Wipro Consumer looks for buys

Written by Lalitha Srinivasan | Mumbai | Updated: Dec 17 2012, 06:12am hrs
Even though WCCL sold its vanaspati brand, it is not exiting other non-core businesses

After the sale of its vanaspati brand Sunflower to Cargill India, Wipro Consumer Care & Lighting (WCCL) has identified five focus areas in its FMCG business, which include personal wash, fragrances, skin care, wellness and domestic lighting.

Now we will focus on these five categories only. We need to grow organically at a significantly higher growth than the market, said Vineet Agrawal, president, WCCL. In a bid to consolidate its FMCG business, WCCL sold Sunflower vanaspati to Cargill on December 10.

As part of its organic growth strategy, WCCL is investing R100 crore to expand its manufacturing capacity for all its brands. Currently, WCCL has 13 manufacturing capacities five in south Asia and eight in India. The company is also extending its distribution to a wider target audience in India.

After acquiring LD Waxson Group, a Singapore-based FMCG company recently, WCCL is looking for further acquisitions in both domestic and global markets. Our acquisition focus remains on developing countries,said Agrawal.

Even as WCCL is exiting from the branded vanaspati business in India, the company is not exiting its other non-core businesses such as Wipro Baby Soft range of baby care products and Wipro Safewash liquid detergents.

We have no plans of exiting any other brands or categories. There are small brands and small categories we continue to service because we see long-term growth there and they serve a strategic intent, he said.

At present, WCCLs product range includes, Santoor, Chandrika (toilet soaps) Wipro Shikakai hair care soap, and Santoor talc. In the wellness segment, Wipro markets Glucovita Glucose powder and Sanjeevani Honey and Isabgol.

According to Agrawal, WCCLs real challenge lies in integrating its home-grown business with global acquisitions effectively to fight multinationals. We also need to perform well in our acquisitions. We have done well in all our acquisitions whether it was Yardley, Unza, Glucovita or Chandrika. Aramusk is too new, but is on track, he explained.

WCCL had acquired Lornamead Groups Yardley business in UK and select European countries (excluding Germany and Austria) in April 2012. The company recently acquired UKs personal care brand Woods of Windsor. In December 2009, WCCL acquired the Yardley portfolio for Asia, West Asia, North Africa and Australasia from Lornamead.

On November 1, this year, Wipro announced it will demerge its non-IT businesses, which include WCCL, Wipro Infrastructure Engineering, and Medical Diagnostic and 6% of operating profit, into a separate company named Wipro Enterprises.

After this announcement, WCCL is aggressively expanding its operations both in India and abroad, an analyst, working with a domestic brokerage firm in Mumbai, said.

WCCL is currently evaluating cross-selling opportunities of its home-grown brands in the UK and South East Asia. I think we have done well to fight the biggest MNCs in the branded toilet soaps. Our brand Santoor is today No. 1 toilet soap brand in South and west India, said Agrawal.