Emerging markets to contribute 75 per cent of Unilever’s revenues by the end of this decade, said Paul Polman, CEO. Currently, the share of emerging markets is 56 per cent.
Flanked by Harish Manwani, Unilever COO, and Nitin Paranjpe, MD & CEO, Hindustan Unilever, Polman told the media that Unilever was an "emerging markets company" and most of the growth would come from these countries. Of the 28 factories that are proposed to be built, all but two are in developing countries.
Mr. Polman was in the city to inaugurate Unilever’s global IT innovation centre at the IT hub of Whitefield.
Mr. Manwani said that Unilever had the widest footprint amongst its peers in developing markets. “Already, 56 per cent of revenue is from emerging economies, so to go to 75 per cent is not inconceivable. We have grown the business at 8-9 per cent, and last two years we have grown it at double digits.” “It is profitable, volume and market share growth. We know how to manage these markets. We are on the right trajectory,” he said. The India business contributes around 8 per cent. Unilever had doubled its capital spending to 4 to 5 billion euros. The group had added $10 billion more to its topline in the past three years compared to its competitors, he said.
Polman said that Unilever had divided the globe into eight clusters to conduct its business. "Some clusters will grow faster and we see that 75 per cent of business will come from six clusters," said Polman. Asked if Unilever would grow through acquisitions, Polman said, “If you look at the growth of Unilever, it has grown at 10-11 per cent, double the rates of our competitors, all the growth is organic, it’s true that we have taken over businesses such as Alberto Culver in the U.S. and Sara Lee’s business in Europe, but they are modest businesses. And you have to offset the businesses that we have exited, such as the frozen (foods) businesses in the US. So, 90-95 per cent growth will come from our own organic growth.”