HUL Chairman and MD Sanjiv Mehta
Sanjiv Mehta, Hindustan Unilever (HUL) Chairman and Managing Director has reiterated belief in the Indian growth story. Mehta, while laying out the company’s plans for the next decade said that the effects of the pandemic are just a pause in India's consumption and growth story at the 88th Annual General Meeting of the company.
“With a growing middle class, one of the youngest populations in the world and rising internet penetration, India is poised for unprecedented growth,’ he added.
In his speech titled 'Winning in the New Decade', Mehta talked about the achievements of the last decade, the response to the COVID-19 crisis, sustainable growth, informed shareholders about the plans for the future.
Earlier in April while reporting its fourth quarter results, Mehta had indicated that the second wave of the pandemic will not be as adverse as the last year.
HUL’s turnover in 2020-21 rose18.38 percent to Rs 45,311 crore, while profit rose 18 percent to Rs 7,954 crore. In the fourth quarter of the fiscal year, its consolidated net profit rose 44.8 percent to Rs 2,190 crore while revenue grew 35 percent to Rs 12,433 crore.
The decade gone by
HUL, Mehta shared, in the last ten years, has significantly improved profitability.
“We have strengthened our portfolio, embraced emerging trends, organised ourselves to be nimbler, built distinctive capabilities, pursued our social and environmental agenda with passion and vigour and in doing so, built a strong foundation for the future,” he added.
The company has increased its turnover by two times in the last ten years from Rs 20,285 crore in FY11 to Rs 45,311 crore in FY21. Its net profit, too, has tripled during the period from Rs 2,306 crore in FY11 to Rs 7,954 crore in FY21.
HUL’s market capitalisation in the last decade has increased by nine times, Mehta informed.
He added that over the last decade, the Company launched several products delivering higher-order benefits, such as liquid detergents, products for washing machines, salon-like hair solutions and advanced skincare and cosmetic products, amongst many more.
Read: The impact of the second wave will not be as bad as the last year: HUL CMD Sanjiv Mehta
Response to the pandemic
Since the onset of the pandemic, to meet the growing need for health, hygiene, and sanitation, HUL innovated and launched several new products and formats such as fabric sanitiser, fruit and vegetable wash, anti-bacterial dishwash.
Mehta informed that the company’s responsibilities did not stop with its employees and those working in the outer core.
“HUL donated more than 20 million soaps and sanitisers, over 100,000 bottles of toilet and surface cleaners, over 15 lakh packs of Horlicks to frontline workers, medical professionals, and communities in need,” he informed.
“During the second wave, HUL leveraged its global supply chain and airlifted 5,500 oxygen concentrators to address the country's urgent need for medical oxygen,” he added.
Read: HUL’s 'Mission Hope' delivering oxygen concentrators to homes in 10 cities
The decade ahead
HUL CMD stressed on the sustainability agenda of the company while laying plans for the next 10 years. He outlined three drivers propel its '4G' agenda of consistent, competitive, profitable, and responsible growth.
“First, the Unilever Compass, which is its sustainable business strategy. Second, building an Intelligent Enterprise that will further embed data, technology and analytics in all aspects, and the third is building Leaders of the Future,” he informed the shareholders.
Elaborating on ‘intelligent enterprise’, Mehta stated, “our core business will become smarter and efficient by becoming data-led and machine-augmented while we create customised platforms and ecosystems for differentiated consumer and customer value. This will build a value chain that delivers for scale and efficiency of the large while building nimbleness of smalls.”
He summed up his speech quoting Nobel laureate Kofi Annan who said the 'biggest challenge in this new century is to take an idea that seems abstract – sustainable development – and turn it into a reality for all the world's people.'