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Business News/ Companies / Wipro to enter skincare market with Unza brand portfolio
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Wipro to enter skincare market with Unza brand portfolio

Wipro to enter skincare market with Unza brand portfolio


In an attempt to widen its product portfolio, Wipro Consumer Care and Lighting (WCCL), part of Wipro Ltd, is entering the Rs2,700 crore by sales skincare market.

The company will launch at least three brands in the male-grooming and women skin-care category in the next three months. The new brands will be from the portfolio of Unza Holdings Ltd, the Singapore-based consumer products company that Wipro acquired last year.

“We plan to launch male- grooming and women skin-care brands from Unza’s portfolio. We are evaluating 10 brands that will go with the Indian preferences and environment," said Anil Chugh, vice-president, WCCL.

Unza has 48 brands across categories such as skincare, haircare, body care, toiletries for children and fragrances. After the acquisition, Wipro had said it would bring some of Unza’s products to India and sell them under its Santoor brand.

However, the company has now decided to import these products and sell them under the same brand name. “The advantage of bringing Unza’s brands is to cut the product launch cycle since we can directly import these products here," said Chugh, adding that a few brands would be modified to suit Indian tastes.

In India, only 22% of the population uses skincare products of any kind. The segment, however, has been growing by 16-18% annually, according to a report by Credit Suisse, an international brokerage. The penetration in urban markets at 31.5%, is higher than that in rural markets, where it is only around 18%. According to market research agency AC Nielsen, India’s largest consumer products company Hindustan Unilever Ltd (HUL) is the market leader in the category with a market share of 55%.

The category, however, is getting more competitive with most consumer product companies launching new skincare products. Last year, HUL’s arch rival Procter and Gamble launched Olay, a premium skincare product from its international portfolio, following which HUL and other multinationals such as L’Oreal India and Nivea India launched some high-end products.

Analysts say that establishing Unza’s brands in India might be challenging for Wipro. “The skincare market is quite crowded. Since Unza’s brands are not known in India, Wipro will have to market them aggressively to create awareness," said Anand Shah, an analyst at Angel Broking Ltd, a Mumbai-based brokerage.

Wipro will eventually set up a production base for these products India. “As of now, we will import Unza products, but going ahead, we may put up a manufacturing base here," said Chugh.

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Published: 20 Jan 2008, 11:33 PM IST
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