Wipro Consumer Care ups rural presence

Wipro Consumer Care and Lighting,a business unit of Wipro and makers of Santoor soap,is drawing up a four-pronged growth strategy that includes expansion of its manufacturing capacity,increased rural penetration,export initiatives and acquisition plans.

Written by Lalitha Srinivasan | Mumbai | Published:September 20, 2012 1:43 am

Wipro Consumer Care and Lighting (WCCL),a business unit of Wipro and makers of Santoor soap,is drawing up a four-pronged growth strategy that includes expansion of its manufacturing capacity,increased rural penetration,export initiatives and acquisition plans. To start with,it is investing R100 crore to expand its manufacturing capacity for all its brands.

At present,the company has 13 manufacturing capacities — five in south Asia and eight in India. “We are expanding capacity in our existing facilities to meet rising consumer demand. We are extending our distribution to reach out to small villages and towns across the country,” said Vineet Agrawal,president,WCCL.

After acquiring Lornamead Group’s Yardley business in UK and select European countries (excluding Germany and Austria) in April this year,the company is looking for acquisitions both in the domestic and global markets. “We have recently acquired UK’s personal care brand ‘Woods of Windsor’. We are looking at acquisitions that have a strategic fit in our business,” said Agrawal.

The company had acquired the Yardley portfolio for Asia,West Asia,North Africa and Australasia from Lornamead in December 2009.

At present,the company has a presence in branded toilet soaps,hair care soaps,baby care products and lighting products. “WCCL is steadily expanding its product portfolio mainly through acquisitions such as Yardley in UK and Unza (southeast Asia). The company’s major challenge lies in integrating its home-grown business with global acquisitions effectively to fight multinationals,” said an industry analyst with a domestic brokerage in Mumbai.

To start with,as part of its export strategy,the company has recently launched its flagship soap brand Santoor in West Asia. “We are evaluating cross selling opportunities of our home grown brands in UK and South East Asia,” said Agrawal.

To reach out to wider audience,it is planning to expand its distribution this fiscal. At present,its distribution includes 12 lakh retail outlets across the country.

With brands like Santoor,Chandrika,Aramusk and Yardley,WCCL has around 8.4% market share in the branded soaps category in India. The company has recently roped in cine star Amy Jackson to promote Yardley soaps in India.

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