If Hindustan Lever Ltd (HLL) is gung-ho about its foray into network marketing with launch of Hindustan Lever Network (HLN), it's simply because of the opportunity direct selling affords in India. The industry is currently estimated to be worth Rs 1,700 crore, and growing at 20 per cent. And within five years, HLL hopes to clock a turnover of Rs 500 crore from its HLN initiative, and establish itself as the leader in this industry.
While industry observers are sceptical about whether it is such a good idea lending the HLL name to the direct marketing initiative (HLN), Dalip Sehgal, executive director, new ventures and marketing services, HLL, provides the rationale. "HLL has built a reputation of trust and quality over the last 100 years," he says. "With its existing position of strength as the leading consumer goods company in India, HLL will leverage its capabilities across manufacturing, supply chain, R&D and consumer understanding to provide a strongly differentiated proposition in Hindustan Lever Network, that redefines the business of Network Marketing."
Towards this end, HLL is energising its direct product range, and simultaneously foraying into other consumer categories. HLL, so far, has been present in direct selling with the Rs 30-crore Aviance brand (which is now under the umbrella of Hindustan Lever Network, as the personal care beauty brand). Now, it has launched the Lever Home range of products for home care, kitchen care and laundry care. The products would be available at the Aviance network centres, which currently number 15. However, the company intends to more than double the number of network centres this year. Besides, the Lever Home range, HLL is also launching a male grooming brand, food supplement Nutrium Plus, exotic tea, special coffee and value-added foods such as sauces.
On the operations front too, HLL has implemented changes. The HLN business model now works differently in the sense that the thrust of business opportunity now focuses on building male and female entrepreneurs through active partnership. "This would be achieved by providing them an earning and self-development opportunity that is both competitive and unique," explains Sehgal.
HLL's task, according to KK Rajesh, business head, Hindustan Lever Network, is "…to grow and establish the Hindustan Lever Network business through large-scale consultant recruitment and retention, and by further expanding the range of product offerings to its consultants. Also we have to build a huge base of motivated entrepreneurs by providing them an exciting opportunity for self-development." The company hopes to scale up the current base of 2 lakh consultants to 10 lakh in five years time. Â© 2003 agencyfaqs!