Set in India in the 1980s and 1990s, this series of cases concerns the attempts by the Unilever division Hindustan Lever Limited (HLL) to create, market, and distribute a detergent for India’s rural poor. The upstart, low-priced Nirma detergent, manufactured by a former chemist, has overtaken HLL in the detergent market primarily because Nirma is being distributed and sold to this previously ignored segment of India’s population. In this war of laundry powders, HLL must revise its traditional practices in manufacturing, marketing, and distribution pursuant to C. K. Prahalad and Allen Hammond’s theory of the worldwide four-tiered market, in which the “bottom of the pyramid” is an untapped and potentially lucrative market. See also UVA-E-0266, UVA-E-0268, and UVA-E-0269.
Darden Business Publishing – University of Virginia