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Business News/ Companies / Colgate hires former HUL exec Prabha Narasimhan as India CEO
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Colgate hires former HUL exec Prabha Narasimhan as India CEO

The firm said the nomination and remuneration committee of the Board of Directors approved that effective 16 April, 2022, Ram Raghavan has been promoted to president, enterprise oral care, for Colgate Palmolive Company

Narasimhan has over two decades of experience.Premium
Narasimhan has over two decades of experience.

NEW DELHI :

Oral care company Colgate-Palmolive (India) Limited on Thursday announced the appointment of former Hindustan Unilever Ltd (HUL) executive Prabha Narasimhan as its managing director and chief executive officer replacing Ram Raghavan who is set to move to a global role.

In a filing to the exchanges on Thursday—the maker of Colgate toothpaste and Palmolive hand wash said the nomination and remuneration committee of the Board of Directors approved that effective 16th April, 2022, Ram Raghavan, managing director and CEO of the company has been promoted to president, enterprise oral care, for Colgate Palmolive Company. Raghavan will be based out of the company’s headquarters in New York.

The company also announced the appointment of Prabha Narasimhan as managing director and chief executive officer of Colgate-Palmolive (India) Limited effective from September 1, 2022.  Narasimhan becomes the first outside managing director of the company in the last 12 years, analysts said.

Narasimhan has over two decades of experience across consumer marketing insights, customer development and marketing roles in multiple geographies and across multiple categories including beauty, personal care and refreshments. In her last role—Narasimhan was executive director, home care for Hindustan Unilever Limited and vice president, home care, Unilever, South Asia. Narasimhan joined HUL in 2006. 

Narasimhan is a graduate of Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Bangalore. She joins the league of former HUL executives who’ve moved on to head large consumer products businesses. 

Last year—Mumbai-based FMCG company Godrej Consumer Products Ltd (GCPL) announced the appointment of Sudhir Sitapati as its managing director and chief executive officer effective. Sitapati was the former executive director, foods and refreshments at HUL. Executives from HUL’s India business have also moved to top global roles within the wider Unilever ecosystem.

According to HUL’s website—under Narasimhan's leadership of the skin care business delivered a market-beating growth rate between 2016-19.

This was enabled by a broad-based performance delivery across all brands and sub-segments – colours business delivering high double-digit growth during the entire tenure, strengthening of our flagship brand Glow & Lovely and entry into newer skin care segments. Narasimhan moved to the home care role in early 2020.

Analysts tracking the company welcomed the move. 

“Narasimhan could be a great hire for Colgate India to further scale up aggression in oral care—especially get back market share from Dabur, Patanjali and have a larger play in naturals and scale up the Palmolive brand," said Abneesh Roy, Executive Director, Institutional Equities, Edelweiss Securities. Roy said this shows renewed aggression by the company to try new initiatives. 

“We are seeing a marked scale up in new launches (premium toothpastes, smart brushes) by Colgate in the past few quarters. Colgate is going through a paradigm shift to premiumize, moving from oral care to oral beauty. It is now expanding the Palmolive range, it is building a second growth driver (face care lines)," he added.

In fiscal 2021 the company reported total revenue of 4,871.56 crore with a profit of 1,035.38 crore. In India the company sells—oral care and personal care products such as body wash, toothpaste, hand sanitizers, toothbrush, body wash and mouth sprays.

 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Suneera Tandon
Suneera Tandon is a New Delhi based reporter covering consumer goods for Mint. Suneera reports on fast moving consumer goods makers, retailers as well as other consumer-facing businesses such as restaurants and malls. She is deeply interested in what consumers across urban and rural India buy, wear and eat. Suneera holds a masters degree in English Literature from the University of Delhi.
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Published: 10 Mar 2022, 07:07 PM IST
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