History of Hindustan Unilever

30 June 2023
13 min read
History of Hindustan Unilever

One of India's top fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) businesses is Hindustan Unilever Limited (HUL). Its corporate headquarters are in Mumbai, India, and it is a division of the major global consumer products company Unilever.

Lever Brothers India Ltd, the predecessor of HUL, was established in 1933. In 1956, HUL and Hindustan Vanaspati Mfg. Co. Ltd. combined.

HUL works through various channels, including contemporary trade, general trade, and e-commerce, and has a sizable distribution network throughout India. In addition, the business has a substantial presence in rural India, significantly boosting its earnings.

In addition to its economic activities, HUL is dedicated to sustainability and has established several environmental and social goals to lessen its ecological effect and give back to society.

The firm has also won many accolades and awards for its sustainability and ethical business conduct efforts.

In this blog, let's discover more about Hindustan Unilever history and other details here.

Brief Information About Hindustan Unilever Limited

The following provides a quick overview of Hindustan Unilever Limited history, including information on the company's owner, headquarters, market capitalization, and more.

Year Of Foundation

17 October 1933

Name Of Hindustan Unilever Founder

  • Hindustan Vanaspati Mfg. Co. Ltd.
  • United Traders Ltd.
  • Lever Brothers

Hindustan Unilever Owner

Unilever PLC


Mumbai, India

Leading Team

  • Anuradha Razdan  
  • Ashish Gupta 
  • Ashu Suyash  
  • Dev Bajpai 
  • Kalpana Morparia
  • Kedar Lele
  • Leo Puri     
  • Nitin Paranjpe
  • O P Bhatt   
  • Prabha Narasimhan
  • Priya Nair
  • Ritesh Tiwari 
  • Sanjiv Mehta
  • Sanjiv Misra
  • Srinandan Sundaram
  • Vibhav Sanzgiri
  • Wilhelmus Uijen

Market Capitalization

Over 5.96 Trillion INR (approx)

No. Of Employees

Over 21,000

Number Of Countries Present In

Over 190 Countries

Hindustan Unilever Share Price

2,535.00 INR (as of 04 April 2023)

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Bidding Dates
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RegularOpens 23 Apr

History of Hindustan Unilever Limited

The Indian consumer products business Hindustan Unilever Ltd (HUL), with its headquarters in Mumbai, is controlled by the British. This is because it belongs to the British business Unilever.

Foods, drinks, cleaning supplies, toiletries, water purifiers, and other quickly used commodities are among its offerings (FMCGs).

Timeline of Hindustan Unilever Limited

  • Year 1888: India saw the introduction of sunlight soap.
  • Year 1895: Lever Brothers hired representatives in Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, and Karachi after the debut of the Lifebuoy soap.
  • Year 1902: India saw the introduction of pears soap.
  • Year 1903: The tea brand Brooke Bond Red Label was introduced.
  • Year 1905: Lux flakes were introduced.
  • Year 1913: A scouring powder called Vim was introduced.
  • Year 1914: India saw the introduction of Vinolia soap.
  • Year 1918: Dutch margarine producers, including Hartogs, Verschure Creameries, Jurgens, and Van den Berghs, introduced vanaspati.
  • Year 1922: The powdered soap Rinso was introduced.
  • Year 1924: The debut of Gibbs dental preparations.
  • Year 1925: Lever Brothers acquire complete authority over North West Soap Company.
  • Year 1926: Dalda's trademark is filed by Hartogs.
  • Year 1930: Lever Brothers and Margarine Unie unite to establish Unilever on January 1.
  • Year 1931: On November 27, Hindustan Vanaspati Manufacturing Company was established; the Sewri plant site was acquired.
  • Year 1932: At Sewri, vanaspati production begins.
  • Year 1933: Lever Brothers India Ltd was established on October 17 and submitted an application to build a soap plant close to the Vanaspati factory in Sewri.
  • Year 1934: October marks the start of soap production at the Sewri facility; the Garden Reach Factory in Kolkata, operated by the North West Soap Company, is rented and enlarged to make Lever brands.
  • Year 1935: On May 11, United Traders was founded to sell Personal Goods.
  • Year 1937: One of the first Indian covenant managers, Mr Prakash Tandon, joins HVM.
  • Year 1939: Garden Reach Factory purchased outright; concentration on building up Dalda Vanaspati as a brand.

  • Year 1943: The Garden Reach Factory in India is where personal product production starts.

  • Year 1947: Launch of Pond's Cold Cream.

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

  • Year 1957: Research activity by Hindustan Unilever is approved by the Unilever Special Committee is approved.
  • Year 1958: The operation of the research unit begins to function at the Mumbai Factory.
  • Year 1959: Surf was launched.
  • Year 1961: Mr Prakash Tandon took over as the first Indian Chairman.
  • Year 1962: The new Formal Exports Department begins.
  • Year 1967: The Hindustan Unilever Research Centre opened in Mumbai.
  • Year 1968: Mr V. G. Rajadhyaksha took over as Chairman from Mr Prakash Tandon.
  • Year 1969: Rin Bar and Bru coffee were launched.
  • Year 1971: Clinic shampoo was launched.
  • Year 1973: Mr T. Thomas took over as Chairman from Mr V. G. Rajadhyaksha. 
  • Year 1974: Liril was marketed.
  • Year 1975: Close-up toothpaste was launched.
  • Year 1977: Indian shareholding increased to 18.57%.
  • Year 1978: Indian shareholding increases to 34%, and India sees the launch of Fair & Lovely skin cream.
  • Year 1980: Dr A. S. Ganguly takes over as Chairman from Mr T. Thomas.
  • Year 1986: The agri-products unit at Hyderabad starts operating.
  • Year 1988: Lipton Taaza tea was launched.
  • Year 1990: Mr. S. M. Datta takes over as Chairman from Dr. A. S. Ganguly.
  • Year 1991: Surf Ultra detergent was launched.
  • Year 1992: HUL was recognized by the Government of India as the Star Trading House in Exports.
  • Year 1994: Tata Oil Mills Company (TOMCO), HUL's main rival, combines with the business, making it the largest in the Indian market.
    HUL also established Unilever Nepal Limited and a 50:50 joint venture with US-based Kimberly-Clark Corporation called Kimberly-Clark Lever Ltd to market Huggies diapers and Kotex feminine care products.

    In 1995, a factory was established in Pune; now, HUL owns the brand names and distribution assets of Milkfood 100% and Kwality. HUL presents walls.
  • Year 1995: HUL enters the branded staples market.
  • Year 1996: 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.
  • Year 1997: Besides opening a new Regional Innovation Center, Unilever also establishes an international research laboratory in Bangalore.
  • Year 1998: Pond's India Ltd., a group firm, combines with HUL as of January 1, 1998. Lakme Ltd.'s 50% ownership stake in Lakme Lever Ltd. as well as the Lakme trademark, was acquired by HUL.
  • Year 2000: K. B. Dadiseth joins the Unilever Board, and Mr M. S. Banga becomes chairman. HUL also buys a 74% share in Modern Food Industries Ltd., the first public sector business that the Indian government has divested its ownership in.

  • Year 2002: With the Ayush line and Ayush Treatment Centers, HUL joins the Ayurvedic health & beauty centre industry.
  • Year 2003: Hindustan Lever Network is launched, and the Amalgam Group is purchased.
  • Year 2004: Pureit conducts a Chennai marketing test.
  • Year 2005: On July 1, 2005, Harish Manwani succeeded Mr M. S. Banga as chairman.
  • Year 2006: Food production of Brookefields was relocated to Mumbai.
  • Year 2007: After approval from shareholders at the 74th AGM on May 18, 2007, the company's name was legally changed to Hindustan Unilever Ltd.

  • Year 2008: HUL turned 75 years old on October 17, 2008. Pureit also debuts throughout India.
  • Year 2010: HUL relocates to Andheri, Mumbai's ‘Unilever House,’ which will serve as its new headquarters—introducing Pureit internationally.

    Launch of the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan in India. Hindustan Unilever Foundation (HUF) was also established. HUF supports the nation's top socioeconomic development initiatives.
  • Year 2013: The 80th anniversary of HUL is on October 17, 2013. HUL introduces ‘Prabhat’ (Dawn), an initiative associated with the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan (USLP), to interact with and support the growth of regional communities close to our production facilities.

    At Khamgaon, Unilever opened its first aerosol facility in Asia. Sanjiv Mehta was appointed HUL's managing director in October 2013.
  • Year 2014: In 2013, a countrywide rollout of the 'Winning in Many Indias' operational frameworks took place.

    With the opening of offices in Lucknow, Indore, and Bangalore, in addition to the already established sales offices in Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai, and Chennai, the number of sales offices increased from four to seven.
  • Year 2015: To purchase Indulekha, Mosons Group and HUL entered a contract.
  • Year 2016: Six Hindustan Unilever brands - Surf Excel, Brooke Bond, Wheel, Lifebuoy, Rin, and Fair & Lovely—have sales that surpass the 2000 crore rupee threshold.
  • Year 2017: On March 11, 2017, a brand-new, state-of-the-art manufacturing plant was inaugurated at the Doom Dooma Industrial Estate in Assam.
  • Year 2018: To purchase the ice cream and frozen desserts business, including its leading brand Adityaa Milk and front-end distribution network across regions, HUL executes a contract with Vijaykant Dairy and Food Products Ltd (VDFPL) and its group company.
  • Year 2020: HUL announced the purchase of VWash, the industry leader in the female intimate hygiene sector, to access the market, which is still underserved but is expanding quickly.
  • Year 2022: HUL's revenue for the fiscal year 2021–2022 exceeded INR 50,000 Crore. Moreover, a new Home Care facility and an automated distribution centre were opened by Unilever India Ltd in Sumerpur, Uttar Pradesh, in July 2022.
  • Year 2023: From June 27, 2023, Rohit Jawa was named CEO and Managing Director of HUL in March 2023.

Subsidiaries of Hindustan Unilever Limited

Hindustan Unilever subsidiaries that work in several sectors include-


Subsidiaries of Hindustan Unilever Limited

Industry Type


Lakmé Cosmetics

Beauty & Skincare


Kwality Wall's



Zywie Ventures Private Limited

Business Services


Lakme Lever Private Limited



Unilever Nepal

HomeCare, Beauty & Wellbeing


Unilever India Exports Limited



Hindustan Unilever Foundation

Business & Service Activities


Bhavishya Alliance Child Nutrition Initiatives

Community, Personal & Social Services


Unilever Europe Business Center B.V.



Daverashola Estates Private Limited



Jamnagar Properties Private Limited

Real Estate & Renting


Pond's Exports Limited



Levindra Trust Limited

Unlisted Public Company

Hindustan Unilever Limited Subsidiaries: Overview

Following is detailed information about some of the HUL subsidiaries along with an overview of some top Hindustan Unilever products list-

  • Lakmé Cosmetics

Hindustan Unilever Limited owns cosmetics manufacturer Lakmé. It was established in 1952 as a Tata Oil Mills subsidiary before being bought by HUL in 1996.

Lakmé is one of India's most well-known cosmetics companies, focusing on skincare and cosmetics.

  • Kwality Wall's

Hindustan Unilever Limited owns the well-known frozen desserts and ice cream brand Kwality Walls.

Since its founding in 1956, the company has become one of India's top ice cream manufacturers. Kwality Wall sells various ice cream-related items, such as cones, cups, sticks, tubs, etc.

The company is renowned for its mouthwatering tastes and premium, internationally sourced ingredients.

  • Zywie Ventures Private Limited

The privately held business with headquarters in India, Zywie Ventures Private Limited, is dedicated to providing cutting-edge products and services in medical technology.

The business is renowned for creating innovative software and hardware for the healthcare industry that may aid professionals in handling patient health data, remote monitoring, and other areas of healthcare delivery.

  • Lakme Lever Private Limited

One of India's top businesses in the beauty and personal care sectors is Lakme Lever Private Limited, a subsidiary of Hindustan Unilever Limited.

The firm is well known for Lakme, its leading brand that sells a variety of skincare and cosmetics.

For many years, Indian women have trusted the Lakme brand because of its high-quality products that meet their many different beauty demands.

  • Unilever Nepal

A division of Unilever, one of the biggest consumer products businesses in the world, is Unilever Nepal.

Since its establishment in Nepal in 1992, the firm has been dedicated to offering top-notch goods that meet the country's wide range of customer demands.

There are various goods from Unilever Nepal in the food and beverage, personal care, and home care sectors.

  • Unilever India Exports Limited

The international consumer products firm Unilever has a subsidiary called Unilever India Exports Limited.

The business is situated in India and exports Unilever items from India to other international locations. Products from Unilever India Exports Ltd are shipped in various categories, including food and drinks, personal care, and home care.

  • Hindustan Unilever Foundation

One of India's top consumer products businesses, Hindustan Unilever Limited, formed the non-profit Hindustan Unilever Foundation.

The foundation seeks to advance sustainable development and enhance the quality of life in Indian communities.

  • Bhavishya Alliance Child Nutrition Initiatives

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Tata Trusts have joined forces to create the Bhavishya Alliance Child Nutrition Programs to combat child malnutrition in India.

The initiative aims to enhance children's nutritional condition by creating and implementing novel, scalable solutions.

To find and solve the underlying causes of malnutrition, Bhavishya Alliance works with governmental entities, civil society groups, and other stakeholders.

  • Unilever Europe Business Center B.V.

Unilever, one of the top manufacturers of consumer goods in the world, has a subsidiary called Unilever Europe Business Center B.V.

The firm is in Rotterdam, Netherlands and is responsible for delivering various business services to Unilever's European activities.

To assist Unilever's activities in Europe, Unilever Europe Business Center B.V. offers finance, human resources, information technology, procurement, and logistics services.

  • Daverashola Estates Private Limited

The Nilgiri area of Tamil Nadu, India, is home to the tea plantation enterprise Daverashola Estates Private Ltd.

The business was founded in 1956 and is renowned for manufacturing premium tea that is well-liked in India and abroad. Almost 800 hectares of tea plantations are located at Daverashola Estates Private Limited, producing orthodox, green, and CTC teas.

  • Jamnagar Properties Private Limited

Just a few details are known about Jamnagar Properties Private Limited. Yet, based on publicly accessible information, the corporation appears to be a real estate development and investment enterprise in Mumbai, India.

Jamnagar Properties Private Limited has a reputation for providing high-quality homes that satisfy its clients' expectations. It is well recognised for its luxury residential and commercial developments in Mumbai.

  • Pond's Exports Limited

The global consumer products corporation Unilever has a subsidiary called Pond's Exports Ltd.

The business is in India and exports Unilever's personal care and beauty goods to several international destinations. Pond's Exports Ltd exports various interests, such as cosmetics, hair care, and skincare.

  • Levindra Trust Limited

Levindra Trust Ltd is a subject about which little is known. Yet, based on information that is readily accessible, it appears that the business is a private trust with headquarters in the UK.

The trust engages in various pursuits, such as property management, investment management, and philanthropy.

In all its endeavours, Levindra Trust Ltd is dedicated to advancing social responsibility and sustainability, mainly assisting regional groups and projects. The business is renowned for its investing know-how and has a portfolio of holdings in various industries, including technology, real estate, and healthcare.


Hindustan Unilever Limited (HUL) has a long and illustrious history that dates back to India's pre-Independence era. The business started as a modest soap factory in Bombay and has since expanded to become one of India's top consumer products corporations with a broad portfolio of well-known Hindustan Unilever brands.

The company's dedication to social responsibility, sustainability, and community development has also been a defining characteristic of its success.

HUL is a shining example of a business that has expanded while adhering to its beliefs and ideals as it broadens its operations and product offering.

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