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Brains Behind Unilever’s Beauty Drive

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Priya Nair, 

Global Chief Marketing Officer, Beauty And Wellbeing
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Last year, consumer goods giant Unilever split its beauty and personal care business group—creating separate beauty & wellbeing and personal care divisions. Priya Nair was asked to lead its marketing team as global chief marketing officer, beauty and wellbeing. “We had the opportunity to focus on being beauty specialists. We are very happy with the way we’ve been able to navigate the transformation,” says Nair. “Our focus has been to determine what will deliver consistent, responsible and sustainable business. That’s codified under what we call our mantra—purpose, science and desire. Purpose is about creating meaningful brands,” she says. In FY22, Unilever’s turnover grew 14.5% to €60.1 billion, with beauty and wellbeing business contributing $12.3 billion (about 20%).
Nair counts launch of premium Vaselina Gluta-Hya serum in India and a Cannes Gold Lion for Vaseline’s “See My Skin” campaign, which challenges healthcare inequities, as major achievements. “(Gluta-Hya) has been an incredible success in Southeast Asia. It’s designed for all-year weather conditions and has 10 times the power of Vitamin C,” she says. Nair says beauty presents an opportunity more than a challenge considering it is not a functional category. “It’s really (about) creating desirability for your products,” she says.