Unilever in India

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HLL Shakti Case Study

Q.1 What are the key features of Shakti? What are its positive aspects and what are its drawbacks?

Ans The Shakti was a rural marketing initiative of HLL, the largest FMCG Company in India. This initiative was majorly based upon network of entrepreneurs who were based out of rural areas. The idea was to build brands based upon number of sales and distribution initiatives. Shakti would have created sustainable livelihood opportunities for rural women and not only that it would improve the living standard and would have enhanced the affluence among the rural masses of India that constitutes a major % of total population of India.

The most important positive aspect of Shakti is that it not only contributes in scaling the sales of HLL but also to the community it is part of.

The drawback is that there was a limitation in making money by Shakti entrepreneur.

Q.2 What was the motivation for the Shakti initiative? Was it a CSR initiative?

Ans The motivation behind Shakti was twofold, one is to grow with the people especially the rural masses which constitutes about 72% of the 1.2 billion Indian population and that offers a great opportunity in retailing and the kind of products that HLL produces. The second is why not help the community to improve on livelihood and have sustenance in living standard if that come as a byproduct of the business objectives. So I would say it is not a social project but like any other business venture with added benefit of social upliftment.

CSR is corporate social responsibility where in different type of social camps being organized to train regarding improvement to health and Hygiene and improvising the educational level that will empower rural underprivileged women. So it was not completely a CSR initiative but that was the byproduct of the business venture.

Q.3 How can Shakti make a contribution to HLL's bottom line?

Ans. HLL plans to tap the rural...