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UNILEVER hand sanitizer business multiplied 600 times, is a record.

7 Lac to 10 crores, 02 factories to 61 in five-months, UNILEVER broke all previous records

Unilever broke all previous records since the 18th Century Industrial Revolution in history during the days of the greatest pandemic in more than 100 years.

This unparalleled growth recorded by UNILEVER is witnessed in those days when the World is dying from hunger, nearly half of the global workforce which is 1.6 billion workers at risk and coronavirus wreaks havoc all over the world.

In May 2020 Virgin Airline cuts 3 thousand jobs, today Emirates cuts 9 thousand jobs and if we kept reminding our readers the miseries this novel coronavirus pandemic bring along with infections then this article would be spread over too many pages and became a ‘Newspaper Editorial’ instead of a five-minutes blog.

In 2019, Unilever Hand Sanitizer business was a small part of UNILEVER’s Beauty and Personal Care global portfolio and it was all started –which is commonly interpreted as visible to the common man –from Unilever’s one popular product came from its LIFEBUOY brand.

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Lifebuoy hand sanitizer was launched during the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) pandemic

A roly-poly young school-going child Bablu kept washing his hands with a bar of carbolic soap in a TVC (TV Commercial) and the other children mocking Bablu ‘Bablu, Tumhara sabun slow hai Kiya’.

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Those ads were repeated thousand times by UNILEVER between the commercial breaks on kids’ favorite TV Channels and Cartoon series. These hand sanitizer ads in which paid models wearing Doctor’s gowns and giving their verdict to the hygiene conscious guardians and parents of a school going child to make their child 99% germs free by just pouring some amount of it on their hands. 

Finally, the School going children boastfully hang Lifebuoy cute cartoon hand sanitizer with the strip on their bag pack, those small 50 ML bottles embellished with ornaments or prettified with their favorite cartoon characters Mickey Mouse and Spider-man.

The market share was stable with clear potential for growth for the niche but an unprecedented virus comes along with unpredictable and unforeseen growth from producing SEVEN-HUNDRED-THOUSAND item to a HUNDRED MILLION items a month. 

An increased from just two to fifty-seven third-party partners and they have located all over the world from Mexico to Malaysia and a dozen more countries.

The eager buying to secure essentials and highest increased in demand result in UNILEVER’s planned to mobilize its Partners, Distributors, and retailers to scale up the ‘gel’ production capabilities extensively. This step taken by UNILEVER had increased its worldwide production capacity by six-hundred times in tonnage.

Many readers must be surprised by what is the divine force behind UNILEVER’s success. With no surprises, Unilever’s R&D (Research & Development) and its strong team including the Supply Chain is the force behind it who worked out how they could ramp up production of this ‘gel’.

AS LONG AS THE PRODUCT MEET THE WHO – WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION STANDARD OF AT LEAST 60% ETHANOL CONTENT IN SANITIZER, UNILEVER ADAPTED SOME UNILEVER SITES WHO KNOW ABOUT WORKING WITH ALCOHOLS AND FLAMMABLES. UNILEVER FACTORY IN VIETNAM WAS THE FIRST SWITCHING PRODUCTION TO HAND SANITIZER IN 25 DAYS.

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UNILEVER’s prompt response to the emergency call due to the pandemic and addressing the needs of essentials in China was its highest priority, it took them 24 hours to the established fully empowered squad to do their best to meet the demand on a wider scale. 

ALTHOUGH IT STARTED WITH ‘LIFEBUOY’ UNILEVER NOW PRODUCE MORE THAN FIFTY PACKS OF HAND SANITIZER. Lifebuoy introduced aerosol spray in addition to its gel and the brand such as ‘REXONA’ and ‘SUAVE’ produce WHO standard hand sanitizers.

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Sohail Yousuf

Sohail Yousuf is a content writer at SPF. He is a Master's in International Relations and loves to write.

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