Wipro Consumer Care & Lighting, which ended FY24 with revenues of ₹10,300 crore, is keen to do more acquisitions in developing markets. The consumer products major, known for brands such as Santoor and Yardley, has made 15 acquisitions across India and international markets. In an interaction with businessline, Vineet Agrawal, CEO, Wipro Consumer Care & Lighting and MD, Wipro Enterprises, said that the company will continue to focus on being the fastest growing player. “We do not just make acquisitions to grow revenues, but ensure they become successful,” he added. Excerpts:


Are you seeing signs of improvement in rural consumption?

In the last two financial years, clearly, rural consumption has been stressed and volume growth had been fairly muted for the industry. But in the months of April and May, clearly we have seen some positivity and better demand trends. Earlier, we were a bit sceptical due to elections and the impact of heatwave. It’s too early to say but we are seeing better volume growth and that gives us hope. Monsoon has also started off well and hopefully going forward, we will see improvement in consumption trends and better volume growth.


How was FY24 for the company and what are your expectations for FY25?

In terms of revenue, the India FMCG business grew at about 6.2 per cent. But due to currency differences in certain countries, the overall growth for the company is estimated at about 3 per cent to about ₹10,300 crore in FY24. But the profit growth was excellent with 22 per cent growth. On a two-year CAGR basis, India FMCG business grew at about 11.8 per cent beating all competition, while total business globally grew at 9.2 per cent. Santoor is our flagship brand and is now at ₹2,700 crore and has seen strong growth. Yardley continues to do very well for us with its premium portfolio. The commercial lighting business has also been growing at about 20 per cent.

We want to continue to be the fastest-growing player irrespective of what happens in the market. The other significant part of the strategy has been making our acquisitions successful. Most of our acquired businesses have done well. For instance: We have more than doubled the Canway business in four years, which we had acquired in South Africa. Similarly, with the acquisition of Nirapara, we started out at zero revenue and the growth has been fantastic due to good brand recall. Brahmins’ growth is also on track. 


Will you continue to look at future acquisitions?

Yes, we will look at acquisitions as that is a key part of our strategy. I would say that from the India point of view, the opportunities are relatively small as we are not seeing too many candidates on the table. We are seeing more opportunities in international markets. Of course, any acquisition has to be a strategic fit. If we see value in it and we think we can grow it, we will take it on. We buy companies that are accretive to our growth.

In South-East Asia, we will still be interested in acquisitions in growing markets such as Indonesia, Vietnam or Philippines. We feel there is potential to look into other acquisitions in the Africa region. So we are open to acquisition opportunities across all developing markets including India.


What’s your view on commodity and raw material costs, and do you anticipate any price hikes this fiscal?

Palm oil has been a concern. The prices had cooled down last year, but from March this year the prices have firmed up a little bit. But hopefully production levels in Malaysia and Indonesia are reasonably good. So I am not expecting too much of adverse situation as far as commodity prices for our business is concerned. I don’t expect price hikes to happen this year as the industry is focusing on recovery in consumer demand.