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Hindustan Lever Limited (HLL) and Project STING (A)
Werhane, Patricia H.; Gorman, Michael E.; Ahmad, Pia; Mead, Jenny Case E-0266 / Published September 3, 2004 / 11 pages.
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Product Overview

Set in India in the 1980s and 1990s, this series of cases concerns the attempts by the Unilever division Hindustan Lever Limited (HLL) to create, market, and distribute a detergent for India's rural poor. The upstart, low-priced Nirma detergent, manufactured by a former chemist, has overtaken HLL in the detergent market primarily because Nirma is being distributed and sold to this previously ignored market segment. In this war of laundry powders, HLL must revise its traditional practices in manufacturing, marketing, and distribution pursuant to C. K. Prahalad and Allen Hammond's theory of the worldwide four-tiered market, in which the "bottom of the pyramid" is an untapped and potentially lucrative market. See also the B (UVA-E-0267), C (UVA-E-0268), and D (UVA-E-0269) cases.


Learning Objectives

1. Examine how a wealthy multinational company (HLL) deals with the managerial challenge of marketing and selling to the poor (rural India). 2. Analyze the dilemmas facing HLL in terms of defining markets, creating a product, building brand equity, marketing and advertising, and distribution to reach C.K. Prahalad and Stuart Hart called "The Bottom of the Pyramid." 3. How does a company break away from long held assumptions and rethink its strategy?

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  • Overview

    Set in India in the 1980s and 1990s, this series of cases concerns the attempts by the Unilever division Hindustan Lever Limited (HLL) to create, market, and distribute a detergent for India's rural poor. The upstart, low-priced Nirma detergent, manufactured by a former chemist, has overtaken HLL in the detergent market primarily because Nirma is being distributed and sold to this previously ignored market segment. In this war of laundry powders, HLL must revise its traditional practices in manufacturing, marketing, and distribution pursuant to C. K. Prahalad and Allen Hammond's theory of the worldwide four-tiered market, in which the "bottom of the pyramid" is an untapped and potentially lucrative market. See also the B (UVA-E-0267), C (UVA-E-0268), and D (UVA-E-0269) cases.

  • Learning Objectives

    Learning Objectives

    1. Examine how a wealthy multinational company (HLL) deals with the managerial challenge of marketing and selling to the poor (rural India). 2. Analyze the dilemmas facing HLL in terms of defining markets, creating a product, building brand equity, marketing and advertising, and distribution to reach C.K. Prahalad and Stuart Hart called "The Bottom of the Pyramid." 3. How does a company break away from long held assumptions and rethink its strategy?