We are expanding capacity at Baddi, Hardwar plants: Vineet Agrawal

Written by Lalitha Srinivasan | New Delhi | Updated: Aug 9 2014, 06:34am hrs
With a sales turnover of R5,021 crore in FY14, Wipro Consumer Care & Lighting (WCCL), part of Wipro Enterprise, is looking for acquisitions in developing countries such as Africa, the Middle East and Southeast Asia, besides India. Its focus is on acquiring brands in personal wash, toiletries and skin care. As part of its strategy, the company is extending its manufacturing capacity and distribution network this fiscal. Vineet Agrawal, president of WCCL, talks about the company's strategic plans in an interview with Lalitha Srinivasan. Excerpts

After acquiring Singapore-based LD Waxsons Group, you are looking for further acquisitions in both domestic and global markets. Tell us about your acquisition strategy.

We are doing well in our acquired company in Singapore as revenues have started pouring in. With the acquisition of Waxsons Group, our presence in Malaysia, Singapore and China is now strengthened. We are looking for acquisitions in developing countries in three categories, namely personal wash, toiletries and skin care. Till now, we have clinched three international acquisitions that include, Unza, Yardley and LD Waxsons. In India, our major acquisitions include Glucovita and Chandrika.

With the abolition of customs duty for soap-making oils, are you revisiting the pricing strategy for soaps

Before the announcement of the Budget, we were planning price hikes for our soaps. But they have been deferred now. We are planning some consumer promotions.

There will not be any price

cuts for our soaps.

Whats going to be your organic growth plan this fiscal

We will be extending our footprint to reach out to a wider audience. We are expanding capacity in our manufacturing units in Baddi and Hardwar.

We are increasing investments in our R&D projects to launch innovative products. At present, our rural growth is faster than urban. We have 10.8% share in rural and 6.6% share in urban markets.

Like other personal care majors, are you betting big on premium brands Or is your focus on mass market brands to drive volumes

We are giving equal importance to both mass market and premium brands. We are building our brand Yardley in the premium segment with media campaigns. Likewise, we are investing behind our mass brands like Santoor.

Are you looking at cross-selling opportunities for your acquired and domestic brands

Product formulation will get translated into products with different brand names across the globe. Our global male grooming products such as Romano and Dashing will be launched in India probably with different brand names. We are already selling our soap brand Santoor in the Middle East.

FMCG firms are jumping on to the e-commerce bandwagon to retail their products . What about you

We have started e-commerce activities to sell multiple brands from our stable. I think for FMCG companies, this segment is still very nascent.