History Of Hindustan Unilever

History Of Hindustan Unilever

by Tanushree Jaiswal Last Updated: Jun 04, 2023 - 05:23 pm 2.3k Views


Hindustan Unilever, a subsidiary of the British-Dutch conglomerate Unilever, is India's biggest consumer goods marketer. History of Hindustan Unilever in India is as a consumer products manufacturer. Its business segments include foods and refreshments, home care, beauty, and personal care. 

The history of Hindustan Unilever Limited starts from the year 1933. Hindustan Unilever is well-known for its Shakti program, which promotes the employment of young citizens of rural India as salespeople. These workers offer tiny quantities of low-cost soap and other items in their respective localities. Products marketed under the company's name are popular in both rural and urban locations. Read on for a deep dive into the history of Hindustan Unilever.

About Hindustan Unilever Limited

The table below shows important information about Hindustan Unilever Limited.


Hindustan Unilever Limited (HUL)


Mumbai, India


Public Limited Company




Currently, Sanjiv Mehta (Rohit Jawa will be the CEO from June 27, 2023)


Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG)

Parent Company

Unilever PLC, United Kingdom

Notable Brands

Dove, Lifebuoy, Lux, Ponds, Fair & Lovely,  Sunsilk, Vaseline, Lipton, Knorr.


Committed to living sustainably and decreasing environmental impact




Ranks consistently among Forbes' innovative firms


Known for continuous production line and packaging innovation


Runs several Corporate Social Responsibility projects, including Project Shakti, Swachh Aadat, and Swachh Bharat.


Health and hygiene items, Beauty products, food, and beverages


Public Limited Company


History of Hindustan Unilever Limited

●    The history of Hindustan Unilever Limited began in 1933 by the Lever brothers.
●    Hindustan Lever Limited (HLL) was formed in 1956 when it amalgamated with many Indian corporations.
●    Many famous brands, such as Lux, Lifebuoy, Surf Excel, and Fair & Lovely, were introduced in India.
●    HLL was the first firm in the FMCG industry to earn INR 1,000 crore in earnings in 1993.
●    In 2007, the history of Hindustan Unilever Limited (HUL) was rebranded to mirror the parent company's worldwide branding.
●    Notable for efforts in sustainable living and rural development, such as Project Shakti.
●    As of 2023, it is India's top FMCG firm, with a diverse product line and extensive market penetration.

Timeline of Hindustan Unilever Limited

●    1933 
In the history of Hindustan Unilever, Lever Brothers India Limited was established on October 17 and applied to build a soap plant near the Vanaspati factory in Sewri.

●    1934 
October marks the start of soap production at the Sewri facility; the Garden Reach facility in Kolkata, operated by the North West Soap Company, was leased and enlarged to make Lever brands.

●    1935 
On May 11, United Traders was founded to sell Personal Products.

●    1937 
One of the first Indian covenant managers, Mr. Prakash Tandon, joined HVM.

●    1951
Prakash Tandon is appointed as the first Indian Director in the history of Hindustan Unilever. Vanaspati industries in Shamnagar, Tiruchy, and Ghaziabad were purchased.

●    1955 
In the history of Hindustan Unilever, there were 65 % of managers who were Indians

●    1956 
Hindustan Unilever Limited is the result of the merger of three businesses, with a 10% Indian ownership stake.

●    1957 
The Unilever Special Committee has approved Hindustan Unilever's research endeavors.

●    1958 
Beginning operations at Mumbai Factory as a research unit.

●    1959 
Surf launched in 1958 in the history of Hindustan Unilever.

●    1961 
As the company's first Indian chairman, Mr. Prakash Tandon appoints 191 of the 205 managers.

●    1962 
Start of the official Exports Department. Opened in 1963 is the Head Office building in Backbay Reclamation in Mumbai.

●    1964 
Animal feed facility opened in Ghaziabad; Etah dairy opened; Sunsilk shampoo debuted.

●    1965 
The launch of Signal Toothpaste resulted in a rise in Indian ownership to 14%.

●    1966 
Lever's baby food and other newly launched foods; the start of nickel catalyst manufacturing; Indian ownership rises to 15%. 

●    1967 
In Mumbai, the Hindustan Unilever Research Centre opens.

●    1969 
Launch of Rin Bar and beginning of Fine Chemicals Unit Production launched Bru coffee in the history of Hindustan Unilever.

●    1971 
Mr. V. G. Rajadhyaksha presents the Unilever Special Committee with a strategy to diversify into chemicals. The idea is accepted, and Clinic shampoo is now available.

●    1973 
Mr. T. Thomas succeeds Mr. V. G. Rajadhyaksha as Chairman.

●    1974 
Taloja has a pilot facility for industrial chemicals; soaps no longer have an unofficial price cap; Liril is commercialized.

●    1975 
In the history of Hindustan Unilever, a ten-year plan for the modernization of the soap and detergent manufacturing facility happened.

●    1976
The Taloja chemicals facility starts operating, while construction on the Haldia chemicals complex begins.

●    1977 
Indian ownership of the new Jammu synthetic detergents factory rises to 18.57%.

●    1978 
Indian ownership rises to 34%; the Fair & Lovely skin lotion is introduced.

●    1979 
In the history of Hindustan Unilever, in 1979, the commissioning of the sodium tripolyphosphate facility in Haldia.

●    1980
Mr. T. Thomas was succeeded as Chairman by Dr. A. S. Ganguly, and Unilever's ownership in the firm dropped to 51%.

●    1987   
 Breeze and Lifebouy Personal soaps were introduced.

●    1988 
 Lipton Taaza tea's debut.

●    1990 
Mr. S. M. Datta succeeds Dr. A. S. Ganguly as chairman in the history of Hindustan Unilever.

●    1991 
Launch of Surf Ultra detergent.

●    1992 
The Indian government has certified HUL as a Star Trading House in Exports.

●    1993 
With effect from April 1, 1993, HUL and Tata Oil Mills Company (TOMCO), its main rival and the largest merger in Indian business history, merged.

●    1994
To sell Huggies diapers and Kotex feminine care items, HUL created Unilever Nepal Limited. 

●    1995 
In a 50:50 joint venture with Indian cosmetics giant Lakme Ltd., HUL enters the branded staples market with salt and is known as Super Star Trading House.

●    1996
Mr. K. B. Dadiseth succeeds Mr. S. M. Datta as chairman; the group firm Brooke Bond Lipton India Limited merged with HUL effective January 1.

●    1997 
In addition to establishing a new Regional Innovation Centre, in the history of Hindustan Unilever also established an international research laboratory in Bangalore.

●    1998 
 Pond's India Ltd., a group firm, combines with HUL as of January 1, 1998. 

●    2000
K. B. Dadiseth joins the Unilever Board, and Mr. M. S. Banga succeeds him as chairman. 

●    2002
With the Ayush line and Ayush Therapy Centres, HUL joins the Ayurvedic health & beauty center industry.

●    2003 
 Hindustan Lever Network is launched, and the Amalgam Group is purchased.

●    2005
 'Pureit' water purifiers are now available.

●    2006
Mumbai now houses Brookefields' food activities. 

●    2008 
In the history of Hindustan Unilever,  HUL turned 75 on October 17th, 2008. 

●    2009
HUL granted its subsidiary, Lakme Lever Private Limited, a license to use the "Lakme" and "Lever Ayush" names for the beauty and wellness services industry.

●    2010
To dominate the rapidly expanding market for premium water purifiers, the business introduced Pureit Marvella to compete with Aquaguard.

●    2011
Under license from the USGBC (United States Green Building Council), the Indian Green Building Council (IGBC), Hyderabad, certified HUL's corporate campus in Andheri, Mumbai, as LEED India Gold in the "New Construction" category.

●    2012
The cutting-edge Learning Centre at the Hindustan Unilever campus in Andheri, Mumbai, was officially opened in March 2012.

●    2013
On October 17, 2013, HUL will have been a corporate entity in India for 80 years.

●    2016
In the history of Hindustan Unilever,  HUL and LT Foods ink a contract for the selling of rice.

●     2017
The new Assam facility of Hindustan Unilever Ltd. has begun commercial production.
Hindustan Unilever Ltd. creates innovative technologies to lessen the waste generated by plastic sachets. 

●    2018
In the market valuation rankings, ITC was momentarily eclipsed by Hindustan Unilever Ltd (HUL) to move up to fourth place.
 Hindustan Unilever Ltd. (HUL), which has a market capitalization (m-cap) of more than Rs 3 lakh crore, has joined the group of India's top five most valuable corporations.

●    2019
In the history of Hindustan Unilever, it made additional pledges to cut down on plastic waste, stating that by 2025, it will have eliminated more than a million tonnes of plastic.

●    2020

To grow their businesses, hospitality company OYO and big global consumer products company Unilever have teamed together.
Hindustan Unilever partnered with UNICEF for a massive communication effort to educate and mobilize the people against the COVID-19 epidemic.

●     2021

The renowned Pralhad P Chhabria Memorial Global Award was given to Sanjiv Mehta of HUL for his outstanding contributions to the FMCG sector.

An AI for Agriculture Hackathon has been announced by Google, MyGov India, and Hindustan Unilever Ltd. (HUL).

Subsidiaries of Hindustan Unilever Limited

Serial Number


Industry Type


Lakmé Cosmetics

Cosmetics Company


Levindra Trust Limited

Unlisted Public Company.


Lakme Lever Private Limited

Beauty and personal care industry


Kwality Wall's



Daverashola Estates Private Limited

Agricultural activities


Pond's Exports Limited



Jamnagar Properties Private Limited

Real estate


Unilever Nepal



Hindustan Unilever Foundation

Non-for-profit organization


Unilever Europe Business Center B.V.



Zywie Ventures Private Limited

Unlisted corporations


Unilever India Exports Limited

Exports FMCG products


Bhavishya Alliance Child Nutrition Initiatives

Personal & Social Services


Hindustan Unilever Limited Subsidiaries: Overview

1.    Lakmé Cosmetics

Lakmé, which debuted in 1952 in the history of Hindustan Unilever, is India's first successfully domesticated cosmetics brand.

Lakmé, which takes pride in being the Indian beauty authority for more than 65 years, was the first cosmetics company in the nation to offer makeup to Indian women.
It is a full-service beauty brand that offers skincare, color cosmetics, and beauty treatments via the network of Lakmé Salons.

2.    Levindra Trust Limited

Public Levindra Trust Limited was established on December 11, 1946. It is registered with the Registrar of Companies in Mumbai and is categorized as a Non-Government Company. It has a paid-up capital of Rs. 500,000 and an authorized share capital of Rs. 500,000. Except for insurance and pension funds, it is involved in activities related to financial intermediation.

3.    Lakme Lever Private Limited

Lakme Lever Private Limited, a division of Hindustan Unilever Limited, is one of the biggest companies in India's beauty and personal care industries. It was established as a private company on December 1, 2008. It is registered with the Registrar of Companies in Mumbai and is categorized as a Non-Government Company.

4.    Kwality Wall's

Kwality Wall's provides a variety of delectable frozen sweets that make millions of Indians happy, including children, teenagers, and adults. The largest ice cream producer in the world is Unilever, which uses the Heartbrand name. And since 1993, Kwality Wall has been operating in India.

5.    Daverashola Estates Private Limited

Daverashola Estates Private Limited is largely involved in agricultural activities and is a subsidiary of Hindustan Unilever Limited (HUL). Based in Tamil Nadu, India, the firm specializes in tea growing and contributes to HUL's beverage division. Daverashola Estates, which is committed to sustainable practices, corresponds with HUL's overarching aim of supplying high-quality products while reducing environmental effects, carrying on the parent company's tradition in the Indian consumer goods industry.

6.    Pond's Exports Limited

The leather industry, which the subsidiary Pond's Exports Limited runs, had a difficult year due to the difficult economic circumstances in Europe, its primary market, and was further exacerbated by a declining Euro. The company continued to streamline the supply chain, increase efficiency, and enhance customer service.

7.    Jamnagar Properties Private Limited

This is a real estate subsidiary of Hindustan Unilever Limited (HUL). The organization, which is based in Gujarat, India, oversees numerous property-related concerns for HUL. In the history of Hindustan Unilever, this involves managing infrastructure, arranging property transfers, and ensuring that HUL's real estate assets are used efficiently. Jamnagar Properties contributes significantly to the operational effectiveness and achievement of HUL's expanding operations in India by offering essential real estate management services.

8.    Unilever Nepal

A subsidiary of Hindustan Unilever, Unilever Nepal Limited (UNL) manufactures, markets, and sells detergents, toilet soaps, personal care items, and laundry soaps in Nepal. Unilever Nepal produces various products for the food and beverage, personal care, and home care industries.

9.    Hindustan Unilever Foundation

Hindustan Unilever Foundation (HUF) serves as a vehicle for Hindustan Unilever Limited's community development and environmental programs connected to water conservation. In collaboration with 20 NGOs, HUF runs the "Water for Public Good" campaign in 54 districts throughout India, emphasizing farm-based livelihoods. HUF also backs many efforts in this field to advance knowledge. 

10.    Unilever Europe Business Center B.V.

Unilever Europe Business Center B.V., a subsidiary of  HUL, is an important component of Unilever's global strategy. Based in the Netherlands, the center is a vital coordinating and management core for Unilever's diversified activities throughout Europe. 
It oversees strategic planning, business operations execution, and ensuring seamless integration of procedures throughout European markets. The center is critical to strengthening Unilever's brand presence and increasing operational efficiency throughout Europe.

11.    Zywie Ventures Private Limited

Zywie Ventures Private Limited is a non-government corporation founded on August 13, 2013. It is a private, unlisted corporation designated as a "company limited by shares." Zywie Ventures Private Limited has been in the Business Services industry for the last ten years of Hindustan Unilever, and the firm still exists. The company is based in Chandigarh.

12.    Unilever India Exports Limited

Unilever India Exports Limited (UIEL), a wholly-owned subsidiary of the company, exports FMCG products. The FMCG exports operation has two main goals: to expand international markets by encouraging the distribution of ethnic brands among the Indian diaspora in foreign markets, such as Kissan, BRU, Brooke Bond, Lakme, and Pears, and to successfully provide cross-border sourcing of FMCG products to other Unilever companies around the world.

13.    Bhavishya Alliance Child Nutrition Initiatives

It is a non-profit organization in India that focuses on children's nutrition difficulties. The entity collaborates with business, governmental, and non-profit organizations to reduce the number of malnourished children in India. It focuses on the Indian state of Maharashtra. It has carried out projects such as food diversification to improve the quality and variety of other nutritional foods offered in child care centers, skill enhancement for girls, day-care centers for children of working moms in slums and construction areas in Mumbai and Navi Mumbai, and other community level programs.


Unilever has adopted small agencies to grow its market share for a long time. The firm has adopted this advertising and marketing strategy because customers in expanding corporate sectors focus intensely on value. It might push nearby competitors over the edge, especially if a company can figure out a way to entice customers with lower prices and better products. Unilever recognizes that increased productivity should be accountable for improvement.  With its variety of goods in the different businesses, the HUl has a bright future. 

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About the Author

Tanushree is a seasoned professional with 6 years of experience in the Fintech and Edtech industry.


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