The Hindustan Unilever has already taken various cost saving measures but steps for the road ahead will depend on how the economy behaves after the country emerges from the health crisis.
FMCG major Hindustan Unilever CMD Sanjiv Mehta on Thursday said the company has not cut any jobs or salary of employees so far due to the coronavirus pandemic but cannot say what will happen in future. Addressing a media conference call on the company’s quarterly earnings, Mehta said Hindustan Unilever (HUL) has already taken various cost saving measures but steps for the road ahead will depend on how the economy behaves after the country emerges from the health crisis.
“Right now we have not shed any jobs and at this stage we have not done any salary cuts, but I would not be able to say what is going to happen in the future because we will have to see how the situation evolves,” he said.
Elaborating further, Mehta said, “If for instance the economy bounces back then we are into business but if we get into deep depression then we will revaluate all the steps that we have been taking. We always keep options open because we evaluate everything very closely. We have to evaluate, we have the options that we can exercise in future.”
He was responding to a query on whether the company has cut jobs or reduced salaries of employees in order to overcome the financial impact of coronavirus outbreak and subsequent nationwide lockdown.
Stressing that “the ethos of HUL is very frugal”, Mehta said, “We have a very close focus on each of the lines of P&L (profit and loss) and we look very closely to ensure we add value and drive value to the business.” Citing some of the steps that the company has undertaken to save cost, he said activities “that don’t add any value like travelling, even if you wanted to, there is no expenses incurred there”.
“Under the current context if it is not going to add value then why should we be spending that money. Our focus is going to be on absolutely looking at every bit of it in ensuring that the strong business model that we have, we are able to preserve it,” Mehta asserted.
Underlining the fact that HUL also has to ensure its ecosystem remains strong, he said, “Also you will appreciate that we don’t run the business in isolation. We have distributors, we have scores of suppliers, thousands of distributors…and what we have to do is play a part in ensuring that the ecosystem also survives so that the business keeps doing well going forward.”