A decade ago, FMCG firm Wipro Consumer Care and Lighting (WCCLG) not only emerged from the shadows of its bigger software services sibling Wipro Ltd but also found itself in the big league alongside the likes of Dabur. Its ₹1,010-crore acquisition of Unza, a Singapore-based manufacturer of personal care products, in July 2007, saw its revenues skyrocket to over ₹1,500 crore that fiscal. Dabur’s revenues stood at over ₹2,000 crore at the time.
Besides the hefty revenues (₹700 crore), and healthy profit margins of about 12 percent that Unza brought with it, WCCLG, which was then part of Wipro Ltd and accounted for about 5 percent of its turnover, also got access to a portfolio of 48 brands that were marketed in 40 countries, including China. The country is known to be a difficult market to do business—it’s costly to enter China and competition there is severe as there are a slew of premium local brands in the Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) space. Besides, as a market, China is expansive.