Promoting sustainable business
Unilever, whose roots in the country go back over 80 years, will implement a sustainable growth business model based on its Sustainable Living Plan, and will work with Myanmar’s government, key stakeholders and civil society.
Bauke Rouwers, Chairman & CEO, Unilever Thailand & Indochina, says: For us, sustainability is integral to how we do business, to not only offer Myanmar consumers world-class products but to also play an important role in driving sustainable living as part of our long-term commitment towards Myanmar’s development.”
It has already launched a health and hygiene programme focused on school-going children, with the aim of reaching 4 million children within the next two to three years.
Unilever will also continue to support local farmers with sustainable practices and with a vision to help develop Myanmar as a regional sourcing base for agricultural commodities such as coconut sugar.
Building a retail network
Unilever started its distribution programme in Myanmar through third parties in 2010 and now aims to build a network of distributors and increase the availability of its brands through an ever-expanding retail outlet network.
At present, its product range in the country comprises goods from the Hair, Savoury, Skin, Laundry and Oral Care divisions.
Harish Manwani, Chief Operating Officer, says: “Our range of brands might be diverse, but there’s one thing all our brands have in common – a commitment to Unilever’s vision to create a better future every day which is what we will strive to achieve in Myanmar.”
Investing in the future
Unilever has made a “significant financial investment” to build its new factory in Yangon and aims to build up its team of staff to 150 local employees by the end of June 2013.
By 2015 Unilever expects to provide direct and indirect employment for over 2,000 people in Myanmar.
The company currently employs close to 200 Myanmar employees at its factory in Thailand, of which a number are being moved back to Myanmar to help kick-start its operations in the country.