HUL first announced the decision to split its beauty and personal care (BPC) business last December. Effective April 1, 2024, it would have two dedicated businesses: beauty and wellbeing (B&W) and personal care (PC).
“BPC continues to be a source of value creation for us. However, the business model, innovation rhythm and competitive landscape for both, B&W and PC are diverging. The transition will allow us to bring more focus and leverage our strong portfolio in both businesses,” said HUL chief executive and managing director, Rohit Jawa.
Speaking during the firm’s third quarter (Q3) earnings conference on January 19, Jawa affirmed its decision to reinforce its beauty business.
“I can quite clearly see in the last six, seven months, the opportunity we have to create value by leveraging our strong relative market share in beauty care, and wellbeing.”
He added: “This is the time to bring high levels of specialisation and focus to build a beauty and wellbeing company within HUL and separate that from personal care… Now we are building a portfolio that serves all the demand spaces in beauty care from mass all the way to prestige.”
Jawa expressed his confidence in the firm’s new beauty division, which will encompass brands such as Pond’s, Lakmé, Simple, and Love, Beauty, Planet.
Furthermore, it will also include prestige brands.
Prestige brands under the Unilever banner include Hourglass, Living Proof, Paula’s Choice, and Tatcha.
“We have some beautiful equities such as Lakmé and Pond’s and we also have the ability to build small digital-first brands like Simple; Love, Beauty, Planet; and Novology. We feel that with prestige coming in at some time in the future, we’ll have a full portfolio to play in a very exciting market. We’ll see many, many decades of massive growth,” said Jawa.
‘Exciting days ahead’
HUL’s move reflects Unilever’s decision to split its beauty and personal care business in the same way in 2022.
Jawa said that this strategic move would allow the division to expand its beauty business significantly.
“We’re pretty much building an end-to-end beauty company without compromising the scale we get from the rest of the Unilever engine to really operate and become an even bigger business in times to come – exciting days are ahead.”
The beauty and wellbeing division will be led by Harman Dhillon as its executive director. Dhillon spearheaded the launch of Dove Hair and TRESemmé in India.
In recent years, she led a transformation of the Skin Care business, with a comprehensive revamp of brands like Lakmé.
On the other hand, the personal care division will include skin cleansing, oral care, and deodorants. Brands like Lifebuoy and Close Up will fall under this unit.
It will be led by executive director Kartik Chandrasekhar, the current global vice president and head of oral care and skin cleansing. As the global vice president for Lifebuoy, he led the brand to become the world’s number one hygiene brand.