Project Shakti — a marketing initiative involving women belonging to micro-credit self-help groups (SHGs), has helped Hindustan Lever (HLL) to achieve a 20 per cent increase in rural consumption. These development signals a ray of hope in the midst of a slowdown, considering the fact that 50 per cent of HLL’s turnover of Rs 10,972 crore comes from the rural markets.
Going by the success of the initiative, which was launched in Andhra Pradesh last year, HLL is now looking at expanding ‘Project Shakti’ to Gujarat, followed by Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh. While Gujarat will happen this year, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra form the second leg of the initiative, where the company would work with a group of NGOs, which would be undertaken by next year.
According to the company sources, this project is a win-win situation for both the company and the rural SHGs. For women, it means income generation, while for the company it delivers penetration and enhanced rural sales.
‘Project Shakti’ forms part of HLL’s new ventures, which were born through a mega restructuring initiative termed ‘Project Millennium’. Other important new ventures of HLL are confectionery, direct-to-home shopping called ‘Sangam Direct’, healthcare, water, out-of-home services, and niche imports from Unilever.
Source: Financial Express