Wheel Ghar se Career
At Unilever, we believe that brands with purpose grow, companies with purpose last and people with purpose thrive. In keeping with this, Wheel launched its purpose initiative, Wheel Ghar se Career (Career from Home) in November 2019 to help rural women learn new skills through their mobile phone and in turn contribute financially to their families. This first-of-its-kind initiative was created in partnership with Reliance Jio, India’s largest telecom company.
Wheel Ghar se Career is a mobile-based app experience where women can watch video content and get upskilled and certified in four areas of relevance and interest. To facilitate this, they will get 1GB of 4G data free when they purchase a 1kg pack of Wheel detergent powder.
In just over three months from launch, the initiative has already shown significant impact – over 700,000 consumers have enrolled for the program. It has also helped in accelerating brand growth as well as competitive performance –proving once again that brands can do well by doing good.
A Purpose-led, Future-fit Wheel
Wheel is one of HUL’s highest penetrated FMCG brands – reaching over 160mn Indian households every year. This translates to over 60% of rural Indian homes reached every year – and 90% of these are low-income families. They are characterised by a constant struggle to move above the poverty line and a deep-rooted desire to elevate their reality.
Wheel’s enormous scale gives us an opportunity to make a difference. With this in mind, Wheel embarked on its purpose journey – Pehno Fresh, Socho Fresh (Wear Fresh, Think Fresh) to evoke freshness in attire and thought. The ‘Fresh Thinking’ that Wheel wants to create is to make a woman the catalyst for progress by contributing financially to her family.
Wheel Ghar se Career is a confluence of women’s empowerment and digital technology. Two of the biggest barriers stopping women from earning today are lack of skills and lack of access. This is further amplified by her inability to commit time away from her home – given her responsibilities of raising the children and taking care of the household.
Therefore, we decided to help women upskill themselves whenever they wanted, at their fingertips – through a mobile internet-based platform where she could watch video content on relevant skills, and learn how to earn money, right from the convenience of her own home. The entire content is hosted on an existing Reliance Jio app, therefore ensuring that the consumer has a seamless user experience with no need to download any new app.
The training modules cover four topics of relevance and interest to these women – Sewing, Beautician Training, Spoken English and Financial Literacy. We created 63 modules across all these four topics, designed to progressively build her skills and overcome several of the challenges that typical online content faces. Our intent is to make her truly understand the content, get upskilled and earn some money. Upon completion of all the modules for a particular topic and answering a simple quiz, the woman can also download a certificate with her name – this gives a tremendous boost to her confidence and makes her feel empowered.
A partnership of many firsts
We wanted to land this unique program at a large scale to meaningfully impact our consumers as well as our brand. To do this we needed a strong telecom partner with an expansive reach and the capability to create, maintain and run a technology platform of this complexity. This resulted in a first-of-its-kind partnership with Reliance Jio – India’s largest and fastest growing telecom network (~360mn subscribers). It was a steep learning curve for both teams – creating a native-app experience of this complexity on KaiOS – India’s fastest growing mobile OS, handling the huge amount of consumer redemptions and ensuring a seamless experience for every consumer.
Creating impact at scale
We are delighted with the response we have got so far. Till 15th Feb, more than 700,000 consumers have enrolled for Wheel Ghar se Career. 165,000 consumers have started their upskilling journey and more than 43,000 consumers have completed at least one topic and downloaded the certificate. This number is increasing every day and we are confident of exceeding our ambition of enrolling over 1 mn consumers by the end of this program.
With Wheel Ghar se Career, we have managed to touch the lives of very low LSM, media grey, semi-literate consumers using the power of technology and mobile internet. We do realise that it is a small, but nevertheless a significant step in making a positive change in their lives. And once again we have established that our Purpose-led, Future-fit model can make a big social difference and accelerate growth, even for a large bottom-of-the-pyramid brand like Wheel.