FMCG major HUL expects a couple of turbulent quarters going forward and the firm’s objective would be to navigate it in the most agile manner, company’s Chairman and Managing Director Sanjiv Mehta said on Tuesday.
According to a PTI report: The company is also banking on the September quarter to get a better picture of the underlying demand, provided there are not many vertical lockdowns that are happening currently in different parts of the country.
Mehta said a true picture of the inherent demand picking up would emerge when discretionary segments such as colour cosmetics, skin care and deodorants start finding traction, which would “allude to the fact that supply led disruptions are over” and places from where these items sell, like malls and modern trade stores are back in operations; and people are now starting to step out.
“So they are spending more on categories like these. I would say that would be a good pointer of the true shape of the economy, because essentials will carry on. Those are the things which will lead to, not just the economy, but also the consumer confidence,” he was quoted by PTI as saying.
The consumer sentiment will dramatically improve once the vaccine is found. Till then, as the number of infections in the country keeps going up there will always be fear and concern. It is very natural, Mehta added.
Asked when does the company see such a clear picture emerging, he said, “The variables are so many. A lot will depend on when the (confidence) curve starts going upward, when people are confident, the vaccine is not very far away and very importantly the economy of the country starts humming again. That’s when we will see very clearly.”
Mehta, however, was quick to add, “There will be a couple of quarters of turbulence definitely and our objective is to navigate (through) this turbulence in the most agile manner”.
He also said the September quarter could give key indications on the underlying demand if there are not many disruptions, like the vertical lockdowns that are happening in different parts of the country.
“If they don’t remain over the extended period of time then September quarter will give a much better picture of the underlying demand,” Mehta was quoted by PTI as saying.
He said, in the initial part of the lockdown, the company was unable “to put a pulse on the underlying demand because a lot of it was supply-led issue” as “goods were not moving smoothly, they were not manufactured and stores were closed, even towards the end of June, still about 20 percent of stores were closed”.