Alan Jope of Unilever bets big on sustainability and India

Alan Jope, the global chief executive of Unilever who was on a three-day trip to India praised it as one of the best-performing markets for the company even in tough times. While speaking to the business dailies, he spoke about how India could become the largest market in a decade.

17 May 2022 | By Mansi Gupta

Alan Jope: India is Unilever’s priority market along with the US and China

Alan Jope of Unilever stated how the global crisis has brought a halt to the brand’s various functions. This includes import or export of its products, Capex plans as well as media spending in that country. 

"I am very sure India will grow, as a percentage, faster than the US for many years to come. The question is when India becomes the biggest business and not if. Given the relative growth rates, within the next decade is possible," said Jope.

He even added, "Hindustan Unilever is the jewel in Unilever's crown. The business has performed magnificently, whether it's the top line, bottom line, or market cap, this is a high-performing business."

Alan Jope highlighted a key trend which is important for the packaging sector. He talked about downsizing to smaller products. Since becoming CEO of Unilever in 2019, Alan Jope has continued the corporation's course for social and environmental progress. Unilever's business strategy and the sustainability strategy have been combined so that there is no longer a difference between the two.

The consumer goods giant has a target to halve its use of virgin plastic by 2025. The group said it would achieve this by cutting its “absolute use of plastic packaging” by over 100,000 tonnes and “accelerating its use of recycled plastic.” Virgin plastics are produced using raw materials, rather than recycled ones.

The firm also vowed to “help collect and process more plastic packaging than it sells.” 

HUL’s revenue crossed Rs 50,000 crore in FY22 and it reported volume growth of 3 per cent. In the January-March quarter, the company reported flat volume growth and revenue increased 10.7 per cent on the back of price increases. 

Today the Indian ops of Unilever contribute 11% to the Anglo-Dutch company's overall sales. The US market accounts for 19%. And so, the Indian, American and China markets are the "highest priority countries" for Unilever. Together, they represent 35% of the London-headquartered consumer goods multinational's turnover in 2021 (calendar year).