Wipro Consumer Care and Lighting, a division of Wipro Enterprises, announced the acquisition of Kerala-based spice manufacturing firm, Nirapara for an undisclosed sum, signifying the company’s foray into the packaged as well as ready-to-cook food industry.
This is Wipro’s 13th brand purchase and the second after ‘Chandrika’ from Kerala.
Wipro stated in 2013 that it had entered into a definitive agreement with Kerala-based SV Products to acquire long-term lease rights to the Ayurvedic soap brand ‘Chandrika’ for usage in India as well as SAARC countries.
“Nirapara is our 13th acquisition and gives us a clear foothold in the spices and ready-to-cook segment. We are excited to enter a large segment that is expected to grow rapidly,” said the chief executive officer of Wipro Consumer Care, Vineet Agrawal.
According to Agrawal, around 63 percent of the spice business originates from Kerala, 8% from the rest of India, and 29% from international markets, primarily the GCC countries.
According to him, the purchase price of Nirapara, which is close to Rs 100 crore in annualized sales, will depend on how well the brand will perform after being acquired for a year. As per to sources, the sale is worth between Rs 200 and Rs 250 crore.
Agarwal says, “We have already invested some money in Nirapara towards upgrading and modernising its manufacturing and processing facilities. The final valuation details will be decided towards the end of a 12-month period.”
Nirapara is a prominent spice producer as well as rice trading enterprise in Kerala that was founded in 1976 and is controlled by the Ernakulam-based KKR Group of Companies. It is well-known for its spice blends, particularly Sambar Powder, as well as Chicken Masala.
“The major chunk of the country’s spice market remains unorganised and therefore the sector has a lot of scope for M&A activities. We are constantly exploring suitable options in this space to grow this business,” states Agarwal.
Agarwal added, “The company has gone through a tough time in the last 3-4 years, especially post-pandemic and other natural disasters. The operations were shut for the past six months…we will be starting operation in the next one month.”
According to Anil Chugh, the newly appointed president of the Food Business at Wipro Consumer Care, the category is worth Rs 70,000 crore, and only 12% is covered by the organized sector.
Anil says, “We recognise that spices are core to Indian cooking and the mix changes from region to region with strong regional preferences. There is a huge opportunity in this space for shifting consumers from unorganised to organised market by offering authentic, pure and trusted spice mixes. We, thus, want to cater to the dynamic needs and provide an authentic selection that suits the varied Indian taste, packed under extremely hygienic conditions.”
Wipro Consumer Care earned Rs 8,630 crore in revenue in FY22, with its products including personal wash products, toiletries, facial care products, wellness products, home care products, electrical wire devices, domestic as well as commercial lighting, and seating solutions.
Santoor, one of India’s biggest toilet soap brands, is Wipro Consumer Care’s flagship brand. Yardley, Enchanteur, Hygienix, Glucovita (Energy drink and Tablet), Safewash (Liquid detergent), Giffy (Dish wash liquid), Maxkleen (Floor Cleaners and Surface Sanitizers), Softouch (Fabric conditioner), Wipro Garnet (LED Lights), and Aramusk are other key brands (Male Grooming), Chandrika (Ayurvedic bathing products).
It has a strong brand presence and a sizable market share in India, Southeast Asia, the Middle East, as well as Africa.
Wipro Consumer Care and Lighting, the unit of Wipro Enterprises, generated Rs 8,630 crore in revenue in FY22.