Indian Management

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w in -w in in itiative that catalyses rural affluence even as it benefits business. Project Shakti benefits business by s ig n ifi­ cantly enhancing HUL's direct rural reach, and by enabling HUL's brands to communicate effectively in m edia-dark regions. It also im ­ pacts society by creating liv e li­ hood o p p o r tu n itie s fo r u n d e r­ p rivileg ed rural wom en. Project Shakti impacts society in two ways — the Shakti Entrepreneur p ro ­ gram me creates livelih ood op p or­ tunities fo r underprivileged rural women. The Shakti EntreDreneur (SE) program m e recognises that w hile m icro-credit plays a key role in a l­ leviating poverty, its ability to do so depends on the availab ility o f investm ent opportunities. Shakti contributes by creating profitable micro-enterprise opportunities for rural women. Armed with m icro­ credit, rural women become Shakti entrepreneurs: Direct-to-home dis-


roject Shakti is a rural distribution in itia ­ tive o f Hindustan Unilever Lim ited (HUL) that targets sm all villa g es populated by less than 5,000 individuals. It is a unique

Hindustan Unilever's Project Shakti shows how economic development can be brought about through micro enterprise




000 Shakti women en­ trepreneurs in 12 states. and since most o f them live below the poverty line. They go to these villages and sell HUL products. In 2011. Through Project Shakti and Shaktimaan. this earning is sign ifican t. who recognise the potential for econom ic growth by encouraging women to becom e entrepreneurs. HUL part­ nered with the State Bank o f India to bring bank­ ing services to low-incom e people in small Indian villages through the Shakti Ammas. banks and both state and local governm ent departm ents. Through the G eograph­ ica l In fo rm a tio n System .INCLUSIVE GROWTH Through the' Shaktimaan initiative. men in the Shakti Amma fam ilies distribute HUL products to villages adjoining the respective Shakti village.000 Shaktimaans (through the Project Shakti network) across the country now. im TO SUBSCRIBE TO INDIAN MANAGEMENT-SMS 'IMM’ TO 57007 INDIAN MANAGEMENT- FEBRUARY 2012 89 .The Shakti A m ­ mas are already trusted by local communities and make them a friendly and accessible way to pro­ mote access to banking in rural communities and thus promote financial inclusion. The products distributed are some o f the country's most trusted brands o f consumer goods. In 2002 it expanded to tw o states and by the end o f 2004 had grow n to over 13. HUL reaches over 100. Through the Shakti­ maan initiative. With the roll out o f Shaktimaan initiative. This m icro-enterprise offers low risks and high returns.The revenue earned by the Shaktimaan further augments the household income o f the respective 'Shakti' family. Shaktimaans covering about five to six villages adjoining the Shakti village. v illa g e s around the 'Shakti' fam ilies are tracked and based on this they are allotted five to six villages. business-sawy professionals capable o f running their own enterprise. helping them become confident. and include a range o f mass-market products especially relevant to rural consumers. On an average.000 villages across 15 states in India and over 3 m illion households every month. Today there are about 45. HUL rolled out the Shaktiman in itia ­ tive through Project Shakti. HUL works closely w ith various NGOs. Moreover. a SE earns ?700-?l . The project started in a few pilot villages in Andhra Pradesh in 2000. Contributed by Hindustan Unilever. HUL invests its resources in training the entrepreneurs. HUL is also eval­ uating various opportunities to further strengthen the income o f Shakti Ammas.The SE is also called as 'Shakti Amma' — 'Shakti' means 'power/empowered' and 'Amma' means 'mother' inTelugu the language spo­ ken in Andhra Pradesh where Project Shakti was first piloted in 2000. In 2010. The revenue earned by the Shaktimaan further aug­ ments the household income o f the 'Shakti' fam ­ ily. often doubling the household income.000 A MONTH tributors in rural markets.000 Shakti Ammas across 15 states in India. Project Shakti has proved to be a great success fo r HUL and for rural im p ov­ erished women in India. The Shaktimaan have also been given bicycles to ensure smooth travelling between villages. men in the Shakti Amma families distribute HUL products to villages adjoining the respective Shakti village SH AKTI ENTREPRENEUR EA R N S ^ 700-^ 1. HUL has continuously endeavoured to augment the income o f its Shakti Ammas. Shakti fam ilies have an opportunity to further augment their income. HUL now has over 26.000 a month.

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