Homeretail News

Every big crisis is a test of leadership, says Sanjiv Mehta, CMD of Hindustan Unilever

Every big crisis is a test of leadership, says Sanjiv Mehta, CMD of Hindustan Unilever

Every big crisis is a test of leadership, says Sanjiv Mehta, CMD of Hindustan Unilever
Profile image

By Priya Sheth  Apr 11, 2020 10:24:17 PM IST (Published)

"Keep calm, retain confidence, collaborate with your partners and community and focus on cash. This is time time to go away from margin percentages and to start looking at cash. Liquidity and cash are going to be determinants of who survives and who doesn't," said Mehta at a video chat organized by UpGrad.

Every big crisis is a test of leadership, said Sanjiv Mehta, Chairman and Managing Director of FMCG major Hindustan Unilever.

Recommended Articles

View All

"Keep calm, retain confidence, collaborate with your partners and community and focus on cash. This is time time to go away from margin percentages and to start looking at cash. Liquidity and cash are going to be determinants of who survives and who doesn't," said Mehta at a video chat organized by UpGrad.
Owing to the COVID-19 outbreak, consumer goods companies have been facing multiple challenges to get goods to reach consumers. Manufacturing, supply chain and labor challenges have been some key issues that FMCG companies have been facing.
As companies learn to grapple with these challenges, they are also in the process of identifying long-term trends in the post-COVID-19 world. Technology is one such theme that will redefine the way companies do business.
For instance, an HUL salesperson will now be supported by technology which will enable him to customize assortment for each of the stores in the country, said Mehta. On the consumer side, there will be a change in buying behaviour and hygiene habits.
"Depending on the level of economic crisis, it will take a toll on people's discretionary spending," Mehta added.
FMCG companies are hoping that the government puts enough levers to bring back growth in rural areas. Owing to the drying up of alternate streams of income in rural areas, the government should look into aspects like "direct transfer of money and how to provide money to those people who don't have Jan Dhan accounts," suggested Mehta.
The government could also look at providing more stocks from FCI godowns so that nobody in India goes hungry. MNREGA could also be re-activated (keeping social distancing practices) to keep people in rural India gainfully engaged, he added.
Further, Mehta also noted that the government should also keep in mind that supply lines to mandis are not impacted in this harvest season. In urban India, the government can help protect micro entrepreneurs by deferring their loans, absorbing interest rates to help ensure liquidity in stressful times.
Check out our in-depth Market Coverage, Business News & get real-time Stock Market Updates on CNBC-TV18. Also, Watch our channels CNBC-TV18, CNBC Awaaz and CNBC Bajar Live on-the-go!