Wipro to take consumer biz past $1bn in this fiscal

Wipro Consumer Care & Lighting (WCCL) has emerged from the shadows of its parent entity and is set to touch $1 billion in revenue this fiscal. Some of the growth in recent years has come from the company’s success in China. A stronger foothold in Malaysia, Vietnam and Indonesia, and the continued gains of Indian portfolio led by the Santoor and Chandrika brands have also helped, CEO Vineet Agrawal told TOI.

WCCL, part of the unlisted entity Wipro Enterprises, clocked $908 million in revenue in 2016-17. When Agrawal took charge in 2002, it was a mere Rs 300 crore. The division was aggressive with acquisitions to enable international growth. It has spent around $650 million on acquisitions, including $250 million that it spent on buying Singapore’s personal care products maker Unza Holdings in 2007. Unza is now a $75-million brand.
Two years ago, WCCL bought Zhongshan Ma Er to get a strong foothold in the Guangdong (China). The Chinese market now contributes $125 million to WCCL’s business and 15% of this business is driven by e-commerce platforms. Of the overall revenues of its personal care business, 50% comes from outside India and all of these through brands it acquired.

“When we acquired Unza, we made the mistake of spreading it all over China. What we then did was to focus on just Guangdong. And we targeting select categories like shower, bath, roll-ons and liquid detergents. About 75-80% of our China business now comes from there — it has prominent cities like Shenzhen and Guangzhou. This one province has a GDP greater than $1 trillion,” Agrawal said.

He said Chinese consumers have evolved and so have the home-grown brands like Pechion and Seeyoung. And Chinese customers are fast embracing ecommerce and messenger/chat platforms. These are opening up new channels for WCCL.

In Guangdong province, Wipro has nearly 14% market share in shower gels and is No. 3, behind Unilever and P&G. In bar soaps, it has a near 9% market share and is No. 2, behind P&G. In roll-ons, its market share is close to 13% and is No. 3, behind Nivea and Unilever.

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