'Protectionism will hit US & EU'

Says the move will be counter-productive as the West will get excluded

“If we get into protectionism, then the West is going to get a wave of protectionism in response, and that is going to turn back the clock 20 years,” Premji told The Sunday Times.

“And it will be America and Europe that suffer,” he said because they will be excluded from the only growth markets left — in Asia, Africa and China. You are not going to grow at 10 per cent trading in London, are you,” he asked.

Premji, who holds 79 per cent stake in Wipro, one of the world’s biggest software support groups said, “We will grow this year, though it won’t be at the 16 per cent rate of last year. First, there is significant slowdown taking place, there are budget cuts, deferment of decisions...”

Wipro Technologies, headquartered in Bangalore and with revenues of 3 billion pounds, has become the world’s largest provider of independent research and development services, working with technology partners like Microsoft and Cisco.

Consumer products

In Britain it provides IT services for firms, including Tesco, Wm Morrison and Friends Provident. 

Beyond IT, Wipro also has interests in consumer products, medical systems and engineering divisions. “We are the second-largest hydraulic cylinder company in the world,” Premji said. The Indian outsourcing giants would benefit from the current downturn, as all multinationals seek further economies, he said.

But will an Indian IT giant ever buy one of its larger western rivals. He shrugs, adding that the company has always preferred to buy small, Premji added.

The founder of the IT giant — Premji — further indicated that he would pass over large amount of shares to his education foundation in India.

P ress Trust of India

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