HUL – Must-Know Facts

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In India, the name “HUL” or Hindustan Unilever Limited has become synonymous with daily consumer products. From skincare to food, this FMCG brand touches the lives of millions every day. In this blog, we will delve deeper into the legacy of HUL, its major subsidiaries, and the products that you might be using daily. 

About HUL

The following table presents some of the essential facts about HUL:

AttributeInformation
FounderLever Brothers
Industry TypeFast-Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG)
Year Founded1933
HeadquartersMumbai, Maharashtra, India
Key PeopleRohit Jawa (CEO)
Parent CompanyUnilever PLC
Number of Countries ActiveOver 190
Market Cap₹5.96 trillion
Employee Headcount21,000

Additional Read: INFOSYS

Overview of HUL

HUL is a leader in the Indian FMCG sector with a legacy that dates back over 90 years. You might be surprised to know that many products you consider essentials are backed by HUL. With its commitment to sustainability, innovation, and consumer well-being, HUL constantly reinvents its offerings to suit Indian tastes and preferences. Their strategy rests on combining global expertise with deep local understanding.

HUL Historical Timeline and Major Events

  • 1933: Lever Brothers established its Indian subsidiary.
  • 1956: Merger of three major companies forms Hindustan Unilever Limited.
  • 1960s-70s: Expand product range, with notable launches like Lipton Tea and Bru Coffee.
  • 1990s: Initiates computerisation, leading to enhanced operational efficiency.
  • 2000s: Emphasises sustainability and social responsibility; the ‘Project Shakti’ initiative begins.
  • 2010s: Achieves significant milestones in health and hygiene awareness campaigns across India.
  • 2020s: HUL focuses on digital transformation and inclusion, bolstering its online presence.
  • 2022: Unilever India opened a zero-carbon Home Care factory and automated distribution centre, marking it as Unilever South Asia’s first gender-balanced facility. 
  • 2023: From June 27, 2023, Rohit Jawa took the helm as HUL’s CEO and Managing Director.

Major Subsidiaries of HUL

HUL’s influence in the Indian market is not just limited to its direct brand offerings. Through its major subsidiaries, HUL extends its reach, catering to specific sectors and ensuring that it has a presence across different consumer sectors.

  • Lakmé Cosmetics: Established in 1952, Lakmé is more than just a cosmetic brand; it’s a beacon of beauty standards in India. Offering a wide range of high-quality beauty products, from lipsticks to nail polishes and skincare lines, Lakmé has become the go-to beauty brand for many Indian women. Their innovations, combined with a keen understanding of the Indian skin type and preferences, have made them a leader in the cosmetics industry.
  • Lakme Lever Private Limited: As the service extension of the Lakmé brand, Lakme Lever Private Limited focuses on providing unparalleled beauty and grooming services. With its widespread chain of Lakmé Salons across the nation, it ensures that beauty services aren’t just about aesthetics but also about a holistic experience. These salons, known for their consistent quality and trendsetting services, have transformed the beauty salon experience in India.
  • Kwality Wall’s: Kwality Wall’s, with its delightful range of ice creams and frozen desserts, has been spreading joy in India for decades. From the classic Cornetto to the rich and creamy Feast, Kwality Wall’s has been a part of countless memories, celebrations, and simple moments of happiness.
  • Pond’s Exports Limited: Pond’s, a trusted name in skincare, has been revered not just in India but globally. Pond’s Exports Limited oversees the international demand and supply for Pond’s products. It ensures that the legacy of quality, trust, and efficacy that Pond’s stands for is seamlessly extended to international markets.
  • Unilever India Exports Limited: India’s rich agricultural produce and unique FMCG products have always been in demand internationally. Unilever India Exports Limited shoulders the responsibility of meeting this demand. By managing the export operations for a variety of HUL products, this subsidiary ensures that the best of Indian FMCG offerings make their mark globally, reflecting HUL’s commitment to quality and excellence.

Additional Read: HUL Q2 Results

Major Acquisitions by HUL

Hindustan Unilever Limited’s commitment to diversifying its portfolio and maintaining its leadership in the Indian market has led to several strategic acquisitions over the years. Here’s a look at some of the major ones:

  • GSK’s Indian Horlicks business: In a significant move, HUL acquired the Horlicks brand from GlaxoSmithKline in 2020. This not only reinforced HUL’s position in the nutrition segment but also allowed them to tap into a more extensive consumer base who trust the Horlicks brand.
  • Indulekha: Recognising the potential of the ayurvedic personal care segment, HUL acquired the premium hair care brand Indulekha in 2015. This allowed HUL to bolster its presence in the natural hair care space, catering to a growing audience seeking organic and traditional solutions.
  • Adityaa Milk: In 2018, HUL stepped up its ice cream and frozen desserts game by acquiring Adityaa Milk. This strategic move helped in extending HUL’s portfolio in a segment where it already had a presence through Kwality Wall’s.
  • Aquagel Chemicals: Water purification being a critical need in India, HUL’s acquisition of Aquagel Chemicals in 2012 strengthened its position in the water purification business, complementing its Pureit range.

These acquisitions, among others, underline HUL’s strategic approach to continuously evolve and cater to the dynamic Indian consumer market. They reflect the company’s vision to stay ahead in the game by integrating diverse and promising brands under its umbrella.

Additional Read: Reliance Industries Ltd.

HUL Products and Brands

The vast range of HUL’s products underscores its integrated presence in our daily lives. These brands don’t just serve consumer needs; they define lifestyles, set trends, and have over the years become integral elements of Indian households. Let’s dive deeper into the major brands under HUL’s umbrella:

  • Dove: Representing real beauty, Dove has successfully changed how beauty is perceived in India. With its wide range of products like shampoos, conditioners, soaps, and facial care, Dove emphasises natural beauty and confidence. Its campaigns connect with a broad audience by addressing self-esteem issues and promoting authenticity.
  • Surf Excel: The brand’s ethos, ‘Daag Achhe Hain’, doesn’t merely promote a detergent; it celebrates life’s beautiful, messy moments. Surf Excel’s innovative product range, from bars to matic powders, ensures that every stain is tackled, highlighting the joy of experiences over appearances.
  • Lifebuoy: Lifebuoy is a leading name in health and hygiene. Known primarily for its iconic red soap, the brand has diversified into sanitisers, liquid handwashes, and shower gels. Its campaigns, especially in rural India, focus on the life-saving habit of handwashing, marrying product promotion with public health.
  • Lux: A soap that has enjoyed the endorsement of Bollywood’s leading ladies, Lux represents glamour, beauty, and luxury. From the classic bar soap to body washes, the fragrances and moisturising properties make every shower a luxurious experience.
  • Knorr: Making its way into Indian kitchens, Knorr offers delicious solutions for meals. Their soupy noodles are a favourite among kids, while the instant soups and easy-to-make meal mixes bring gourmet experiences home.
  • Brooke Bond: With teas like Red Label and Taj Mahal, Brooke Bond doesn’t just promise a refreshing break but weaves a narrative of togetherness. Their teas, whether it’s the strong Assam tea or the aromatic green tea, cater to diverse Indian palates.
  • Clinic Plus: A household name in hair care, Clinic Plus shampoos are known for their strength and nourishment properties. The brand narrative centres around mother-daughter bonding, emphasising trust and care.
  • Rin: Brightness, shine, and confidence – Rin detergent has made these attributes accessible to every household. Whether it’s the iconic bar or the advanced powder, Rin guarantees that every garment sparkles.
  • Axe: Targeted primarily at young men, Axe deodorants and perfumes are all about confidence, allure, and individuality. Their edgy campaigns have made them a favourite in the men’s grooming segment.
  • Fair & Lovely (now rebranded as Glow & Lovely): A pioneer in skin lightening creams, the brand has transitioned to promoting skin radiance, even tone, and overall glow. Its varied product range caters to different skin types and requirements.

Conclusion

HUL isn’t just a company; it’s a part of India’s cultural and economic fabric. With its roots deep in the Indian market, it continues to shape consumer preferences while adapting to them at the same time. As you go about your day, take a moment to notice the ways in which HUL impacts your life, from the tea you drink to the soap you use. In understanding HUL, you understand the pulse of Indian consumerism.

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