Arun Sudhaman 27 Jun 2011 // 11:00PM GMT
BANGALORE--Indian software giant Wipro has handed its six-figure global PR account to Hill & Knowlton, after cutting ties with seven-year incumbent Gutenberg PR.
The company, one of Indian software’s ‘big three’, was a Gutenberg anchor client when the firm launched in 2004. That relationship has now ended, after Wipro put international duties up for review in January of this year.
It is understood that a number of international networks pitched for the business. The review came after a similar exercise last year attempted to identify a PR agency which could support Wipro’s attempts to raise its profile in its newer markets.
According to a copy of the brief, Wipro is aiming to sharpen its international positioning as a global - rather than purely Indian - IT services player. Priority markets are India, the UK and the US - but are expected to eventually include Latin America and Europe.
At present, the bulk of Wipro’s key outsourcing income comes from the US, followed by Europe. The company already has a presence in more than 50 markets and has been aggressively targeting expansion into such countries as China and Japan.
H&K CEO Dave Robinson confirmed the appointment, adding that the account would be led by Sara Gourlay, the agency’s technology practice director across Asia-Pacific and India. Gourlay will work with Wipro international PR head Dirk Lewis, who is based in Bangalore.
The brief calls for the successful agency to roll out a three-pronged campaign that encompasses corporate positioning, business unit programmes and support for other functions. The company is targeting national print and broadcast media, alongside trade and online channels.
"Gutenberg is proud of helping build the Wipro brand globally over the last seven years as they went from $700 million to a $6.5 billion global IT services firm," said Gutenberg CEO Harjiv Singh. "We wish them the very best. Wipro will be one of the leading Indian brands to watch as they expand their geographic footprint."
Wipro is one of Indian software’s ‘big three’ alongside rivals Infosys and Tata Consultancy Services. The company employs more than 115,000 people and also counts significant consumer care, lighting and healthcare businesses.