Transforming Hindustan Unilever

Case Solution

Krishna G. Palepu, Rachna Tahilyani
Harvard Business School ()

When Mehta took over Unilever’s operations in India and the South Asia region in October 2013, HUL was having a difficult time. Amid the weakening economy, falling consumer spending, and increased competition, the company’s growth had slowed. HUL not only lagged behind the market index, it also lagged the consumer goods index. At the same time, HUL struggled with many internal issues, ranging from slow market reaction to higher cost structure. The following trimester had not brought any relief. Given the deteriorating external situation, Mehta wondered what changes he needed to make to ensure consistent, competitive and profitable growth at HUL. . The case is accompanied by a video in which the CEO outlines his thinking and his decisions. The video can be used in class as the class discussion progresses to close the discussion and inform the class of the actions that have been taken.

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