HUL helps Indian villagers open bank accounts
To bring banking services to low-income people in small Indian villages with SBI.
The scheme operates through HUL’s network of ShaktiAmmas – rural groups which distribute Unilever products in villages with fewer than 2000 inhabitants. These groups are already trusted by local communities, making them a friendly and accessible way to promote access to banking.
Piloted in the states of Maharashtra and Karnataka, the project has so far seen 12 ShaktiAmmas help open 1000 bank accounts for villagers. And with 43,000 ShaktiAmmas registered with HUL, the potential for expansion is huge as the project rolls out across India.
“Bringing villagers into the financial system is vital to sustainable growth. It will help HUL grow its business in rural India by improving people’s disposable income, while boosting their financial prospects for the future too,” says Hemant Bakshi, Executive Director, Sales and Customer Development.
The project also aims to strengthen the ShaktiAmma network, giving it yet another way to win hearts and minds in India’s villages.
“Interestingly, over 80% of people who’ve opened a bank account through the project are women,” adds Hemant. “The involvement of the ShaktiAmmas brings a female-friendly and accessible face to the whole initiative.” The India government has also made it a priority to widen access to banking in poor rural communities. At present, only 40% of India’s population is estimated to have a bank account.
Hindustan Unilever Limited,
B. D. Sawant Marg,
Chakala, Andheri (E),
Mumbai - 400 099.
T: +91 22 39830000
F: +91 22 22871970