President Asia Africa

Mr. Harish Manwani

President, Asia Africa, CEE

(Please click & or scroll down to read his speech excerpt from the live recording on 10-10-2010)

Harish Manwani is an honours graduate from Mumbai University and has a master's degree in management studies. He also attended the Advanced Management Program at the Harvard Business School.

He joined Hindustan Lever (HLL) in 1976, becoming a member of the HLL board 1995 as director responsible for the Personal Products business. As category leader for Personal Products, he also held regional responsibility for the Central Asia and Middle East business group.

In 2000, he moved to the UK as senior vice president, Global Hair Care and Oral Care, and in 2001 was appointed president, Home and Personal Care (HPC), Latin America business group. He also served as chairman of Unilever’s Latin America Advisory Council.   

In 2004, he was appointed president and CEO of the HPC North America business group, and in April 2005 joined the Unilever Executive as president, Asia Africa. He is also non-executive chairman of Hindustan Lever and is currently a member of the Executive Board of the Indian School of Business.

Harish is married and has two daughters. He spends his leisure time with his family and enjoys playing golf and an occasional game of bridge.

(Speech excerpt from live recording, 10-10-2010)
Hello everybody. What a great pleasure it is to be with you. Well if not in person, at least in this video on one of our most momentous business in our history, in Thailand. Today on the 10th of October, 2010. 10-10-10, we celebrate yet another landmark 10; which is the 10th anniversary of aviance Thailand. I’m particularly excited about this big landmark that you have achieved For a lot of you this may come as a bit of surprise.

My association with aviance actually goes back to right before aviance was launched in Thailand. I happen to
be working for personal care in India.We launched aviance there a few years before aviance went into Thailand.
I still remember the first visit from Kanika who was the Personal Care Head in Thailand who came to visit us,
picked up the idea and the rest is history today aviance and Thailand go hand in hand.

Thailand is the best example I can think of of having picked up a direct selling model and making it work. So, firstly let me start by congratulating all of you, all the business associates who have been part and parcel of this success and part and parcel of this business for so many years.

I particularly like the theme of this business which is to Grow Together and Go Global. I think as we sit on this cross roads; this is a particularly relevant slogan to have because the most important thing for our business is to grow, Grow Together.

We cannot grow aviance unless you grow and that is why this idea of collaborative growth is important. But the same time we allow our business to have more confidence. That we can go outside the shores of Thailand and replicate the tremendous success. That you have been able to demonstrate within Thailand. So as we move into 2011 and onwards it will be yet another exciting journey; of not only growing our business in Thailand but also see if we can make the same success possible in some our other Asian markets.

I’m sure you will hear a lot more about that so I don’t want to get into that detail. I also want to spend a few minutes talking about our foundation in Thailand. The most important reason why we have succeeded is because we did a couple of things well. I know there are a large number of you in this room who have been associated with aviance since its very inception. To be able to create that loyalty has been a very important success factor for us.

I know there are many of you sitting here who are going to be celebrating their 100 million income landmark, 10 million income landmark, 5 million income landmark, and of course there are many who have accumulative 1 million income out of aviance. I’m particularly happy about that because it is your success that ultimately has been the very heart of aviance’s success. I know in this audience we have Jerry Looi, who is, if you like, top of the league having earned an accumulative income of a 100 million baht. Congratulations Jerry!

That is exactly what we want to do. We want to have many, many more hundred million earners. We want to have many, many more fifty million earners. We want to have many, many more five million earners. So that has been one, if you like, one very important reason for our success.

The second very important reason for our success has been our fantastic products. We actually have a range of really superb beauty care products, and it is this that has ensured that we get the loyalty of not only of our business associates but the large number of consumers who use our brands. It is this combination of the passion in our business associates and the high quality of our aviance range that has made this success possible. And underlying this of course there are two other factors, the brand- aviance.

You must not forget that it is not products we sell, it is basically trust, reputation, confidence and that is really what the aviance brand is all about. And lastly, very importantly I want to use this occasion for a very special thank you for the leadership of Suchada. Suchada who has managed actually to create and hold this network together and make it enormously successful in the last so many years. Thank you Suchada, for your passion, for your commitment, for your determination. It is your leadership and the leadership of all the business associates who so passionately work for our business that makes aviance what it is today.

I may not be there with you today in the celebrations but my thoughts are with you. But I feel as proud as all of you do on the tremendous success of aviance. I look forward to another occasion when I can be in Thailand and we can perhaps have one more celebration;because it is such a big occasion. I remember when I came there on 30th of March with Paul Polman and got an opportunity to meet a lot of you. Wow! What an occasion.

If you can replicate some of that passion in our main business across the world, the Unilever world, I can tell you that we will double our growth. So we also want to bottle some of that special passion and ensure that we are able to really take it into some other parts of our businesses. So with that Good Luck, all the best. Congratulations and enjoy. Thank you.