Hindustan Unilever has set a target to more than double its turnover in just four years in a plan called ’50 by 15′ to increase its annual sales to 50,000 crore by 2015. However, market experts are finding it an unrealistic goal. To achieve the target, Hindustan Unilever will need to grow at an annual compounded rate of 28 percent or, add the combined sales of its domestic rivals Dabur, Godrej andMarico to its current turnover. “This can happen only through acquisitions or by converting unbranded goods into branded ones, especially in commodities,” said Kannan Sitaram, Operating Partner, India Equity Partners.
“At least, the tension to grow top line or bottom-line will get resolved in favour of top line. It was always a tight rope walk for HUL,” said Sitaram, who spent more than two decades with Unilever and was also the chief operating officer in Dabur until last year. Industry insiders also feel the FMCG giant maybe eyeing a big acquisition.
Abhijit Kundu,Vice-President, Antique Broking says, ” The company will have to expand smaller categories and be aggressive in snatching market share from small players to get anywhere near the target. Already one of the largest advertisers, HUL may increase its advertising expenses to grow the market.” Experts feel that the company is sharpening its focus on key categories and expanding portfolio to cover all price points.