David Turner, MBA ‘15, MSE ‘15
C.K. Prahalad Fellow, Hindustan Unilever, India
“My fellowship in India was by far the most eye-opening experience of my life. In the summer of 2013, I worked at Hindustan Unilever Limited (HUL) with an all-India rural marketing team. I went from working at J.P. Morgan, the top of the pyramid, to immersing myself in a direct market program at the base of the pyramid.
On my second day, I was headed to villages in Haryana. The villages were beautiful, quaint, and quiet. It was hot, and the streets were mostly empty. It was also exotic and definitely a different way of life. My job was to observe product demonstrations and conduct follow-up assessments.
The company’s marketing program aimed to create awareness, educate, and deliver personal care products to 10,000 of the most affluent rural villages across seven different Indian states. The accepted rules of Western marketing no longer applied, and I had to rethink how to market new categories to this population. Everyone welcomed me, shared information, and took time to explain how business is done in India. I met a diverse group of employees from almost every state in the country. It was even a multicultural experience within India.
The diversity of socioeconomic classes, ways of life, languages, and cultures is just incredible. Riding a Royal Enfield motorcycle in Kashmir, I stumbled on a road sign stating “From Kanyakumari to Kashmir, India is one.” This struck me as so true, and it was beautiful to see this declaration. My experience would not have been possible without your dedication and support for C.K.’s body of work. Thank you!”