Sramana Mitra: What about geography?
Venu Pemmaraju: The companies that we invest in must have a go-to market play in North America. Therefore, they should have a leadership presence in North America. For example, in our current portfolio, we have companies with headquarters in Israel, India, and in the US. Just to add to that, one of the criteria also is that it is not just a simple resell opportunity.
If it’s just a simple resell opportunity, it’s not very exciting. There has to be an opportunity for us to do some value-add services on top of it. That is an important criterion. It’s just Biplab and me who are based here doing the investment, although we do have principals in India and here. It is important for us to be closer to the companies. Right now, the companies may be incorporated in the US, Israel, or India but a lot of the management team is based in the US.
Their market presence is also in the US and Europe. Those are some of the important considerations for us, but as we grow as a group, we will relax some of these constraints and invest in companies that are in geographies outside of just North America.
Sramana Mitra: The most important thing you just said is you’re not looking for pure resell opportunity. You’re looking for extensive value-added services opportunities around the products that you choose to invest in. Is that a correct articulation?
Venu Pemmaraju: It has to be value-add services. How do we differentiate ourselves with value-add services on top of the solution that we take to market?
Sramana Mitra: Got it. Let’s switch the line of questioning a little bit and talk about your current portfolio. What have you invested in? How did you decide to choose those companies that you have invested in?
Biplab Adhya: Our investment is spread across the technology stack. It is representative of the same. In out of the 12 investments that we’ve done, four of them are in the cyber security domain, one in big data lifecycle management, one in business processes related to procure to pay, a couple of them in DevOps and test automation, and one in industrial IoT. It’s representative across the stack that we bring to our Fortune 1000 customers.
The reason of the spread is, we always try to find opportunities to take these solutions to market through our business units and therefore, our first starting point in scouting is a deep understanding of our business units’ strategy and what are the white spaces that can be fulfilled by partnering with an innovative company. That’s the start point.
In terms of an example, we have a very strong presence in cyber security. That is because cyber security practice is a very high-growth unit within Wipro. They are looking for cyber security solutions. Cyber security is a very evergreen sector with a lot of innovation. What we propose to our customers is, we want to be an end-to-end cyber defense service provider for our customers. In that context, we have our integrated threat management framework that we bring forward to our customers.
We know that in that framework, there are traditional players that play a role. When we offer our cyber security stack to our customers, there are traditional players, but there are very niche segments and very fast evolving segments. For example, in the threat intelligence sector, advanced threat detection sector, security operations, and orchestration.
In each of these categories, we found a specific opportunity. For example in threat intelligence, we invested in a company called Insights. In advanced threat detection, we invested in a company called Vetra. In security operations and orchestration, we invested in Demisten. All of them have since then become part of our integrated threat management stack that we take to our customers.