Geetu Verma

Business Today - - CONTENTS -

Itis a test­ing time for Geetu Verma, Vice Pres­i­dent, Foods (South Asia busi­ness), at Hin­dus­tan Unilever ( HUL). The com­pany’s pack­aged food busi­ness is fac­ing com­pe­ti­tion from lo­cal play­ers and food en­trepreneurs who are pi­o­neer­ing new mod­els of com­mu­ni­ca­tion, lo­gis­tics and go-to-mar­ket strat­egy. De­mon­eti­sa­tion and Goods and Ser­vices Tax have also im­pacted this space.

The key im­per­a­tive for Verma is to keep prod­uct qual­ity, price accessibility and avail­abil­ity steady as the South Asia foods busi­ness is grow­ing at dou­ble dig­its. In In­dia, HUL has re­launched its noo­dles port­fo­lio- with three global flavours and fur­ther added to its range of soups. As for the her­itage Kis­san brand, she has taken ini­tia­tives to en­sure its global ex­pan­sion.

Verma, aged 50, has more than 25 years of mar­ket­ing, tbusi­ness and in­no­va­tion ex­pe­ri­ence in lead­ing FMCG firms – P&G, Sea­gram and Pep­siCo in In­dia and Europe. She joined HUL in Novem­ber 2011 and is re­spon­si­ble for its foods port­fo­lio com­pris­ing Kis­san and Knorr pack­aged foods.

She has crafted a new strat­egy with more em­pha­sis- on ag­ile in­no­va­tion and more rel­e­vant busi­ness mod­els, for the nascent but fast-grow­ing pack­aged food seg­ment. Then there is fur­ther op­por­tu­nity in mini meals and health­ier-eat­ing space. This year, HUL’s per­for­mance has been recog­nised by ATNI (Ac­cess to Nu­tri­tion In­dex) as part of the In­dia spot­light In­dex, where it ranked No. 2 for both cor­po­ra­tee and prod­uct pro­files.

Verma also men­tors young women man­agers andnd raises funds for un­der­priv­i­leged chil­dren suf­fer­ing from om life-threat­en­ing ill­nesses. ~

GEETU VERMA Vice Pres­i­dent, Foods ( South Asia), Hin­dus­tan Unilever WHY SHE MAT­TERS She is strength­en­ing dif­fer­ent prod­uct port­fo­lios with new flavours, tak­ing the her­itage brands global and look­ing at new but fast-grow­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties.

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