By Bernie Cahiles-Magkilat
The P9-billion-P11-billion acquisition of home-grown personal care leader Splash Corporation by global giant Wipro Consumer Care is expected to bring the Filipino brand to greater heights as it rides on the global markets of the Indian-based Wipro.
Nagender Arya, Wipro regional director for consumer care, is targeting to surpass Splash products’ steady 10 percent growth over the past decade with the full-speed marketing of its new products.
“We can bring some Splash products overseas,” said Arya noting its biggest markets are India, Malaysia and China. If required, they may expand capacities of Splash manufacturing plant although its capacity is still sufficient for them to scale up production in the next two years.
Arya further noted that the demand for skin-whitening transcends across countries, especially in southeast Asia.
Citing the very good direction of Splash, which accounts for 90 percent of the local skin whitening products being the pioneer in this beauty line business that started more than 20 years ago, Arya said they would like to continue that path and accelerate growth of the Filipino brands.
Exports would be driven by the new products of Splash skin-whitening line and propelled by the global market reach of Wipro network. The Wipro personal care unit is part of the $8.4-billion Wipro Group of Companies, the leading global IT firm, consulting and business process services company. It has also operations in lighting, infrastructure engineering and medical systems.
As the largest personal care player in the Philippine market with recorded revenues of $80 million, Splash has built the iconic brands.
For instance, SkinWhite, the number one scientific whitening lotion in the country; Flawlessly U, a fast-growing herbal beauty brand; Maxi-Peel, the leading brand in hair styling aids; and, Hygienix, one of the fastest growing germicidal brands today. These brands cover a wide spectrum of personal care categories and are in leading positions in respective segments.
Aside from exports, Arya said they are also looking which of the company’s 22 personal care brands would fit the Philippine market. He said they are going to work with the marketing team to assess the potential of these products that have non-competing Splash items.
Wipro has already one personal care brand Enchanteur, a fragrance line being carried by Watsons. For his part, Splash founder Dr. Rolando Hortaleza said he chose to sell Splash to Wipro after long negotiations that started in 2013 yet as the firm offers the best fit.
He said, Wipro was chosen among 15 suitors largely due to the Indian firm’s strong financial muscle that he believes is crucial to achieving his ultimate goal to make Splash a truly global brand.
“With Wipro’s financial muscle, I am confident Splash will continue to grow in the global arena. I am fully supportive of Wipro to achieve fullest potential,” said Hortaleza, who founded Splash 35 years ago.
“My personal ambition for Splash 35 years ago is to become a major player globally,” he said. While he believes that he has already achieved that goal, he said that Splash can fly with Wipro.
“Splash is like my child, having nurtured it for more than 30 years I had given Splash roots and wings,” he said noting that this homegrown company is rooted on pioneering, innovation, competitiveness with marketing excellence fully ingrained in the Splash DNA.