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Hindustan Unilever Limited | The FMCG giant of India



Hindustan Unilever Limited

Hindustan Unilever Limited (HUL) is a consumer goods company in India. The company has its headquarters in Mumbai, Maharashtra, India. It is also a subsidiary of Unilever, which is a British-Dutch multinational company.

History of Hindustan Unilever Limited

The company launched in 1931 as Hindustan Vanaspati Manufacturing Co. The Indian subcontinent also had been importing Fast-moving customer goods products under Lever Brothers. One of the earliest brands where Lifebuoy in 1895. Vanaspati launched in 1918 and the famous Dalda brand came to the market in 1937. Unilever’s three companies, Hindustan Vanaspati Manufacturing Company, United Traders Limited and Lever Brothers India Limited merged together to form HUL in 1956.

Acquisitions and Mergers

Brand of HUL

HUL the organization bought Lipton in 1972 and later Lipton Tea (India) Limited in 1977. The Tata Oil Mills Company converged with HUL in 1993.  Lakme and Uniliver werw 50:50 joint in 1996. United States-based company Kimberly Clark Corporation also signed a 50:50 joint endeavour with HUL which markets Huggies and Kotex Sanitary Pads.  HUL acquired Kissan from the UB Group and the Dollops ice-cream business from Cadbury India. Tea Estates and Doom Dooma, two major organizations of Unilever, converged with Brooke Bond. Brooke Bond Limited converged with Unilever in 1996. In the year 2000 Modern Foods granted 74% value to Unilever. This was a key augmentation of HUL’s entrance to the wheat business. 

In 2005, a few brands like Lipton India Exports, Merry climate Food Products, Toc Disinfectants Ltd and a few other brands amalgamated with the company. Later that year Vasishti Detergents Ltd (VDL) also joined Unilever. Food Brands like Bru coffee, Kwality Wall’s, Horlicks, Knorr and more are part of HUL. Homecare Brands like Wheel detergent, Domex cleaner, Sunlight, Surf Excel, Vim, etc are part of the company. Personal care brands like Close up toothpaste, Dove, Clinic Plus, Vaseline petroleum jelly, skin care lotions, etc are also part of HUL. Unilever also has a water Purifier brand named Pureit. 


In 2001, a thermometer factory owned by the company was accused of dumping glass contaminated with mercury in dumps and also selling them to scrap merchants. This Protest was led by local NGOs and Greenpeace which lead to the shutting of the factory in 2001. Hence HUL was guilty in a court case in 2010.
The company was also accused of Racism for the product ‘Fair and Lovely’. The advertisement portrayed a dark-complexioned girl being depressed about being ignored by men, and after using the product they get all the attention. All this widely criticised for perpetuating racism and lowering the self-esteem of women and girls throughout India. Later they changed the brand name from ‘Glow and Lovely’.


Hindustan Unilever is no doubt one of the FMCG giants in India. It has received numerous awards which are. It ranked number one on the Forbes list of ‘Most Innovative Companies’ across the globe for 2014. HUL won 12 awards overall with 4 Golds, 4 Silvers and 4 Bronzes at the 2013 Emvies Awards. The company ranked number two on Fortune India’s 2013 ’50 Most Admired Companies list’. HUL is one of the eight Indian companies to be featured on the Forbes list of the World’s Most Reputed companies in 2007. The company has also won many more awards in their name. 

Also Read: ITC | One of the first FMCG companies of India

What are the challenges faced by HUL?

One of the major problems faced by HUL is the cutting price war in the FMCG industry.

Who are the competitors of Hul?

Dabur India has over 8,179.50 sales turnover.

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