Proliferating social media networks and the exponential growth in digital content are forcing corporates to revisit their strategies and adapt to the changing situation.

Change, the buzzword

“The consumer is taking ownership of the content and the social media is creating the content about products,” Unilever’s Chief Operating Officer and HUL Chairman Harish Manwani said. Change is not an option but a necessity. Unless companies work to address the new generation who access content on the social media, they will miss out.

Mr. Manwani, who was in the city on Tuesday to address students of the Indian School of Business, outlined how the business landscape was fast changing. There were big changes in business-to-business (B2B) models, where agility and speed in decision-making was of paramount importance.

“Putting in place the right analytics is critical in this context,” he said in an informal chat with reporters.

Asia drives growth

The HUL top executive, who refused to share information about the company’s operating numbers, said Asia would be the next destination for companies as it was leading consumption-driven growth. China and other Asian nations were outpacing developed markets including the US and Europe.

“We are in fact taking some practices from the developing world to developed countries,” he said.

Quality rules

While large corporates like Unilever were evolving ways to address the needs of big format outlets, they had to concentrate on the smaller stores at the same time. On the pricing aspect, he said the question no longer pertained to prices, but consumers were worried more about whether they were getting value for their money.

“Lesser income groups want trusted brands and willing to pay that extra bit if quality is guaranteed,” he said.

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