The first non-Indian chief of Wipro took charge on Monday and expressed hope that the company will emerge stronger from the pandemic despite challenges. Frenchman Thierry Delaporte couldn’t visit India due to the international flight ban and will be based in his home country for the time being.

For Delaporte, a CapGemini veteran, the immediate challenge is to turn around the troubled Bangalore-headquartered software firm amid the pandemic and drive its growth.

In the previous fiscal Wipro was knocked out of the number three position among Indian software companies by HCL Technologies. The leading players are Tata Consultancy Services in the top slot followed by Infosys.

Delaporte will have to turn around business verticals such as healthcare, energy and utilities. Market experts feel he will help Wipro win large deals and strengthen the most critical segment –BFSI (banking, financial services and insurance). The Frenchman’s experience in overseeing Capgemini’s India operations is also likely to come in handy in managing Wipro’s operations.

In the past decade, Wipro has had four chief executives, including two joint CEOs, and logged lackluster growth. Delaporte’s predecessor Abidali Neemuchwala, who served for four years, struggled to revive Eipro’s fortunes, despite spending over US$1 billion on acquisitions and restructuring businesses.

The new Wipro chief said he would be virtually meeting senior leaders and teams across units to take stock of opportunities and challenges. He has already held discussions with Wipro chairman Rishad Premji.

Delaporte joined Capgemini in 1995 and led financial operations in Europe, later moving on to sales and becoming CEO of the Global Financial Services Strategic Business Unit. He then became the head of Capgemini’s Latin American operations, and in 2018 Delaporte became group chief operating officer. As part of Capgemini’s business, Delaporte oversaw the firm’s operations in India and took the lead on several strategic programs. Interestingly, he also happens to be the first non-Indian CEO in the top four Indian IT firms.