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Unilever fights auserity with innovations: CEO

Anglo-Dutch giant Unilever, the parent of Hindustan Unilever Ltd that makes popular products such as Surf detergent and Pepsodent toothpaste, is betting big on emerging markets including India, and constant innovations to improve its profits. This is happening in a scenario in which developed countries are implmenting austerity measures that curtail consumer spending.

business Updated: Mar 08, 2011 23:04 IST
HT Correspondent

Anglo-Dutch giant Unilever, the parent of Hindustan Unilever Ltd that makes popular products such as Surf detergent and Pepsodent toothpaste, is betting big on emerging markets including India, and constant innovations to improve its profits. This is happening in a scenario in which developed countries are implmenting austerity measures that curtail consumer spending.

Paul Polman, the CEO of the fast moving consumer goods company that saw a revenue of 44.3 billion euros (R278,000 crore) in 2010, told senior journalists on Tuesday that he was looking at faster growth in the company’s Indian business.

“If you take a helicopter view, this country is moving fast in the right direction. There are more people coming out of poverty and the standards of living are improving,” said Polman, who is on a four-day visit to India.

Innovations, he said, are the key driver for growth and were getting bigger and faster across the world.

“Two two-three years back the incremental sales from innovation was 3-5 million euros and now we are looking at 50 million or more,” said Polman.

Polman also stressed the need for companies to help the cause of sustainable growth, saying we are consuming resources fasster than the earth is able to regenerate.