Wipro's VC Arm is Focused on Consumer & FMCG Start-ups. Here's All You Need to Know
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Indian IT giant Wipro’s consumer care and FMCG arm—Wipro Consumer & Lighting—launched venture fund Wipro Consumer Ventures to support the burgeoning start-up activities in the ecosystem of India. The INR 200-crore fund will focus on new-age tech-enabled consumer brands as well as companies which are working on innovative distribution models. The fund will be focused on investing in companies that are in the Indian and South-East Asian geographies.
The FMCG sector is a space that has been attributed as an important sector both in the Indian as well as the south-east Asian markets. Sumit Keshan, managing partner at Wipro Consumer Ventures, says, “Technology has helped entrepreneurs to find innovative ways to meet the niche requirements of the consumer and meet them in a cost-effective manner.” Although, a few announcements are in the pipeline in the coming months, nothing is confirmed. The average ticket size of funding will be between $2 million and $6 million.
Keshan also added that the fund is looking at companies in the men’s grooming and feminine hygiene space. He further said that different countries have different approaches to business, “The Indonesian market is extremely fragrance- or hygiene-driven whereas Malaysia is completely brand-focused.”
While scanning through Indian and Asian entrepreneurs, Keshan says the fund looks at a lot of factors, “We look at the entrepreneur himself or the team and their capability. Secondly, we look at the category or the segment. And we also see what the company will be able to gain from the large market opportunity in India and south-east Asia. Also, we ask ourselves if we can enable them scale faster than they would otherwise.”
Keshan also added that entrepreneurs all over the world are very similar, and the common core that makes them alike is passion.
Wipro founder Azim Premji is known as one of the greatest business tycoons whose tenure at Wipro was labeled as “compassionate capitalism”. Premji’s support to the start-up ecosystem is also very well-known. PremjiInvest, the private equity arm of Wipro, has invested in start-ups such as ecommerce platforms Myntra and Snapdeal, and software-as-a-service start-up Icertis, among others.