“As far as China is concerned, we are perhaps the only Indian FMCG company that has gone there and acquired business in the country,” said Vineet Agrawal, chief executive officer of Wipro Consumer Care & Lighting. “All that we are doing in China is to focus on Guangdong district, and what is quite interesting is that the GDP of that single province is around $1 trillion, which is bigger than most countries. So, if we can dominate two or three provinces there, that will give us a sizeable market.”
Before the acquisition of Zhongshan Ma Er, Wipro Consumer Care was present in China through its acquisition of Unza in 2007 and L D Waxson in 2013. At the time of the Unza acquisition, which Wipro completed in 2007 for $246 million (around Rs 10.1 billion), China was contributing around $10-12 million to its revenues.
While the Unza business in China has now grown to almost $75 million, the acquisition of Zhongshan Ma Er has given Wipro a strong foothold in bath and shower products, fabric care categories even though its range of personal care brands is Enear, Zici and Vcnic.
In Guangdong itself, Wipro ranks number three in most of the categories in which it operates, such as shower soaps, liquid detergent and roll-ons. “We are there in other districts as well, but 75-80 per cent of our business comes from this province. That gives us the strength to operate,” added Agrawal.
Wipro Consumer Care & Lighting now boasts of around 1,800 employees in China while its overall workforce is around 10,000.
Outside India, Malaysia is the second largest market for Wipro Consumer Care with a revenue of around $150 million, followed by China, Vietnam (around $75 million), West Asia and Indonesia.