Hindustan Unilever (HUL) in collaboration with Genpact announced the launch of an accelerator programme aimed at scaling businesses owned by minority and underrepresented groups in India.
The objective of the initiative is to promote diverse and sustainable sourcing by facilitating the inclusion of minority-owned businesses in the supply chains of major consumer goods companies, including HUL.
“Now more than ever, businesses are balancing the twin goals of profitable growth and sustainable operations. We believe that companies that make the right bets today will be the winners in the long term,” said Katie Stein, Chief Strategy Officer and Global Business Leader, Enterprise Services and Analytics, Genpact. “At Genpact, we see ESG as a critical part of business transformation and are focusing on it internally and for our clients. We believe supplier diversity is a key lever for supply chain resiliency and ESG impact, and through this program, we look forward to helping build stronger companies and communities.”
The programme is being implemented by Sattva, a leading social impact research and advisory firm, Be.Seen is a program that offers crucial training, mentorship, and access to networks, knowledge, and resources to enterprises owned by underrepresented and minority groups, such as women, persons with disabilities, scheduled castes or tribes, and transgender communities.
During the pilot phase of the program, selected business owners will undergo a six-month period of developing essential behavioural and technical skills. This includes advancing their business and growth plans, pitching to investors, and engaging in fundraising activities.
HUL and Genpact will leverage their experienced leaders with expertise in various domains to conduct virtual masterclasses, one-on-one mentoring sessions, and expert-led workshops covering key areas such as finance, supply chain management, sales and marketing, communication, business development, digital transformation, and more.
Be.Seen is designed to foster success for both minority-owned businesses and large global companies. The initiative not only promotes diversity and innovation in the supply chains of global consumer goods companies, leading to cost efficiencies, but also helps businesses manage supply chain risks, improve relationships with local communities, and advance their environmental, social, and governance (ESG) agendas. Moreover, the program stimulates economic growth for underrepresented groups by providing unique opportunities for minority businesses to integrate into large business ecosystems.
“Be.Seen aims to create opportunities for diverse and underrepresented businesses to grow and become supply-chain-ready. Diversity in supply chains is a competitive advantage for any business and widens economic and social impact,” said Ansu Archana, Procurement Director, Beauty & Wellbeing, Hindustan Unilever Limited. “HUL’s partnership with Genpact will support minority-owned businesses while helping HUL advance towards its commitment of spending ₹2,000 crores annually with diverse businesses by 2025.”
“We believe collaboration is key to creating meaningful impact and change at scale,” said Srikrishna Sridhar Murthy, Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer, Sattva. “As a mission-driven company focused on uplifting underserved communities, we are committed to bringing varied businesses together to help address complex societal challenges and work towards an equal opportunity world. We are excited about this pioneering model for scale which demonstrates the power of collaboration to drive innovation for a more sustainable future.”
HUL, Genpact, and Sattva will invite submissions from businesses that have a majority ownership, management, or control (51 per cent or more) by individuals from diverse groups. These businesses must be certified by an approved certification body or can self-declare themselves as diverse businesses.