Hindustan Unilever, the country’s biggest consumer goods firm is not satisfied with Nielsen’s data.
Unilever CEO Paul Polman has questioned the accuracy of Nielsen’s data for India. HUL says that’s Nielsen is not very accurate with their numbers.
Hindustan Unilever first challenged Nielsen in May 2009, when the HUL vice-chairman, D Sundaram, disputed the researcher’s data that showed a steady fall in the company’s market share across segments, saying it contradicted the consumer product maker’s internal estimates as well as data from household research firm IMRB.
Senior officials said there is a wide gap between HUL’s published quarterly results and Nielsen’s estimates on their sales.
For instance, in the tea category, HUL has done exceedingly well for the last several years which reflects in the published results as well but Nielsen took a couple of years to reflect it in the shares.
Nielsen’s data claims that HUL product’s demand has gone down in the last 12 months but HUL’s MD refuses this by saying the data is baseless and Nielsen operates much better when the market is relatively stable.
HUL has been very aggressive in the market to revive its market share across categories. Polman said the company has increased market share in 60-70 % of its businesses. It now holds less than 50% market share in two of its largest categories—soaps and skincare.