Wipro Consumer Care and Lighting on Thursday announced the acquisition of Brahmins - a Kerala-based traditional vegetarian, spice mix and ready-to-cook brand - and it has also drawn up plans to launch its snacks brand targeting the southern market.
The company will focus on the southern market and is in the process of launching its own brand in the fast-growing ready-to-eat and snacks segment, Wipro Consumer Care and Lighting and Managing Director Vineet Agrawal told PTI.
He further said Wipro Consumer Care and Lighting would take the acquisition route for expanding in the spices segment.
The company, part of Azim Premji-led Wipro Enterprises, forayed into the foods segment in December last year with the acquisition of the Nirapara brand. It is seeking to tap opportunities for growth in South India in the food space.
"As of now, we would look at South India and the reason is, unlike North and West India, there is no organised player in South India in terms of snacks like Haldiram and Bikaji. That's why we are looking at snacks in South India.
"Here the competition is from the unorganised and small-scale players and if we can give a value-added answer and a good product, people will switch here," Agrawal said.
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The company has shortlisted some names for the upcoming snacking brand and is currently under the process of registration, Agrawal added.
However, he did not share the amount Wipro is investing and said it is working on the taste of the products as different South Indian states have their own different palate and different way of cooking.
It would introduce 4-5 products at the time of the launch of the brand.
"We are in the process of launching our own brand as far as snack is concerned. We are setting R&D facility in Bengaluru," Agrawal said, adding "If it is required for each state of South, we would have to differentiate the products".
All three brands - Nirapara, Brahmins and the new one (yet to be launched) -- would operate independently, he added.
"As far as spices are concerned, we will go through the acquisition route and for ready-to-eat snacks, we would do it organically," he added.
For distribution, Wipro will use the existing channels.
"We are at Kirana outlets, where we sell our soaps... It's the same distribution and stockist. We are not entering into the cold chain," he added.
Wipro Consumer Care and Lighting's acquisition of Brahmins, known for its spices and ready-to-cook food, is its 14th so far after the Nirapara brand.
With these two acquisitions, Wipro Consumer Care and Lighting "is looking at becoming a sizable player in the packaged foods segment" and consolidating its spices, breakfast and ready-to-cook category, a joint statement said.
The company, however, did not disclose the financial details of the acquisition.
The acquisition "will be a mutually beneficial partnership that will accelerate the expansion of the Brahmins' portfolio on one hand and embolden Wipro's foundation into the food business," it said.
Adding Brahmins under the Wipro fold will further bolster its position in blended spices and ethnic breakfast (Puttu-podi, Appams and other Rice products) categories in Kerala and other markets, such as the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, the UK, the US and Australia, it noted.
Wipro Consumer Care and Lighting earlier this month announced that it has crossed the milestone of Rs 10,000 crore in overall sales in FY23, helped by significant growth across its geographies, brands and categories.
Wipro Consumer Care and Lighting, which started in 1945 as a vanaspati brand, with its factory in Amalner, Maharashtra, now has a presence in 60 countries.
The company, which operates in FMCG and lighting products, has 18 factories with more than 10,000 employees and 51 per cent of its revenue comes from international businesses.
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