Wipro Enterprises’ FMCG brand, Wipro Consumer Care and Lighting have allocated INR 200 Cr ($28Mn) to its venture fund — Wipro Consumer Care-Ventures. According to a TOI report, the fund will invest in 10 startups in the personal and homecare space.
The venture fund titled ‘Wipro Consumer Care-Ventures’ will invest in startups in the consumer brands space focussed in the India and Southeast Asia markets. “We are not entering China mainly because of issues such as language barriers,” Agrawal said.
Wipro Consumer and Lighting is also looking to own a minority stake in around three companies. However, the company is not looking for long term investments and will fund them to exit in about five years.
“We want to exit in around five years and monetize our investment and hence will take only a minority stake of around 20-30% in these three companies,” said Vineet Agrawal, CEO of Wipro Consumer Care & Lighting.
Wipro Consumer Care & Lighting is a $1 billion-plus arm of Wipro Enterprises and is among the fastest-growing fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) businesses in India. It has a strong presence with significant market share across segments in India, South East Asia, and the Middle East.
The company intends to invest in new-age startups in digital, e-commerce, and other ventures that adopt an innovative approach to reach consumers. Within consumer brands business, the primary area of focus would be categories that are of interest to the company. Wipro Consumer Care and Lighting operate mainly in personal care, skin care, home care, and lighting categories.
The startup-corporate connection has been a difficult one to forge, but one that’s as important as any other in the ecosystem. It has been widely discussed that for large companies sometimes its legacy comes in the way of adapting to change. However, as companies like Wipro plan to support the startup ecosystem, Indian startups get a more holistic approach and synergies to develop technologies for the future.
Similar to Wipro, many other corporates have also taken the venture fund route to support the startup ecosystem. Some examples of this include Google, Walmart, Alibaba, Microsoft, Reliance, Hero Group, and Times Internet.