Wipro's Designit expands into Australia with Syfte acquisition

20 December 2018 Consultancy.com.au 3 min. read
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Sydney-based design agency Syfte has been acquired by Wipro, one of the globe’s larger IT consultancies and technology firms. Syfte’s team of designers will be integrated into Designit, Wipro’s design arm. 

“Syfte is a perfect match for Designit. Both companies are focused on creating high-impact, human-centred products, services, systems and experiences that matter,” explained Humberto Matas, Global Managing Director of Designit. 

Designit was founded in 1991 in Aarhus, Denmark. In the intervening years, Designit has grown to become one of the world’s larger firms dedicated to design services. The company specialises in strategic design, experience-driven design, product innovation, product-service experiences, user experience (UX) and interaction design (IxD).

In the summer of 2015, Designit joined Wipro with the ambition of leveraging Wipro’s IT heritage to become a comprehensive and scalable global digital transformation partner for the entire C-suite. “Together, we can help to improve customer experience while radically digitising business operations. We can now deliver as big as we can dream,” said Mikal Hallstrup, Designit’s founder at the time. 

For Wipro, the bolstering of its design capabilities comes at a time when there is growing consensus that design matters not just aesthetics, but also for bottom-line results. According to a study released by McKinsey & Company in sync with the unveiling of its own Design agency (‘McKinsey Design’), companies that master the topic have the potential to increase their revenues and shareholder returns by double the rate of industry peers. “Design is no longer about beautification. It is about creating a strategic foundation, driving growth and change across industries,” said Hallstrup.

Wipro's Designit expands into Australia with Syfte acquisition

As part of its strategy to extend its offerings into Oceania, Designit has brought Syfte and its founder, Katja Forbes, on board. “Increasingly, clients in Australia recognise that strategic design is a critical part of any digital or business transformation. By adding Syfte’s skills and expertise to Designit, Wipro will be better positioned to support its clients’ digital agenda,” commented Rajan Kohli, President of Wipro Digital, the business unit of Wipro that houses Designit and the firm’s other digital transformation arms.

Forbes founded Syfte in 2014 and since grew the firm to a team of around 15 professionals. The company gained experience working for clients in the aviation, banking, retail, government and not-for-profit sectors, with a focus on service design, interaction design and experience strategy engagements.

Syfte has been rebranded as Designit, with Forbes appointed Managing Director for Australia and New Zealand. “The combination with Wipro Digital and the opportunity to launch Designit in the region is a perfect fit for us, as we share similar values around people, organisational culture and strategic design. The service and outcomes our clients have come to expect from Syfte will only be further enhanced,” said Forbes, who alongside her consulting role is a Director on the Global Board of the Interaction Design Association (IxDA). 

The joining of forces grows Designit’s team to 500+ researchers, designers, technologists and strategists across 16 offices worldwide.

In other recent deals in Australia’s consulting industry, EY acquired Adelphi Digital (around 170 employees in Australia, Singapore and Thailand) and Trimantium bolted-on the entire Salesforce team of Accenture.