“Our partnership with HUL provides the agricultural entrepreneur a worthwhile enterprise mannequin whereas working i-Shakti kiosks. Additionally, low price supply and customised merchandise will end in increased profit by enhanced financial good points for the agricultural customers.”
~ Mr. Nachiket Extra
Govt Director, Wholesale Banking Group
“There’s unimaginable potential in rural markets. That is the place the expansion will come from.”
~ Sharat Dhall, Hindustan Lever’s director of recent ventures and advertising companies
Sankaramma, the chief of the native Kanaka Durga self-help Group (SHG) belongs to Okay. Thimmapuram village’s Muddaner Mandal within the Kadapa district of Andhra Pradesh. The village has 350 households with a complete inhabitants of 1200. Sankaramma’s 5 hectares of agricultural land was not adequate for six member household because of extreme drought within the area. She began a enterprise in April 2003 with the Hindustan Unilever Ltd. By 2005, she had a daily month-to-month turnover of Rs.10,000 monthly. Initially she offered door to door, however thereafter the shoppers began visiting her house for merchandise. She sees Venture Shakti as a imply for the brilliant futures of her youngsters. Venture Shakti additionally enabled her to supply mid-day meals on the major faculty in her village. At present, Sankaramma has grow to be a key growth determine in her village.
Usha Sarvatai, a mom of two, traveled 32 km on a regular basis to work. Her husband’s revenue was not adequate for the 2 youngsters and their previous dad and mom. However the lengthy distance and the odd timings of the job pressured Usha to give up the job. Then she obtained a name from the Authorities dept. to attend a gathering, convened by Venture Shakti. Usha turned a Shakti Amma and began a brand new enterprise. In a brief span the great relationships she developed with the villagers helped her do good enterprise. She says, “I’m glad fulfilling my household’s necessities and folks give me numerous respect at the moment.” And she or he is now very wanting to develop her enterprise within the years to come back.
The record doesn’t finish right here. Hindustan Lever Ltd., a subsidiary of Unilever is relying on 1000’s of girls like Sankaramma and Usha Sarvatai to promote its merchandise to the agricultural customers it could not attain earlier than. By 2005, round 13,000 poor girls have been promoting the corporate’s merchandise in 50,000 villages in India’s 12 states and contributed for 15% of the corporate’s rural gross sales in these states . The ladies usually earned between $16 and $22 monthly , typically doubling their family revenue which was used to teach their youngsters. General, round 30% of Hindustan Lever’s income got here from the agricultural markets in India
Began within the late 2000, Venture Shakti had enabled Hindustan Lever to entry 80,000 of India’s 638,000 villages . Hindustan Lever’s director of recent ventures proudly expressed, “On the finish of the day, we’re in enterprise. But when by doing enterprise we will do one thing constructive, it is an excellent win-win mannequin.” Hindustan Lever was not the one firm recognizing the huge advertising potential in rural India. With the saturation of city market, the businesses began reengineering their companies and merchandise to focus on rural customers who’re poor however are wealthy in aspirations fueled by the media and different forces.
Unilever in India: Enterprise and Progress
Unilever was the world’s largest Quick Transferring Client Items (FMCG) firm with a worldwide income of $55 billion in 2005 . It is Indian subsidiary, the Hindustan Unilever Restricted (HUL) was the nation’s largest FMCG firm with mixed volumes of about 4 million tonnes and revenues close to about $2.43 billion . HUL’s main manufacturers included Lifebuoy, Lux, Surf Excel, Rin, Wheel, Truthful & Pretty, Pond’s, Sunsilk, Clinic, Pepsodent, Shut-up, Lakme, Brooke Bond, Kissan, Knorr-Annapurna, Kwality Wall’s and many others. These have been manufactured over 40 factories throughout the nation .
In 1931, Unilever arrange its first Indian subsidiary, Hindustan Vanaspati Manufacturing Firm . Thereafter the Lever Brothers India Restricted and United Merchants Restricted have been established in 1933 and 1935 respectively. In November 1956, these three corporations merged and type HUL. Unilever’s share in HUL was 51.55% in 2005 and the remaining of the shareholding was distributed amongst about 380,000 particular person shareholders and monetary establishments. A foray of acquisitions adopted thereafter . In 1984, the Brooke Bond joined the Unilever fold. Lipton was acquired in 1972 and Ponds in 1986 . HUL was following a development technique of diversification all the time in keeping with Indian opinions and aspirations.
The financial and political growth within the Nineties had marked an inflexion in HUL’s and the Group’s development curve. Financial liberalization permitted the corporate to discover each single product and alternative phase, with none constraints on manufacturing capability. Alternatively, deregulation allowed alliances, mergers and acquisitions. In 1993, HUL merged with the Tata Oil Mills Firm (TOMCO) 1993 . In 1995, HUL shaped a 50:50 three way partnership with one other Tata firm, Lakme Restricted .
The corporate had additionally made a string of mergers, acquisitions and alliances within the Meals and Drinks sector. A few of these have been the acquisition of Kothari Basic Meals (1992), Kissan (1993), Dollops Icecream enterprise from Cadbury India (1993), Fashionable Meals (2002), Cooked Shrimp and Pasteurised Crabmeat enterprise of the Amalgam Group of Corporations (2003) .
With 12.2% of the world inhabitants residing within the villages of India, the nation’s rural FMCG market had an enormous potential . The Indian FMCG sector was the fourth largest sector within the economic system with a market measurement of $13.1 billion . The sector was anticipated to develop by over 60% by 2010. In 2005-2006 the city India accounted for 66% of complete FMCG consumption, with rural India accounting for the remaining 34% . Nonetheless, rural India accounted for greater than 40% consumption in main FMCG classes equivalent to private care, material care, and scorching drinks . The Bid FMCG corporations equivalent to HLL, Nirma and ITC joined the foray to faucet the large potential.
Within the Nineties, an area Indian agency, Nirma Ltd. began offering detergents to the agricultural poor on the lowest price. The corporate had created a enterprise system with a brand new product formulation, low-cost manufacturing, vast distribution channel, particular packaging and worth pricing. After a decade, Nirma turned one of many largest branded detergent makers with a 38% market share and 121% return on its capital employed .
In 2002, ITC arrange a community of internet-based kiosks, e-choupals, to assist the farmers of their procurement course of. The initiative started with the soya growers in Madhya Pradesh after which expanded to cotton, tobacco, shrimp and many others. Beginning with six e-choupals in June 2000, ITC’s Web-based, rural initiative had linked 6,000 Indian villages with round 1,200 e-choupals by 2002. The organising of every e-choupal entails an funding of Rs 1-3 lakh .The aims behind e-choupals was to permit single place procurement and buy level, permitting farmers to promote their merchandise on to ITC on the idea of up to date present costs prevailing out there. This eradicated middlemen and thus helped ITC to chop its prices.
In 2007, round 34% of the FMCG merchandise gross sales got here from rural areas . The variety of households that used FMCG merchandise in rural India had grown from 13.6 crore in 2004 to 14.3 crore in 2007 . This development was achieved on a mean 1.8% year-on-year development within the variety of households, which use a minimum of one FMCG product. Nonetheless, the expansion in penetration stage for your entire FMCG merchandise was not similar. In line with one research by a market analysis agency IMRB, the month-to-month consumption of detergents and bathroom soaps remained largely stagnant with a 92% penetration, however that of liquid shampoos grew from 68% in 2004 to 83% in 2007 . These figures revealed a shift in the direction of higher-value merchandise among the many rural market, from toothpowder to toothpaste or from unbranded to branded merchandise. In line with the senior challenge director of IMRB Worldwide, Manoj Okay Menon, “One of the important modifications, consists of rising choice in the direction of branded merchandise. For instance, within the meals and drinks phase, penetration of branded atta has gone up year-on-year by 8 per cent and branded salt by 3 per cent. The penetration of unbranded atta has decreased by 1 per cent and salt by 3 per cent.”
The HLL Advertising and marketing Effort: Transition to Rural Market
HUL’s aggressive benefit generated from three sources. First it is robust nicely established manufacturers, second, its native manufacturing capability and provide chain and third its huge gross sales and distribution system. It was quickly felt that HUL’s gross sales and distribution system which had protected it from opponents can be quickly replicated by its rivals and to take care of its edge, the corporate needed to enhance its attain past the city markets. Thus far the operations of HUL included greater than 2,000 suppliers and associates. The distribution community, consisted of 4,000 stockists, protecting 6.3 million shops reaching your entire city inhabitants, and about 250 million rural customers .
Usually, the products produced in every of the HUL’s 40 factories have been despatched to a depot with the assistance of a carrying and forwarding agent (CFA). The corporate had its depot in each state of the nation. The CFA was a 3rd social gathering and obtained servicing charge for inventory and supply of the merchandise. In every city, there was a redistribution stockist (RS) who took the products from the CFA and promote them to shops. By the late Nineties, the HUL administration realized sure issues with the prevailing gross sales mannequin. First, the mannequin was not viable for small cities with small inhabitants and small enterprise. HUL discovered it costly to nominate one stockist completely for every city. Secondly, the retail revolution within the nation modifications the sample the shoppers store. Giant retail self service outlets have been established. Within the response of those issues, HUL redesigned its gross sales and distribution channel and the brand new system was referred to as ‘diamond mannequin’ within the firm. On the prime finish of the diamond, there have been the self service retail shops which constituted 10% of the full FMCG market. The center, fatter a part of the diamond represented the profit-center primarily based gross sales workforce. Within the backside of the pyramid was the agricultural advertising and distribution which accounted for 20% of the enterprise .
Virtually three-fourth of the full 1.2 billion Indian inhabitants resided within the rural areas and majority of them had a really low per capita revenue (round 44% of that of city India) . City market had reached the saturation level, thus altering deal with rural India. Compared to simply 5,161 cities in India there are 6,38,365 villages in India [Exhibit I]. Furthermore, greater than 70% of India’s inhabitants lived in villages and made an enormous marketplace for the FMCG business due to rising disposal incomes and consciousness stage.
Distribution of Villages in India
Supply: Kash Rangan, Sehgal Dalip et. Al., “International Poverty: Enterprise Approaches and Options”, http://www.hbs.edu/socialenterprise/pdf/3-Rangan&Rajan-Presentation.pdf
When HLL shifted to the agricultural India, it confronted many issues. In distinction with a low per capita revenue comparative to the city residents, there have been some areas with sufficient cash however their consciousness stage and consumerism was very low. Secondly, rural FMCG demand was depended upon agricultural scenario which was once more depended upon monsoon. Transportation was additionally a serious hindrance. Lots of the rural areas weren’t linked by rail transport. The Kacha roads have been unserviceable in the course of the monsoon and inside villages get remoted. Moreover transportation, there was an issue of distribution and communication amenities equivalent to phone, fax and web. Furthermore, the lives in rural areas have been nonetheless ruled by ethnicity and traditions and folks didn’t merely get used to new practices. For instance, even wealthy and educated class of farmers doesn’t put on denims or branded footwear. The shopping for choices in villages have been gradual and delayed. They needed to present a trial and purchase solely after being happy. And, lastly the poor illiterate villagers seen expertise extra essential than formal training and so they valued gross sales individuals who might present sensible options to their issues.
HLL approached the agricultural market with two standards – the accessibility and viability [Exhibit II]. Round 40% of the accessible rural market had excessive enterprise potential. To service this phase, HLL appointed a typical stockist who was liable for all retailers and all enterprise inside his specific city. Within the 25% of the accessible markets with low enterprise potential, HLL assigned a retail stokist who was accountable to entry all of the villages a minimum of as soon as in a fortnight and ship shares to these markets. This permits HLL to affect the retailers shares and portions offered by credit score extension and commerce reductions. HLL launched this Oblique protection (IDC) in Sixties.
To cater the wants of the inaccessible market with excessive enterprise potential HLL initiated a Streamline initiative in 1997. HLL appointed rural distributors and Star Sellers. The star vendor bought items from rural distributors and distributed them to retailers in small villages utilizing the native imply of transport. On this approach round 35% of the inaccessible rural market got here underneath the management of HLL. However a nonetheless untapped market – the inaccessible however low enterprise potential market was left exterior. The scale of this untapped market was estimated to be round 500,000 villages with a inhabitants over 500 million . At this stage, Venture Shakti was conceived.
HLL’s Strategy to Rural Market
Low Enterprise Potential Excessive Enterprise Potential
Accessible Markets Oblique Protection (25%) Direct Protection (40%)
Inaccessible Markets House for Shakti Streamline (35%)
Supply: V. Kasturi Rangan Rohithari Rajan, “Unilever in India: Hindustan Lever’s Venture Shakti–Advertising and marketing FMCG to the Rural”, http://www.caseplace.org/d.asp?d=244 – 27k
HLL quickly realized that though it was having fun with a larger penetration within the rural market compared with its competitor equivalent to Nirma and ITC, its direct attain was restricted to solely 16% . The FMCG big was determined to extend this share. HUL noticed its dream success within the huge Indian rural market. The corporate was already engaged in rural growth with the launch of the Built-in Rural Improvement Programme in 1976 within the Etah district of Uttar Pradesh. This program was in tandem with HUL’s dairy operations and lined 500 villages in Etah. Subsequently, the corporate launched comparable applications in adjoining villages. These actions primarily geared toward coaching farmers, animal husbandry, producing different revenue, well being & hygiene and infrastructure growth. The primary concern in rural growth was to create income-generating prospects for the poor villagers. Such initiatives, linked with the corporate’s core enterprise, turned profitable and sustainable and proved to be mutually useful to each the corporate ant its rural prospects. Nonetheless, a lot remained to be finished. Venture Shakti was conceived.
Following the pioneering work carried out by Grameen Financial institution of Bangladesh , Self Assist Teams (SHGs) of rural girls have been shaped by a number of establishments, NGOs and authorities our bodies in villages throughout India. This group of often 15 members contributed a small sum of money to a typical pool after which supplied a micro-credit to a member of the group to put money into a generally accepted financial exercise. Partnering with these SHGs, HLL began its Venture Shakti in Nalgonda district of Andhra Pradesh in 50 villages within the 12 months 2000. The social aspect of the Venture Shakti was that it was aimed to create income-generating capabilities for underprivileged rural girls, by offering a sustainable micro enterprise alternative, and to enhance rural residing requirements by well being and hygiene consciousness. Most SHG girls seen Venture Shakti as a strong enterprise proposition and are eager members in it. There after it was prolonged in different states with the full energy of over 40,000 Shakti Entrepreneurs.
HLL supplied a variety of merchandise to the SHGs, which have been related to rural prospects. HUL invested considerably in assets who work with the ladies on the sector and supply them with on-the-job coaching and assist. HUL supplied the mandatory coaching to those teams on the fundamentals of enterprise administration, which the ladies must handle their enterprises. For the SHG girls, this translated right into a much-needed, sustainable revenue contributing in the direction of higher residing and prosperity. Armed with micro-credit, girls from SHGs grow to be direct-to-home distributors in rural markets [Exhibit III].
Construction of HLL’s Market Attain in India
Supply: Kash Rangan, Sehgal Dalip et. Al., “International Poverty: Enterprise Approaches and Options”, http://www.hbs.edu/socialenterprise/pdf/3-Rangan&Rajan-Presentation.pdf
Shakti: The way it works
Basically, a member from a SHG was chosen as a Shakti entrepreneur, generally referred as ‘Shakti Amma’ acquired shares from the HLL rural distributor. After educated by the corporate, the Shakti entrepreneur then offered these items on to customers and retailers within the village. Every Shakti entrepreneur often serviced 6-10 villages within the inhabitants strata of 1,000-2,000 folks with 4-5 main manufacturers of HLL – Lifebuoy, Wheel, Pepsodent, Annapurna salt and Clinic Plus. Other than these, different manufacturers included Lux, Ponds, Nihar and three Roses tea. The Shakti entrepreneurs got HLL merchandise on a `money and carry foundation.’ Nonetheless, the native self-help teams or banks supplied them micro credit score wherever required. In line with Dalip Sehgal, Govt Director, New Ventures & Advertising and marketing Companies, HLL Venture Shakti was including as much as 15% of HLL gross sales in rural Andhra Pradesh. He additional asserted that given the largeness of the nation and backwardness of its girls, Venture Shakti-like endeavor would place all people in a win-win scenario.
I-Shakti: Crossing the Border
Inspired by the goodwill and success of Venture Shakti, in August 2003, HLL launched an Web-based rural info service, known as I-Shakti, in Andhra Pradesh, in affiliation with the Andhra Pradesh Authorities’s Rajiv Web Village Programme. I-Shakti was an IT-based rural info service to supply very important info to the agricultural folks in fields like agriculture, training, vocational coaching, well being, hygiene and the like [Exhibit IV]. The target behind the i-Shakti mannequin was to present want primarily based demand pushed info and companies within the villages.
The i-Shakti kiosk was operated by the Shakti Entrepreneur. This was anticipated to strengthen their relationship with their prospects. HUL anticipated that this could enhance the productiveness of the agricultural group and unlock financial and social progress.
A snapshot of the ‘i-Shakti’ web site
Supply: “HUL Shakti-Altering lives in rural India.”, http://www.hllshakti.com/sbcms/temp1.asp?pid=46802256 – 41k
I-Shakti was primarily based on an interactive dialogue expertise developed & patented by the Unilever Company Analysis Crew, U.Okay. The system enabled an in-depth understanding of every person wants and thereby improved the standard of companies supplied to them. The APonline , had tied up with i-Shakti to launch varied companies. Furthermore, by i-shakti, the ICICI Financial institution and HUL collectively supplied varied monetary services and products equivalent to life and common insurance coverage, funding merchandise (Fairness, Mutual Funds, Bonds), ICICI Financial institution Pure Gold (gold cash), Private Credit score, Rural Financial savings Accounts and Remittances to the agricultural buyer.
Redefinition Rural Distribution: Altering Lives
Having profitable in Nalgonda, in 2003 HLL deliberate to broaden Shakti to a 100 districts in Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and UP. There have been different plans equivalent to to permit different corporations (besides HLL’s opponents) equivalent to Nippo, TVS Motor for mopeds, insurance coverage corporations for LIC insurance policies to get onto the Shakti community to promote their shares. Sehgal was wanting proud when he introduced, “We needed to first stabilise the challenge earlier than we will take a look at different corporations. It requires anyone with scale and measurement to construct a platform after which invite different corporations onto this platform.” He additional emphasised that Shakti was making a win-win partnership between HLL and its customers.
There have been about 4.36 lakh girls SHGs in AP with virtually 58.29 lakh poor girls. AP alone had about half of the SHGs of the nation. By 2005 the SHGs had mobolised Rs 1500 crore had mobilised as corpus. The agricultural girls organised themselves into `thrift and credit score’ teams with a saving of Re.1 a day which created a fund of greater than Rs 800 crore. Whereas the financial savings was there among the many SHGs, there was no channel of funding. HLL tapped this enormous ignored community to launch Venture Shakti. HLL has in a position tp present a window of prospect to take a position and earn.
The affect of HLL was not impulsively. HLL witnessed 15% incremental gross sales from the villages of AP, which accounted 50% of the full gross sales of HLL merchandise in AP. Market analysts have been perceiving an enormous potential within the rural foray of HLL. Nikhil Vora, Sr. Vice President of analysis group ASK Raymond James believed that if there was one firm that might tackle the onus of creating the agricultural markets, it was HLL. He additional continued, “HLL contributes 20 per cent of the full FMCG enterprise within the nation. So, clearly, the onus is on HLL to develop the market. Returns might not occur within the subsequent 5 years, however numerous shopper understanding and insights comes from an train like Venture Shakti, which in flip can result in product innovation.”
HLL acknowledged that for Venture Shakti to achieve success for the corporate’s rural penetration, sellers and communicators should be nicely educated. It was unclear how sellers would carry out in an expanded infrastructure. Though HLL’s rural initiatives incurred enormous prices to the corporate, it was anticipated that with the monsoon revival and larger rural incomes might decline the payback interval for initiatives like Shakti. Furthermore, the lowering model loyalty amongst city customers rural market had grow to be an crucial. In line with the Concurs Okay.N. Siva Subramanian, Sr. Vice President, Franklin Templeton India Ltd, “The (HLL) administration had acknowledged the upcoming saturation of the city markets a while again and launched aggressive plans to seize the agricultural markets. Nonetheless, a slowdown within the agricultural sector resulted in rural incomes remaining flat and affecting gross sales. We imagine that by focusing on lower cost factors and additional increasing the distribution community, corporations can faucet the potential of rural markets. Initiatives like Venture Shakti will assist them in establishing and consolidating their base in rural markets.”
HLL must decide whether or not Venture Shakti might be repeatable in different nations. The Indian household construction and village interplay present a singular diffusion mechanism that’s an efficient car for Shakti. Whether or not this mannequin might be efficiently carried out in different nations should be additional explored. Furthermore, it want to search out out whether or not the Venture Shakti or e-choupal like initiatives might be elevated. There was little question that the regional manufacturers, and even bigger FMCG corporations, didn’t have the form of distribution attain that HLL had established and in the long term, that might show a winner for HLL.