Every business faces challenging times at some point.
In September 2008, when Lehman Brothers collapsed, everyone could feel the impact of the global financial crisis. Among those affected was Hindustan Unilever Limited India, whose performance stalled and share price tanked.
A few months before Nitin Paranjpe was appointed as the CEO of HUL India. He had risen through the ranks in the company, having started as a management trainee in 1982.
Despite troubled times, Nitin decided to set new, audacious goals. The route he chose was a dramatic leap forward in distribution.
At that time, HUL was already the market leader with close to 1 million sales points in India. They also expanded their distribution network by nearly 15,000 retail outlets a year.
Nitin Paranjpe’s view of the situation:
Nitin created a target to add 5 lakh points of sale a year while working on expanding the company’s network to include mom-and-pop stores even in the remotest corner of the country.
Further in 2011, under his leadership, HUL entered into a strategic alliance with Tata Teleservices to distribute TATA Docomo sim cards in rural India given HUL’s extensive distribution network in rural markets in India
Nitin also understood the changing face of consumerism in India, and introduced programs like reverse mentoring, where 25-year-olds guided their older colleagues on social media and helped make them more tech-savvy.
Under the leadership of Nitin Paranjpe, HUL reached great heights and its market capitalization rose threefold, from ₹ 51,283.69 crores in 2008 to ₹ 143,394 crores in 2013.
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