While it will likely be at least twenty-five (25) years before India overtakes the United States in GDP, companies are starting to bet big on India, including Anglo-Dutch multinational Unilever that bet big on India with a US $5.41 Billion open offer for a 22.52% stake in its Indian subsidiary Hindustan Unilever Ltd. That’s big, big bucks as far as India is concerned. If you look at the Global 500, and their revenues for 2012, only seven exceeded 30 Billion in Revenue (Oil & Natural Gas, Tata Motors, State Bank of India, Hindustan Petroleum, Bharat Petroleum, Reliance Industries, and Indian Oil). Five of these are in the petroleum industry, one is a bank, and one is an automobile company. None are CPG.
This is a big step for Unilever, who obviously sees India as the next China and wants to guarantee their stake. If the deal goes through, it could be the first of many. In addition to having to Mandarin-ize Your Supply Chain, you may have to add some Hindi to the mix. Are you ready?