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Hindustan Unilever Ltd.


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Series: EQ | ISIN: INE030A01027 | SECTOR: Personal Care

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Annual Report

For Year :
2021 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012

Director’s Report

We operate in a complex and volatile world. Our strategy is constantly evolving to adapt to the trends and forces shaping our markets and impacting our stakeholders.

Hindustan Unilever Limited is part of the Fast-Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) industry which continues to be one of the biggest long-term sustainable business opportunities that our country offers. Despite being one of the fastest growing markets globally for FMCG products, India''s per capita FMCG consumption is still amongst the lowest in the world, giving the industry a long runway for growth.

2020 was a highly volatile and challenging year. Covid-19 changed almost every aspect of human lives in ways never imagined. The economic toll from the pandemic was unprecedented. Operational challenges mounted due to restricted movement and disrupted supply lines. As the Covid-19 cases continued to rise exponentially, the economy declined sharply. Our focus was on our people''s health & safety, ensuring uninterrupted supplies of Covid-19 relevant portfolio, meeting the demand of consumers arising out of changed behaviour and needs, caring for the communities in which we operate, preserving cash and protecting our business model.

As the country navigated through the crisis, the Government and the Reserve Bank of India took effective measures to support a robust economic recovery. The Union Budget

2021 focused on regaining the growth momentum in the economy through several measures including keeping tax rates stable and enhancing investments in infrastructure.

The agriculture sector performed well, leading to a strong performance by rural markets. The impact of Covid-19 was more pronounced in metros and bigger towns, resulting in a slower recovery in urban markets.

Global trade dynamics, volatile commodity cycles and climate concerns continue to create challenges and uncertainties for companies and categories across the spectrum. New technologies are changing the landscape of the consumer goods market, bringing opportunities for brands and consumers alike. Consumers are shopping


Interests and concerns

How we engaged in FY 2020-21

Considerations and outcomes

The pandemic has impacted

We have many direct and indirect

Our Board and Management

consumer spending habits,

touchpoints with our consumers. Our

Committee members regularly


particularly for discretionary

People Data Centre combines social

review consumer trends, their


purchases. Consumers have

listening with traditional consumer

concerns and consider these when

Changes in

become more conscious about

research while our Consumer Carelines

making decisions. Basis insights


their health and hygiene as

give us rich insights into the experiences

on new trends, shaping consumer

behaviour have

well as being value seeking as

of consumers when using our products.

choices and behaviours during


they look to protect themselves

We continue to collaborate with

the pandemic, the Management

leading to new

from the consequences of the

research agencies and household

Committee made changes to

insights about

pandemic. Digital engagement

panels to conduct consumer surveys

strategic directions and investments.

the way people

and online shopping gained

and understand on-ground consumer

We focused our innovations to serve

shop and buy our

prominence as people

behaviour patterns, their interests

health and hygiene needs of our


pivoted to E-everything and a

and concerns. We also engaged with

consumers and launched more than

contactless culture.

consumers through our digital platforms

150 Stock Keeping Units (SKU). We

^ For more on consumers see pages 22 to 25

such as Cleanipedia and BeBeautiful.

also repurposed our brands to make

These insights help us in building our understanding of consumer trends, including those that are likely to continue in a post-Covid world.

them contextually relevant and drive salience.

Covid-19 has been the

Our leadership team members directly

Safety and wellbeing of our

overriding concern for our

engaged with our employees throughout

employees is paramount to us.

people during the year as the

the year on issues of concern. Through

We operated with stringent safety

Our People

pandemic impacted virtually

empathetic leadership and always

protocols to protect our people in

We stepped up

every part of their lives,

on two-way communication, our line-

factories and frontline sales. We


especially work arrangements.

managers across all levels could provide

transitioned to 100% remote working

with employees

Through our engagement,

clarity in the time of crisis and strengthen

for all our office-based employees

significantly to help

we also consistently see that

connectedness. With our ''Care to

and as the country opened up we

our people through

career opportunities, wellbeing,

Connect'' programme, factory leadership

resumed our office operations

the pandemic

purpose, sustainability and

teams connected individually with all

in a calibrated and safe manner

being a more simple and agile

our factory employees and their families.

wherever possible. Through the

^ For more on people see pages 26 to 27

business remain important for

We conducted frequent pulse-check

year, we built a systemic approach

our people.

surveys throughout the year for instant

on wellbeing with customised

feedback. Our annual UniVoice survey garnered a participation from 84% of our

interventions for various employee segments. Our UniVoice survey

office-based employees.

showed improvements across all dimensions, especially remarkable was that 88% employees felt positive and optimistic, 90% believe that their line manager had supported them to be effective during Covid-19 crisis.

People''s concerns arou nd health & hygiene, as well as the planet, continued to g row this year

As the pandemic unfolded, it reshaped how people lived, worked and shopped. Almost overnight, people''s immediate concerns - health, hygiene and immunity became a priority as people sought to protect themselves and their near-ones from Covid-19. With the country going into a lockdown, daily habits changed dramatically: from eating out to eating at home, from shopping in stores to shopping online and from working in offices to working from home. While the immediate focus for many people was to deal with the crisis, however, concerns around waste, water, climate change, social inequality remained relevant for people. People continued to look for convenient, eco-friendly, natural and chemical free products.

Our three Divisions worked to meet these changing consumer needs in a variety of ways viz. serving through product innovations, creating awareness through contextual communication, shifting to new distribution models and connecting with consumers through their brand''s purpose-led initiatives.

Beauty & Personal Care

We believe in beauty that cares for people, society, and our planet

In the Beauty & Personal Care (BPC) division, we operate in categories that play a significant role in consumers'' lives and touch a vast majority of Indian households. The categories manifest an excellent opportunity to boost penetration, consumption, and premiumisation, presenting a healthy long-term potential. Leveraging our Winning in Many Indias strategy we offer an extensive portfolio with many products tailored to specific regional preferences. With a product portfolio straddling the price-benefit pyramid, we ensure that our brands are accessible and aspirational for all consumers across the country.

Exhibiting resilience and portfolio strength during Covid-19

Covid-19 has had a varied impact on our categories. The humble bar of soap became people''s first line of defence against the risk of catching the infection resulting in an unprecedented demand for Skin Cleansing, especially hand hygiene products. In contrast, categories like

Director’s Report