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Background of Unilever Unilever is a British-Dutch multinational corporation that owns many of the world's consumer product brands in foods,

beverages, cleaning agents and personal care products. Unilever is a dual-listed company consisting of Unilever N.V. in Rotterdam, Netherlands and Unilever PLC in London, United Kingdom. This arrangement is similar to those ofReed Elsevier and Royal Dutch Shell prior to their unified structures. Both Unilever companies have the same directors and effectively operate as a single business. The current non-executive Chairman of Unilever N.V. and PLC is Michael Treschow while Paul Polman is Group Chief Executive. Unilever's main international competitors include Nestl and Procter & Gamble. They also face competition in local markets or product ranges from companies such asConAgra, Danone, General Mills, Henkel, Mars, Inc., Pepsico, Reckitt Benckiser,and S. C. Johnson & Son.

History Unilever was created in 1930 by the amalgamation of the operations of British soap maker Lever Brothers and Dutch margarine producer Margarine Unie, a merger as palm oil was a major raw material for both margarines and soaps and could be imported more efficiently in larger quantities. In the 1930s the Unilever business grew and new ventures were launched in Latin America. In 1972 Unilever purchased A&W Restaurants' Canadian division but sold its shares through a management buyout to former A&W Food Services of Canada CEO Jefferson J. Mooney in July 1996.[3] By 1980 soap and edible fats contributed just 40% of profits, compared with an original 90%. In 1984 the company bought the brand Brooke Bond (maker of PG Tips tea). In 1987 Unilever strengthened its position in the world skin care market by acquiring Chesebrough-Ponds, the maker of Rag, Pond's, Aqua-Net, Cutex Nail Polish, andVaseline. In 1989 Unilever bought Calvin Klein

Cosmetics, Faberg, and Elizabeth Arden, but the latter was later sold (in 2000) to FFI Fragrances.[4] In 1996 Unilever purchased Helene Curtis Industries, giving the company "a powerful new presence in the United States shampoo and deodorant market". [4] The purchase brought Unilever the Suave and Finesse hair-care product brands and Degree deodorant brand. In 2000 the company absorbed the American business Best Foods, strengthening its presence in North America and extending its portfolio of foods brands. In April 2000 it bought both Ben & Jerry's and Slim Fast. The company is multinational with operating companies and factories on every continent (except Antarctica) and research laboratories at Colworth and Port Sunlight in England; Vlaardingen in the Netherlands; Trumbull, Connecticut, and Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey in the United States; Bangalore in India (see also Hindustan Unilever Limited); and Shanghai in China. The US division carried the Lever Brothers name until the 1990s, when it adopted that of the parent company. The American unit has headquarters in New Jersey, and no longer maintains a presence at Lever House, the iconic skyscraper on Park Avenue in New York City. The company is said to promote sustainability]and started a sustainable agriculture programme in 1998. In May 2007 it became the first tea company to commit to sourcing all its tea in a sustainable manner, employing the Rainforest Alliance, an international environmental NGO, to certify its tea estates in East Africa, as well as third-party suppliers in Africa and other parts of the world. It declared its aim to have all Lipton Yellow Label and PG Tips tea bags sold in Western Europe certified by 2010, followed by all Lipton tea bags globally by 2015. Covalence, an ethical reputation ranking agency, placed Unilever at the top of its ranking based on positive versus negative news coverage for 2007. In 2008 Unilever was honored at the 59th Annual Technology & Engineering Emmy Awards for "Outstanding Achievement in Advanced Media Technology for Creation and Distribution of Interactive Commercial Advertising Delivered Through Digital Set Top Boxes" for its program Axe: Boost Your ESP.

On September 25, 2009, Unilever to acquire the personal care business of Sara Lee. Leading brands such as Radox, Badedas and Duschdas strengthen category leadership in Skin Cleansing and Deodorants On August 9, 2010, Unilever signed an asset purchase agreement with the Norwegian dairy group TINE, to acquire the activities of Diplom-Is in Denmark, as of 30 September 2010 . On September 24, 2010, Unilever announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to sell its consumer tomato products business in Brazil to Cargill On September 27, 2010, Unilever purchased Alberto-Culver, the maker of personal care and household products such as Simple, VO5, Nexxus, TRESemm, and Mrs. Dash for $US3.7 billion. [13] On September 28, 2010, Unilever and EVGA announced that they have signed an agreement under which Unilever will acquire EVGAs ice cream brands (amongst others, Scandal, Variete and Karabola) and distribution network in Greece, for an undisclosed amount. On March 23 2011: Unilever announced that it has entered a binding agreement to sell the global Sanex business to Colgate-Palmolive for 672m. Unilever also announced that it has entered into a binding agreement to acquire Colgate-Palmolives laundry detergent brands (Fab, Lavomatic and Vel)in Colombia for US$215

Human Resource Management

Human resource management is considered in any business to be one of the most important factors that must be considered in order to be successful. In the case of Unilever this may be specially correct as this large business is employing for about 261,000 workers from all over the world with its staff cost 4203 million pounds. For a large business like this it is very crucial to allocate the resources properly. If not managed properly the resource could be wasted making the resource a waste of bloody money. All the workers in HR of Unilever try to allocate the existing resources appropriately and manage the workers efficiently; otherwise in each country the productivity and sakes could fall and Unilever is vary much aware of the fact. One of the vital roles played by the HR department of the company is this, it ensures motivation of its worker. Workers need to be motivated in order to ensure the quality is upheld. For this very reason regular training season and motivational meetings are held to keep workers motivated. Another responsibility of Human Resource Management is recruiting workers. Unilever tries to find right workers with right set of skills to do the right job. A key strategy of this company is Unilever Future Leader Program that aims to create a global benchmark for sourcing, attracting and developing new blood. The ultimate purpose of this program is to find and bring the best undergraduate business students in their company from all over the world.

1.1 Major Functions:

Human Resources Department: The Human Resources Director (HRD) currently heads department. The major Functions of this department are this

Factory Personnel functions or Industrial Relations, Recruitment, Training and developments, labor welfare, Personnel Services and Security

All these major personnel functions are integrated in the best possible way in Unilever Bangladesh Limited which results in its higher productivity. Industrial relations or the factory personnel functions are looked after by factory personnel manager, training and development activities are supervised by Manager Human Resource Development, Employee Welfare, activities are monitored by Assistant Manager labor welfare, personnel services are looked after by the FPM along with the office services manager and finally security officer is responsible for all the security services At present, the total number of personnel in Unilever Bangladesh Limited are 720 which includes159 in management & 543 unionized permanent workers.

1.2 ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURE In terms of Unilever, they have two chairmen leading the company worldwide. They have seven top directors leading seven different departments. They have divided their worldwide business into different region and have different business groups to manage them. Unilever Bangladesh limited falls under the Southeast Asian region. On a more micro scale, Unilever Bangladesh ltd is monitored by Hindustan lever Ltd. which oversees operation in Bangladesh, India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. The chairman of Unilever Bangladesh Limited is known as the managing director. The management staff of the company consists of six layers, starting from junior manager (who are local managers) to manager grade 5 (who are Unilever managers). Apart from this the company hires management staff as well as supervisors. Unilever basically follows territorial structure on the basis of the geographic location. As this is a large business it is effective to build territorial structure for such a company. Again they got different structure for different region. The following organizational structure is made up for Bangladesh region.

Figure: Organizational Structure of Unilever (Bangladesh Zone)

1.3 An eye on the future

Unilevers environment is about empowering people, both to contribute to its business objectives and to achieve its own personal and career goals. It also keeps an eye on the future, with its 'leadership behaviors' initiative aiming to identify the next generation of leaders. Diverse roles Unilevers HR job is to make sure they have highly skilled, exceptional people in all areas of the organization. Within that, there are numerous possibilities split into three broad areas. HR Business Partners Unilevers HR identifies the needs of the business in order to develop, manage and implement appropriate strategies. They ensure that the right structure, culture, people and capabilities are in place to foster positive working relationships. HR Expertise Teams Unilevers HR work on policies, processes, systems and tools that allow each business area to attract, select and develop talented individuals. They also provide a connection with world-class external experts and keep us up to date with industry best practice. HR Services It delivers and continuously improves services such as payroll, recruitment, pensions and benefits. They also track, monitor and aggressively manage service performance to ensure that it's delivered to the required quality and at the optimum cost.

The amount of money that a company actually receives during a specific period, including discounts and deductions for returned merchandise. It is the "top line" or "gross income" figure from which costs are subtracted to determine net income. Revenue is calculated by multiplying the price at which goods or services are sold by the number of units or amount Unilever, with dual headquarters in London and in Rotterdam, Netherlands, is the world's second largest maker of consumer products after Procter & Gamble Co. Net profit dropped to 721 million euros ($1.06 billion) in the last three months of 2007 from 2.03 billion euros a year earlier. Sales rose 1.7 percent to 9.89 billion euros ($14.6 billion) from 9.72 billion euros a year ago. In the fourth quarter last year, Unilever booked a 1.2 billion euro gain on selling its frozen foods division in Europe. Without the impact of that disposal and the weakening dollar, sales would have risen 6 percent, split evenly between volume growth and price increases, it said. The company said it continued to see growth in the United States, despite fears of a slowdown. "In the U.S., overall consumer demand has held up well in our categories," the company said in a statement. "Market growth in home care and personal care slowed somewhat in the second half-year, but this was compensated for by robust demand in foods." But the company said U.S. margins slipped as it had not been able to fully pass on increasing costs to customers.

Earnings Before Interest & Tax EBIT

An indicator of a company's profitability, calculated as revenue minus expenses, excluding tax and interest. EBIT is also referred to as "operating earnings", "operating profit" and "operating income", as you can re-arrange the formula to be calculated as follows: EBIT = Revenue - Operating Expenses

Also known as Profit Before Interest & Taxes (PBIT), and equals Net Income with interest and taxes added back to it. The EBIT of unilever is given in the chart.

During 2008 some previously unfunded liabilities were funded utilizing existing surpluses. As a consequence of this the liabilities of 24 million were moved from unfunded to funded in the table above. In 2007, a contractual trust arrangement was established in Germany to partially fund previously unfunded pension liabilities. The initial funding was 300 million whilst the value of the previously unfunded liabilities at 1 January 2007 was approximately 850 million. As a consequence of this funding, the liabilities have been transferred from unfunded to funded in the table above. Equity securities include Unilever securities amounting to 25 million (0.2% of total plan assets) and 32 million (0.2% of total plan assets) at 31 December 2008 and 2007 respectively. Property includes property occupied by Unilever amounting to 57 million and 69 million at 31 December 2008 and 2007 respectively.

The pension assets above exclude the assets in a Special Benefits Trust amounting to 146 million (2007: 162 million) to fund pension and similar obligations in the US.

Operating Margin

A ratio used to measure a company's pricing strategy and operating efficiency. Calculated as:

Operating margin is a measurement of what proportion of a company's revenue is left over after paying for variable costs of production such as wages, raw materials, etc. A healthy operating margin is required for a company to be able to pay for its fixed costs, such as interest on debt. Also known as "operating profit margin" or "net profit margin".

Underlying Operating Margin for the year increased by 20 basis points. It was another year of the steady and sustainable improvement that we have been targeting. Cost saving programmes again delivered strongly, with 1.4 billion of savings in the year following a similar amount in 2009. Much of the success in savings came in the supply chain, and as a result gross margin, at constant currency, improved for the year despite negative underlying price growth and modestly higher commodity costs. Positive mix and improved volume leverage also contributed positively to gross margin. At the same time as increasing underlying operating margin we also increased substantially the advertising and promotions investment put behind our brands - at constant

currency the increase was more than 300 million or 30 basis points in the year. This came after an even bigger increase in 2009, meaning an additional 700 million behind the building of our brand equities over the last two years. Aside from the gross margin increase, the key driver of margin improvement was a reduction in indirect costs, with the organisation now leaner and a new discipline exerted in all areas of the cost base.