BANGALORE: Ten years ago, Wipro Consumer Care and Lightning (WCCLG), the FMCG arm of Wipro, was a Rs 300-crore company hidden in the shadows of its bigger and older peers such as Dabur, Godrej, and Marico.
Today, it has catapulted into the forefront of India’s multi-billion dollar FMCG market, thanks to a robust organic and inorganic growth strategy. It had revenues of Rs 4,150 crore in the just concluded fiscal 2013.
The division, which has been demerged from Wipro effective April 1 into the privately held Wipro Enterprises, is the only homegrown FMCG player to have an overwhelming 50% of its revenues coming from international markets.
Vineet Agrawal, president, WCCLG, a Wipro veteran who has led the division for over a decade, talks to TOI about life after the demerger. Excerpts from the interview.
After the demerger, will we see changes in WCCLG’s business plans?
Interestingly, there will be no change. The consumer care business before the demerger was running absolutely independently. We had separate HR and finance heads; we had separate factories and offices. Same thing goes for Wipro Infrastructure and Engineering (which is also being demerged into Wipro Enterprises), and we don’t share anything with them. So from a business angle nothing changes.
The only thing I can say is that we might have, from an external point of view, less pressure quarter on quarter. What I mean by that is, say in summer I want to advertise soaps, but come March end, because I have to declare my results, I pull back and start advertising from April 1. So I save 10 to 15 days of advertising. This situation is something that may get eased. However, we are scared of doing that because we don’t want to take away the discipline of the quarterly rigour. We don’t want to dilute our accounting and auditing standards, and we don’t want to dilute any of the focus that we have in terms of gaining market share.
So will you continue meeting the press every quarter despite being a private entity?
(Laughs) Let’s put it this way: If I do well I will meet you if I don’t then I don’t meet you! Actually, we will meet people because we can’t hide from the fact that there will be market share data available.
You have done roughly an acquisition a year spending approximately $500 million or half your current revenues? Will the aggression continue or is it consolidation time?
I don’t see any reason to stabilize. Tomorrow if I get a brand in Malaysia, I would say I have just done an LD Waxson acquisition, so let’s not be aggressive on that. But, if I get something in some other country, a geography where I have not done an acquisition in the last couple of years, I would perhaps be more aggressive there. We can be large in countries such as Indonesia, Vietnam and China.