Hindustan Unilever – digital social good
What does the company do?
The 90 year old Hindustan Unilever (HUL) (a subsidiary of the British-Dutch multinational Unilever Group) is the largest fast-moving consumer goods company in India. Aside from delivering superior growth and solid margins on its portfolio of household, personal care and food & beverage brands, it is also supporting mom & pop general merchandise stores known as Kiranas. Kiranas make up close to 80% of HUL’s channel business.
Why do we like the investment?
The company has developed online platforms “My Kirana” & “Humarashop” which help small retailers establish a digital presence. Each Kirana gets their own website and online users are linked to their nearest local store. These platforms not only enable HUL to better distribute their products, but the Kiranas may also sell other brands and distributor products too. HUL also gets insight into the inventory and sales trends of the Kirana shops. During the Covid-19 episode, Kiranas saw a surge in business thanks to their convenience, reliability and also ease of online access. Online sales still only make up about 3% of HUL’s business so there is still potential for growth as they help their distributors modernise. Being future-ready is one of HUL’s core pillars. HULs investment in these online retail platforms started about 5 years ago, so they were early movers into tapping into consumer trends for digital.
Companies selected for illustrative purposes only to demonstrate the investment management style described herein and not as an investment recommendation or indication of future performance.
In which year did we first invest?
Where is their head office?