MUMBAI: Hindustan Unilever (HUL), the largest FMCG group in India, has been re-organised so that it can better serve and engage with the country's diverse base of consumers, the company's chairman has announced.

Speaking at HUL's 82nd Annual General Meeting, Harish Manwani outlined a strategy, called "Winning in Many Indias", under which its four sales branches have been segmented into 14 consumer clusters.

"This model brings us closer to our local consumers and provides us with a more granular understanding of consumers and competitors," he said, in comments reported by the Economic Times.

"It helps us serve our diverse consumer base in more differentiated and relevant ways across the country," he continued.

"This is essential for the long term growth of the company and also fulfils our commitment to contribute to India's growth and development in an inclusive and sustainable manner."

By bringing its distribution capabilities and presence closer to the consumers it serves, HUL's new model is designed to underpin its strategic aim of becoming the market leader in most of the categories it competes in.

However, the company also sees opportunities in less-developed parts of rural India and regards ecommerce and mobile technologies, supported by effective marketing, as levers for the growth in this market.

India is the third largest country in the world for internet usage, Manwani said, so HUL is using mobile technologies "to reach parts of rural India that are still in the media dark".

Citing the company's Kan Khajura Tesan mobile radio initiative, Manwani said HUL had broadcast more than 700m minutes of entertainment over the last 15 months and that its brand messages had been heard 425m times.

Its well-publicised sustainability initiative provides another opportunity to reach out to consumers, both rural and urban, while serving a larger purpose.

Data sourced from the Economic Times; additional content by Warc staff