Bangalore, Jan 21 (Agencies): Chairman of Wipro, Azim Premji on Friday said that the company has not performed better than its peers—Tata Consultancy Services and Infosys in the October-December quarterly sales.

 "I don't think we should try making excuses about our performance. We have underperformed in Q3, relative to our competitors and relative to our potential as a company," Wipro Chairman Azim Premji told reporters here.

He added that the company has not been able to take advantage of the recovery as much as its peers have, especially in the health and financial services sector.

In a move aimed at simplifying its organizational structure, the joint CEOs of Wipro's IT business – Girish Paranjpe and Suresh Vaswani -- have been replaced by T K Kurien.

"The Joint CEO structure was one of the key factors that successfully helped us navigate the worst economic crisis of our times. With the change in environment, there is a need for a simpler organisation structure," Premji said.

Vaswani and Paranjpe will step down from their responsibilities with effect from February 1, 2011. However, they will continue to work together till March 31, 2011, to ensure a smooth transition.

Wipro's total revenue increased by 12 per cent to Rs 7,829 crore during Q3, FY'11, vis-a-vis the same period last year. IT services revenue, which accounts for 76 per cent of the company's business, stood at Rs 5,949 crore, translating into 15 per cent growth year-on-year.

According to marketmen, Wipro's Q3 numbers failed to boost investors' confidence, as there was no "positive surprise".

"The earnings by Wipro are below-market-expectations. Investors opted for profit-booking as the numbers failed to enthuse them. Moreover, all the three major software firms, including Infosys, grew in the range of 4-5 per cent," SMC Capitals Strategist and Head of Research Jagannadham Thunuguntla said.

Wipro shares closed at Rs 456.05 on the BSE on Friday, down 4.59 per cent from the previous close.

The company saw 1.5 per cent growth in business volumes compared to the the second quarter of the 2010-11 financial year. In comparison, TCS reported a 5.7 per cent increase, Infosys a 3.1 per cent rise and HCL Technologies a 6.5 per cent jump.

The company witnessed the net addition of 3,591 employees in the quarter, taking its total head count to 1.19 lakh employees as on December 31.

On a standalone basis, Wipro posted a marginal dip in net profit to Rs 1,223.7 crore for the reporting quarter.

Chief Financial Officer Suresh Senapaty said the operating margins for IT services remained little changed at 22.2 per cent in comparison to Q2, FY'11, despite fewer working days and a fall in the number of staff on billable projects.

On the company's subdued performance in comparison to the competition, Premji said, "The fastest growing segments where competition has really been able to pull up the entire size  of their company has been in the financial services area and healthcare."

"We believe technology spending is back and that is going to be an important growth driver going forward. Our presence in technology infrastructure services is probably strongest among all the competition and coupled with info-crossing -- where we are able to offer unique services of cloud – is going to be a major growth driver," he said.

Premji, however, dismissed speculation that the change of leadership and one CEO model was in the way of paving the way forward in the company for his son, Harvard-educated Rishad Premji (33), who was earlier appointed Chief Strategy Officer of the company.

"You have to separate ownership from management and we have done that meticulously. I am in management, I just so happen to be in ownership," he said, adding that any professional organisation endeavours to separate the two.
    
On the exit of the two joint CEOs of the company, he said, "These are not easy decisions to make, we make these decisions because we believe very strongly that in the medium-term and long-term, they are in the interest of stakeholders -- all stakeholders, whether it be the general public, the investors in the company, whether it be customers of the company or employees of the company."