The 58-year-old executive —appointed chairman last year after Harish Manwani retired — said HUL had devised a five-pronged strategy, which includes driving purpose into brands, enhancing societal impact, innovating for the future, nurturing talent, and leveraging data and technology (including artificial intelligence) across the value chain. “Our people data centre picks up real-time consumer signals and identifies business opportunities. We are using shopper data to drive precision marketing, and using machine learning to monitor demand in the real time,” he said, describing the digital transformation process.
The firm is also ramping up technology on the factory floor by reducing service lead time through an integrated sales and operation planning programme, thus creating a customer-focused network as well as a faster logistics and distribution footprint, said Mehta.
"Our Internet of Things (IoT)-powered digital factories are helping us leverage installed capacities. Automated warehouse robotics and guided vehicles are helping with stock accuracy, reducing truck loading time, and raising the level of customer service,” he said.
Mehta added that HUL was re-skilling its workforce, developing niche digital skills in leaders, and shifting to a culture of “always-on” learning, which focused on mentoring, peer-to-peer learning and e-learning.