Hul Limited

Topics: Unilever, Hindustan Unilever, Rural Pages: 17 (5664 words) Published: September 3, 2013
International Journal of Applied Research and Studies (iJARS) ISSN: 2278-9480 Volume 2, Issue 6 (June- 2013)

Case Study

Rural Marketing: A Case Study on Hindustan Unilever Limited

Manpreet Kaur *
Address For correspondence:

Assistant Professor, Guru Gobind Singh College for Women, Sector – 26, Chandigarh

Abstract: In recent years, rural markets have acquired significance, as the overall growth of the economy has resulted into substantial increase in the purchasing power of the rural communities. On account of green revolution, the rural areas are consuming a large quantity of industrial and urban manufactured products. In this context, a special marketing strategy, namely, rural marketing has emerged. This paper is an attempt to find out the various initiatives taken by HUL to reach the rural consumer. Hindustan Unilever is the pioneer and largest player in India’s FMCG market. HUL was the first company to step into the Indian rural marketing. HUL started its first effort towards going rural 1960’s onwards, through indirect coverage of accessible rural market through its urban network stockists and distributors. HUL proactively engaged in rural development in 1976 with Integrated Rural Development Programme in Etah district of Uttar Pradesh. In 1990, HUL launched ‘Operation Streamline’ for distribution of products to inaccessible rural markets with High potential using unconventional transport like bullock carts, tractors and bicycles and appointed rural distributors and star sellers. In 2000, HUL started Project Shakti to reach inaccessible low potential rural markets. This project has reached 100,000 villages. HUL embarked upon Project Samuriddhi in 2003 to create sustainable villages in Dadra and Nagar Haveli. Today HUL’s products touch the lives of two out of every three Indians. INTRODUCTION Over the past few years, the rural markets have emerged as one of the most lucrative markets for Indian companies. In the recent past, many organizations have forayed into rural areas and this has proved fruitful and beneficial for them. The Indian rural markets provide abundant opportunities for organizations to enter and operate profitably. The large population base of rural India enables the companies to earn a reasonable amount of revenue. According to a white paper prepared by CII-Technopak, the rural market grew at an impressive 25% in the * Corresponding Author Email-Id

Manuscript Id: iJARS/ 506


International Journal of Applied Research and Studies (iJARS) ISSN: 2278-9480 Volume 2, Issue 6 (June- 2013)

year 2008 and by the year 2010-11 has grown to approximately 720-790 million customers with a size of US$425 bn. Rural India has emerged as a large market for numerous goods and services such as financial services, FMCG, healthcare and telecommunications. In today's competitive scenario, the rural markets are as vital as the urban markets for marketers. Rural Markets are Becoming More Important The rural markets have become a favourable destination for marketing companies in view of the following reasons:  Competition in Urban Markets - The level of competition in the urban markets has intensified and is increasing tremendously. It is also stated by many experts that the urban markets are almost saturated. Therefore, penetration into rural markets is inevitable for sustained business growth. The rural markets are relatively untapped and this provides better scope for growth. Changing Consumption Pattern in Rural Areas - The consumption pattern in rural India and the demand for new products have shown an encouraging trend. The purchasing power of rural consumers has increased significantly over the past decade. This, in turn, has transformed the consumption pattern. Improved Lifestyle - The rural consumer is no longer dependent only on traditional products. For instance, in most villages, shampoos have substantially replaced the...

References: 1. Azad, Priyanka(2010, November), “Go Rural: Marketing Mantra for the Competitive Era” Marketing Mastermind, pp.20-23. 2. Baijoor, Harish. (2009, June18). Knowledge@wharton. 3. Krishnamacharyulu, C.S.G. and Ramakrishna, Lalitha (2002). Rural Marketing. 4. Paul,Nidhi(2010 May),HUL’s “Khushiyon Ki Doli” – A new Campaign Strategy. 5. Ramkishen,Y. (2004, 2nd Edition). Rural & Agricultural Marketing. 6. Sestiamohan, V.V. Narayana, M.S & Babu, Ramesh(2008, December), “Rural Marketing: Understanding Rural Markets: A competitive edge in tapping the potential in Rural India”, Marketing Mastermind, pp.37-42. 7. Srivastava, Samar. (2010, September). Hindustan Unilever’s Bharat Darshan,Forbes India. 8. Srivastava, Arpita. (2008, November), “Effective Product Positioning Strategies for the Rural Markets – A Winning Proposition”, Marketing Mastermind, pp.42-47. 9. Subramanian, Samanth. (2009 March), “ Mother of all rural marketing schemes”. 10. Vijayraghavan, Kala. Malviya,Sagar. (2011 May), “Hindustan Unilever taps banks, telecom firms to reach rural India wider”, 11. HUL Corporate website.
Manuscript Id: iJARS/ 506
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