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Indian Conglomerate Wipro Expands in Southeast Asia

Lee Kah Whye | Updated: Jun 03, 2019 18:15 IST

By Lee Kah Whye
Singapore, June 3 (ANI): Wipro, the Bengaluru-based conglomerate is making headlines in Southeast Asia. Just in May alone, Wipro announced two deals.
The first was in Thailand where its information technology arm is now working with the Thai central bank together with eight commercial banks to explore the use of a decentralised digital currency powered by blockchain technology to process interbank transfers and settlements.
Wipro's statement on May 7 said, "Developed as part of the first phase of Project Inthanon, the solution will enable de-centralised interbank real-time gross settlement (RTGS) using wholesale Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) to prove that the technology can perform key functionalities of payment and enhance efficiency."
Project Inthanon is a Bank of Thailand initiative which started in August 2018 to test blockchain technologies to ascertain if it can enhance efficiencies in its interbank payment system. Besides the eight banks and Wipro, it involves R3, a US-based enterprise blockchain software company headquartered in New York.
CBDC is digital money equivalent to and can be redeemable for a country's domestic currency, that a central bank can issue. It can choose to simultaneously remove an equivalent sum of physical currency from the system.
Not to be left behind, at about the same time, its Consumer Care division struck a deal with Ang-Hortaleza Corporation (AHC) of the Philippines.
AHC and Wipro Consumer Care (WCC) signed a share purchase agreement for the sale of AHC's entire stake in the personal care business of Splash Corporation. The purchase price was not revealed.
Splash is a Filipino personal care and food company based in Bonifacio Global City, Taguig. Bonifacio Global City is about 16 kilometres south of Philippine capital city ofManila. It produces and markets popular food brands like Barrio Fiesta and Moondish as well as well-known cosmetic brands like SkinWhite, Flawlessly U, Maxi-Peel, Kolours and Vitress. In its latest available financial filing, which was for FY 2017, it reported revenues of US$ 80.2 million with an operating profit of US$ 4.6 million.
Mr Nagender Arya, Regional Director, Wipro Consumer Care said, "This is an exciting milestone for us, given our vision of being amongst the top 3 players in personal care in Asia. This transaction gives us a market leading position in the Philippine market, which is one of the strong economies in the region and a formidable personal care market. This is our 11th acquisition and reinforces our commitment to continue to invest in emerging markets and build a strong portfolio of local jewels in terms of brands catering to strong niches in each of the markets."
"Brands of Splash overlap with our portfolio in the region and I see tremendous opportunity to further leverage the strengths of our manufacturing, R&D, and sourcing for Splash brands."
WCC is part of Wipro Consumer Care and Lighting (WCCLG) which one of the two divisions under Wipro Enterprises (P) Limited. The other division is Wipro Structure Engineering which is the largest independent hydraulic cylinder manufacturer in the world, supplying about 2 million cylinders for OEMs around the world.
WCCLG is among the fastest growing FMCG (fast-moving consumer goods) companies in India. It has a strong brand presence in personal care and skin care products in Southeast Asia and the MiddleEast and a global workforce of 8,300 serving over 40 countries. WCCLG businesses include producing and selling products for personal and baby care, wellness, electrical wire devices, lighting and modular office furniture.
Wipro Enterprises (P) Limited also has two associate companies - Wipro GE Healthcare Private Limited and Wipro Kawasaki Precision Machinery Private Limited. They are joint ventures with Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Ltd of Japan and GE Medical Systems Limited of the United States. The main business activity of the former is the manufacture and sales of hydraulic equipment for the construction industry in India. Whereas the latter partnership involves the research and development of medical equipment, and healthcare IT solutions and services.
WCCLG is part of Wipro Group of Companies which started in 1945 in Amalner, Maharashtra as a manufacturer of vegetable and refined oils named Western India Vegetable Products Limited, later abbreviated to "Wipro".
In the year 2000, the group listed its information technology, consulting and business process services arm as Wipro Limited on the NYSE. It is also listed on the BSE and NSE.
Wipro Limited which has more than 160,000 employees in 6 continents reported revenues of US$ 8.5 billion for the fiscal year 2019 which ended March 31. It's IT Services segment attained revenues of US$8.12 billion which is an increase of 3.8 per cent from 2018. Net income was US$ 1.3 billion which was higher by 12.4 per cent compared with a year ago. (ANI)