In a virtual ceremony held earlier today, Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh Shri Yogi Adityanath Ji, along with Hindustan Unilever Limited CEO and MD Sanjiv Mehta, formally inaugurated Unilever India Limited’s (UIL) new factory in Sumerpur. The new unit, a state-of-the-art spray dried detergent factory and co-located distribution centre with automated storage and retrieval systems, will manufacture products for leading Unilever brands, including Surf Excel, which is India’s largest laundry brand.
HUL is planning a total investment of Rs 700 cr at Sumerpur by 2025, which includes the spray dried Detergent powder plant and distribution centre inaugurated today. The unit will significantly boost the production capacity of spray dried detergent powder, making the factory the largest volume strategic sourcing site for the Company by 2025.
Inaugurating the factory, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Shri Yogi Adityanath Ji said, “This is a proud moment for the state of Uttar Pradesh. We are glad that a global, large company like Unilever has selected our state to establish their ultra-modern factory. I am also happy to note their interest in employing women and persons with disability. We are confident that such investments will support the region’s overall development.
HUL CEO and MD Sanjiv Mehta said, “It is heartening to see the UIL plant take shape here in the Bundelkhand region of Uttar Pradesh, a state where our Company has significant presence and history. This reinforces Unilever’s long-term commitment to the state of UP and acknowledges the excellent support from the Government and the local communities. This investment is consistent with Unilever’s long-standing commitment to Atmanirbhar Bharat.”
HUL Executive Director of Supply Chain Willem Uijen said, “Our newest factory in Uttar Pradesh stands at the forefront of ultra-modern manufacturing for Unilever globally. It is designed to make the best use of what the digital 4th industrial revolution has to offer, thereby guaranteeing world class performance in people safety, product quality, innovation lead times and environmental performance. The site’s integrated design allows for an ecosystem of material suppliers, logistic operators, and manufacturing partners to be located at the site for optimal integration of the supply chain.”
Besides the manufacturing unit, HUL has set up a fully automated distribution centre, the first of its kind in South Asia for Unilever. This distribution centre is also equipped with the most modern automated storage and retrieval system (ASRS) to deliver goods with minimum retrieval time.
Safety and sustainability have been a core area of focus for the new plant. The manufacturing unit has been designed to have a zero carbon footprint. Through the usage of biomass briquette as fuel, the unit will contribute to enhancing the income of approx. 10,000 farmers, as these briquettes are made from agri waste. In keeping with Unilever’s sustainability commitments, the unit will collect and store rainwater for wider community use, send zero waste to landfill and initiate solar power generation in the near future. The distribution centre will also be equipped with the latest safety features for secure and seamless operations.
This UIL spray dried factory will be Unilever’s first gender-balanced factory in South Asia, where 101 women employees were hired under the Uttar Pradesh Government’s Mission Shakti. There is a plan to recruit an additional 153 women employees soon. Similarly, the unit will also actively look at hiring persons with disability. The entire investment, when completed by 2025, envisages a total direct and indirect employment of 1600 persons.
Unilever is also working on developing the local logistics market and increasing the number of its suppliers and ancillaries in Uttar Pradesh through several supplier integration initiatives. These measures will help boost material supply capability in the region while supporting the economic development of this region.
Under its community development program ‘Prabhat’, the Company is working with several NGOs and local authorities to set up the necessary infrastructure to help impart employable skills to local youth and enhance the livelihoods of residents. This includes programmes on farmer income improvement and building awareness on health, hygiene and nutrition.