After being at the helm of the India operations for four years and taking the company through robust year-on-year growth of over 15 per cent, Nitin Paranjpe, CEO of the Rs 25,206-crore FMCG giant, Hindustan Unilever, is now moving on to a larger global role. He would be joining the Unilever Leadership Executive, as President, Home Care.
Paranjpe for sure is best cut-out for this role as bulk of the growth for the company in the last few years has come from this segment. 49% of the company's revenue last fiscal came from the soaps and detergents category, while personal products contributed 31%. The CEO designate is Sanjiv Mehta, who is currently Chairman, North Africa & Middle East, Unilever. An ex-Union Carbide employee, Mehta has been with Unilever since 1992, and has worked in Unilever businesses across South Asia, South East Asia and the Middle East. ""The changes reflect our strong commitment towards leadership development and our tradition of leveraging experiences and synergies of talent across markets," says HUL Chairman, Harish Manwani, in a press release issued by the company.
The most valuable contribution of Paranjpe has been to understand the changing aspirations of the Indian consumer and innovating accordingly. Be it extending a boring cold cream brand like Ponds to a range of premium age-defying products or taking a brand like Vaseline, which is essentially petroleum jelly, to an aspirational range of men's grooming products, Paranjpe has played a great role in making Hindustan Unilever's products stylish and aspirational. He changed the company from being a macro strategy focused company to an execution-focused company. However, the clear missing link in Paranjpe's success story has been a lackluster performance in the foods business.