Though Priya Nair, Executive Director (Personal Care), Hindustan Unilever, started her career with the organisation decades ago, the last few months have been by far the most exciting and challenging. As head of the Personal Care Division, which has iconic hygiene and health care brands such as Lifebuoy, Nair has led the company's Rs 100 crore efforts to fight the pandemic. From stepping up production of much-needed soaps and sanitisers to accelerating the innovation pipeline for hygiene-relevant launches such as Lifebuoy Disinfectant Spray, the pandemic has kept Nair on her toes. "Having the country's biggest hygiene brand, Lifebuoy, was not just an opportunity, it was also our responsibility to make our products available across the country," says Nair. Apart from helping municipal corporations across the country in their fight against the virus and setting up isolation centres, HUL has also donated over two crore Lifebuoy soaps to the underprivileged sections of the society.
Nair, through the pandemic, has been telling her team to keep learning and enjoy what they are doing. "Navigating choppy waters is what all managers need to learn. I tell my team to do all of that but have fun too. When times are tough, one should stay calm and light."
Nair's team has the perfect 50:50 gender balance and she wants to use it to understand consumers better and give them what they need.