It's hard to be on the move in a time of a global pandemic. Like so many of us, Delaporte does his work remotely, seeing the world — and being seen — through a computer screen. That's been hard on him. When Delaporte became the new Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of Wipro, an India-headquartered multinational IT and business solutions company, he anticipated a different sort of beginning. "In my mind, I assumed that the first day of my job, I would jump on a plane and would spend the entire week meeting people in Bangalore and other cities in India." COVID-19 kept him grounded.
He waxed nostalgic about conducting business in person. "I miss the small talk and the coffee machine. I miss the glass of wine with colleagues in the evening. I miss, you know, the selfie or the smile or joke with our people." As he talks, it's easy to see why these personal connections are so important to Delaporte.
Wipro's new CEO believes in and is committed to team-building, fostering what he calls a collective spirit. He even goes so far as to say, "I like being surrounded by people better than me." While super-talented people might unnerve some, Delaporte sees their presence as an advantage. "Because, at the end of the day," he says, "everybody wins when you’re learning from each other and helping each other improve."
However, Delaporte knows that surrounding yourself with exceptional people doesn't matter if everyone isn’t working as a team. "You may have the greatest player on the pitch," explains Delaporte, a football fan himself, "but if they don't work together, they don't play together, you don't have a unified team."
He brings that commitment to teamwork to Wipro, which he considers a people business. "We are a people business. It's all about people,” he emphasizes, “It's all about people — and I think you need to understand what is in their head and their heart as well." He enjoys work most when working on teams that are aligned and purposefully moving in the same direction. Not only is this camaraderie good for business, "it's my greatest pleasure. That's what I like doing."