Wipro Consumer Care & Lighting sets up a venture fund to invest in startups
Wipro Consumer Care & Lighting, a leading FMCG company and part of the unlisted Wipro Enterprises has announced its plan to set up a venture fund to invest in startups. Called Wipro Consumer Care – Ventures, it will invest in innovative startups in the consumer brands space, but it did not disclose the fund size.
A press release from the company said the venture will focus on companies with a differentiated approach where both parties can learn by leveraging their strengths and add value to each other.
Within the consumer brands business, the primary area of focus would be categories that are of interest to the company. Wipro Consumer Care & Lighting operates mainly in personal care, skincare, home care, and lighting categories.
The company intends to invest in new-age startups in digital, ecommerce, and other ventures that adopt an innovative approach to reach consumers. It will invest in companies in India and South-East Asia that have strong entrepreneurs and a sound business model.
The company has appointed Sumit Keshan, a former Wiproite, as the Managing Partner of the Ventures.
“Our investment in Happily Unmarried was our first step to establishing this venture capital fund. Apart from financial capital, what we bring to the table is deep knowledge of operations and the ability to scale up, and a strong understanding of consumers in India and South East Asia markets. These would support startups in their endeavour to grow rapidly”, he said.
According to the company, it has had significant learning of digital and e-comm space across geographies like India, Indonesia, China, Malaysia, and Vietnam. In 2017, the company invested in Happily Unmarried in India, which markets the men’s and women’s grooming products under the brands Ustraa and Happily Unmarried respectively.
Wipro Consumer Care & Lighting has a presence in 19 countries predominantly in the Indian sub-continent, ASEAN and MENA regions. It has 15 manufacturing units in China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia and Vietnam, besides R&D centres in India and Malaysia. The company has an employee strength of over 10,000 from 15 different nationalities and women constitute 60 per cent of the workforce.
(Edited by Saheli Sen Gupta)