Rick Merritt, EE Times(03/24/2008 7:17 PM EDT) BENGALURU, India
— The story of Wipro, one of India's many outsourcing conglomerates, is as good example as any of where India's tech industry stands on its journey to become a hub of electronics design.
On Dec. 28, 1945—two years before India became an independent country—Wipro was formed as West India Vegetable Products Ltd. to sell seeds. As it grew, it branched out into crushed seeds, then cooking oils and, later, soaps. With its profits, it invested in a hydraulics business—which, with a recent acquisition in Sweden, has now become the second largest in the world.
In the early 1970s, India's then-communist government famously forced multinational companies such as Coca-Cola and IBM out of the country. Taxes on imported electronics systems soared to 300 percent overnight, opening the door for Wipro and other growing conglomerates to buy components from overseas, then assemble their own computers and other gear for the local market.
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