Unilever in India -Project Shakti

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Q2. What was the motivation for the Shakti initiative? Was it a CSR activity?

SHAKTI is HUL's sales and distribution initiative that combines social responsibility, sustainability, and business strategy. India has more than 6, 30,000 villages, most of these are 'hard to reach' and offer relatively lower business potential. Hence, reaching them through the conventional distribution system is a challenge. By promoting micro-enterprises, HUL’s initiative not only made great business sense, but also had a deep social impact. The business objective was to extend their direct reach into untapped markets and to build brands through local influencers. The social objective is to provide sustainable livelihood opportunities for underprivileged rural women.

The motivation behind Shakti was twofold.
First 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. That is, to increase the wealth and well-being of India’s rural population and in turn increase the wealth of HLL. So I would say it is not a social project but like any other business venture with added benefit of social upliftment. It can be said that they were also motivated to improve the rural standard of lives and give a boost to their incomes. This might be a good way to serve the society. HLL believes that if and when the wealth of the rural Indian increases and if they have a part in that increase in wealth, they can benefit as a company.

CSR Initiative???

CSR-“Corporate social responsibility is a form of corporate self- regulation integrated into a business model.

CSR policy functions as a built-in, self-regulating mechanism where there is active compliance with the spirit of the law, ethical standards, and international...
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