Unilever in India - Rural Marketing Initiatives

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This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.

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Case Details:


Case Code : MKTA008 For delivery in electronic format: Rs. 500;
For delivery through courier (within India): Rs. 500 + Shipping & Handling Charges extra


Case Length : 17 Pages
Period : 1998-2004
Pub Date : 2004
Teaching Note : Not Available
Organization : Unilever, Hindustan Lever Limited
Industry : Fast Moving Consumer Goods
Countries : India


70% of the Indian population lives in rural areas. This segment, commonly referred to as the 'bottom of the pyramid', presents a huge opportunity for companies. Unilever's Indian subsidiary, Hindustan Lever Ltd (HLL), considered one of the best-managed companies in India, understands the importance of rural marketing.

The trigger point came when a local firm Nirma, through its new product formulation, pricing and distribution challenged HLL's detergent business. Nirma's attack from below made HLL realise its vulnerability as well as identify a new opportunity. Since then, HLL has launched various initiatives to reach out to the rural consumer. It has changed its product formulations and deliveries.

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It has begun a number of initiatives in terms of widening distribution reach through traditional as well as unconventional channels. HLL has also empowered rural women by assisting them in obtaining financial assistance through its project shakti.


  Page No.
Introduction 1
Background Note 2
Reaching out to the rural consumer 4
Looking Ahead 14
Exhibits 4


Unilever, MNCs (multinational corporations) in India, Hindustan Lever Ltd (HLL), Fast moving consumer goods (FMCG), Rural consumer, Bottom of the pyramid, Marketing mix, Micro-financing

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