that is essentially about realizing the ambitions that each of our stakeholders has and how we are able to impact societies and ecosystems that we are a part of in different parts of the world. What this campaign essentially encapsulates is the ambitions of our customers, our employees, and our communities.
Given the fact that there is a huge focus today on initiatives that are around sustainability, the transition to net zero, and discovering comets with NASA, we have acquired an entity called TopCoder, which focuses on crowd-sourced work. It focuses on communities that are totally developed on the basis of crowdsourcing. We bring together data scientists and engineers from all across the world into a community that is as large as 1.6 million people, and they are focused on many different and very creative and innovative programs. One of the things that they have actually worked on with NASA lately is discovering comets. We’re very proud of that initiative. It really speaks to ambition; it speaks to realizing ambition or even reinventing entire operations for our customers as a part of their organization goals as a part of the value that they can create or want to create for their ecosystems.
What we believe is that the power of ambition can change lives, and therefore, this particular campaign is one that brings together our core values, our thinking, and our work that ranges across how we serve our customers. Our work brings together our sustainability, inclusion, and diversity and how we create employer value. That’s the campaign that we are truly proud of. It is on our website as well. I would invite everybody to come and take a look at that—it is one of the core messages that we put out in the market.
“Ambition, irrespective of where we are in the world, has the power to unite, inspire, and move us forward.”
What are the marketing opportunities you haven’t quite taken advantage of yet, and how do you envision addressing them?
One big area of opportunity ahead of us is how we leverage technology for marketing. Now, with the whole Martech stack, what is the tech enablement that we have access to today? How effectively are we bringing that into our ways of working? It becomes a very important ingredient in how we drive our processes, how we report on value, how we demonstrate value, and, in effect, drive the growth conversation in the organization.
A data-driven approach for tech enablement is, again, a very personalized approach. At the center of all of this is our very strong eye and focus on driving experience for our customers, for our employees, and for our communities. To me, all of this is an area of opportunity. There is a lot to do in this setup, and it is also important for us to figure out how to keep our eye very strongly on the short-term initiatives and goals. It’s also about targets, budgets, and return on investments while consistently focusing on the long term. Because that’s where we, as marketers, are in a position to take that long-term view and drive that value and effectiveness for our organization.
As you look to move towards taking advantage of technology and incorporate it more into your marketing strategies going forward, do you think that changes how you approach talent recruitment? And if so, do you look for different skill sets within the new talent in your marketing teams, or has it not changed?
It is definitely an area of focus for us. How do we equip the kinds of talent to rescale themselves or to pick up new skills? More than looking at talent from only one part of the industry or very certain types of skill sets, we also look at broader sets of skills.
We also look at somebody’s ability to pick up on what is happening in the market today and to have the openness and drive to actually learn to be more savvy with the technology enablement that we have around us. For me, it’s about having that mindset and coming on board with the right skills, completely in tune with what’s happening. I think that’s a part where we make that investment to grow the talent.
What is most important is the mindset where one wants to learn more, be more open to what’s happening around them, and, when it is needed, disrupt themselves. Because, with what we think and how it works today, being static is definitely not something that will take us forward because the industry itself is so dynamic and there are so many changes around us.
For instance, today, with Gen AI, there are many use cases that are developing with the application of Gen AI in sales, marketing, and content building. Now, if we were to look at that very effectively, how does it really mean and affect our talent? That is a big thing for us to think about. Then, the question about how we upskill our people is: what are those newer areas of focus that we are figuring out for ourselves that we can actually drive our own growth towards? That’s how I would look at this whole thing about talent that is shaping up today.
What is the role of the CMO in one word? Why?
I would describe my role and any CMOS role as being a connector: a connector of dots, perspectives, and everything happening within the organization. Externally, we are so well placed to see all of it, derive meaning from it, and build those connections that anyone else may not see so easily. Then, there is also a very creative outlook to that as well. So, a connector and definitely a value orchestrator—someone who can be in a position to influence growth and transformation just by playing this role.
What career advice would you like to share with other marketing leaders?
The biggest piece of advice that I would give is to stay close to the business. What exactly does the company do? What are your company’s ambitions for growth? What are those drivers of growth? Being close to the stakeholders who are driving both your purpose and what the organization wants to be is important because marketing plays a very strong role there.
Another piece of advice is to come with a very different perspective. The perspective of a connector, and then find value and meaning in that kind of setup. So, stay close to the business and build deeper cross-organizational connections. Not just within the organization but even out in the industry—because those perspectives matter—how you bring that into the organization matters.
Very importantly, and this is something that I have seen a lot in my own career, and it’s helped me grow, be seen, and be heard, is: raise your hand for programs that are not probably in the direct realm of your work or influence today. Be a part of things that matter to the organization because that is what will ultimately help you grow; it will expand your thinking, grow your knowledge, and build your skills. To me, it is a very critical driver for expanding one’s career. That would be my top piece of advice to everybody. Thank you.