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Second big recast at HLL under Banga

BS Corporate Bureau in Mumbai | April 16, 2004 10:10 IST

The splitting of the FMCG business into two autonomous divisions -- home and personal care and foods -- is the second major recast exercise taken up by Rs 10,000 crore (Rs 100 billion) Hindustan Lever Ltd under Malvinder Singh Banga's helmsmanship.

Popularly known as 'Vindi' Banga, he took over the reins of Hindustan Lever, India's largest consumer goods company, at a time when the FMCG giant was going through one of its most challenging times.

Banga has been under pressure to deliver topline growth for the company- -a monolith of its kind with its huge brand portfolio. The company has been facing competition in all its categories be it soaps, personal products, tea or ice creams.

Under Banga's stewardship, HLL undertook the first restructuring by rationalising its brand portfolio from 110 to 30 power brands. The rest was dropped, sold, migrated and are regional brands. The 30 power brands account for over 80 per cent of HLL's FMCG business. The restructuring -- undertaken in 2000-2001 immediately after Banga took over -- followed British parent Unilever doing a similar exercise in 1999.

Banga also embarked upon a strategy to focus on the core FMCG business and exited or divested its interests in non-core businesses. In the FMCG business, it had merged International Bestfoods with itself, post the global acquisition of Bestfoods by Unilever.

Post-merger, HLL has decided to focus only on Bestfoods Knorr soup brand, defocussing on Captain Cook salt, Brown & Polson custard powder and Rex jelly.

The company also forayed into the confectionery business under the Max brand, services segment (Lakme beauty salons, Sangam Direct), ayurvedic health and beauty care segment under the Ayush brand. It is also planning to enter the water business.

Simultaneously, the company divested its interests in animal feeds, seeds, mushrooms and a part of its speciality chemicals business.

Banga joined HLL as a management trainee in 1977. Between August 1995 and end 1998, he was executive director and head of the soaps and detergents business -- HLL's largest business division, and also Unilever's single largest soaps & detergents business. He led from the front HLL's initiative to mass market.

In December 1998, he moved to the Unilever head office in London as senior vice president responsible for the hair & oral care categories.

In May 2000, Banga was appointed as chairman of the company.

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Sub: Rex Jelly

Please tell me where i can find some Rex Jelly. Not sure if it is made anymore. Was and still a favorite when we were ...

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