WORKING UP A LATHER
HINDUSTAN UNILEVER | ESTABLISHED IN 1933
TURNING THE LEVER
The story began in 1888, when a consignment of crates marked ‘Made in England by Lever Brothers’ arrived in Calcutta. Sunlight soap had arrived in India, just four years after it was introduced in England. Soon, other soaps followed—Lifebuoy, Vinolia, Velvet Skin Soap, Lever’s Health Soap and Lullaby Bath Soap, imported and sold through visiting, and then resident, representatives based in Bombay, Calcutta and Madras. Sales grew fast, leading to the creation of a subsidiary, Lever Brothers India. In 1956, Lever Brothers India, the Hindustan Vanaspati Manufacturing Company and United Traders merged to form Hindustan Lever.
In December 1967, the Hindustan Lever Research Centre was inaugurated in Bombay and in 2007, the company’s name was changed to Hindustan Unilever. In 2016-17, the company recorded sales of Rs 33,895 crore. “Today, Hindustan Unilever is one of the most valuable companies in the country with a market cap exceeding $35 billion,” says Sanjiv Mehta, MD and CEO. “Our model for sustainable growth is to combine value with values—to do well by doing good. Over the last century, we have participated in the development of the country and will continue to lend a hand in building its future with passion and enthusiasm.”
FAMILY FIRST A Hindustan Unilever products store, exclusively for employees, at the group’s corporate office in Mumbai