Unilever Shakti

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1.What are the key features of Shakti? What are its positive aspects and what are its drawbacks? Key features of Shakti are:
Shakti is an initiative which empowers women in rural India to become capable of earning livelihood and contribute to their family well being •Shakti involves woman to do door to door selling of the branded products •Shakti enabled large conglomerate to penetrate into the untapped rural market of India. •It involved women/entrepreneur to build relationship with customers and provide them the products they require Positive aspects:

It gave opportunity to the rural women to earn livelihood themselves and increase their standard of living •It has helped community by making the branded and quality goods affordable. •Created awareness about the credit facilities, internet and made villagers receptive to quality brands. •Helped a global firm to sell its products in the remote and un tapped market without much branding efforts Negative Aspects:

It is very tough and time consuming to build a new market from the ground up •Huge investments required to train the entrepreneurs and convince local authorities to allow this program to run

2. Can businesses profitably serve the bottom-of-the-pyramid market? Can they beat the local firms in this market segment? Business cannot serve the entire bottom of the pyramid but they can extend their reach to the very deep. The market served by the Shakti team is one which is inaccessible and has low business potential. So getting profitability is certainly not easy. Also the input costs required is pretty huge in order to train the entrepreneurs and convince the local authorities. But over the time there is certainly potential to serve the bottom of pyramid profitably. Yes they can beat local firms in this market mainly because of the deeper penetration, personal touch and easier accessibility of the products to the consumers. The quality of the products would certainly entice the consumer to...
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