Nearly 18 months after taking over a global role as Chief Marketing Officer, Beauty & Wellbeing at Unilever, Priya Nair, has been elevated as the President and will also be part of Unilever Leadership Executive (ULE) — a team of international C-level executives who lead the British multinational.

Nair has over 21 years of experience in consumer marketing and has skills across brand management, customer development, consumer insights and strategy. She joined HUL in 1995 and rose through the ranks and was instrumental in steering the company through the pandemic. “She has been an active champion for building future skills and experimentation, and has led several path-breaking marketing initiatives such as the ‘Kan Khajura Tesan’ campaign. Under her leadership, the business witnessed high growth in key categories driven by consumer-centric innovations and award-winning, purpose-driven communication,” said a former company executive who worked closely with Nair.

Led many brands

Nair has led many brands over the years to strong growth namely Surf, Wheel, Axe, Dove and Close up. According to her, discovering purpose at work is central because that gives the strength to manage all volatility and uncertainty. Nair has earlier spoken about how she draws inspiration from her mother, a doctor who serves the underprivileged in Mumbai.

Perhaps it is this purpose that helped her as she has spearheaded some leading-edge marketing programmes that are widely acclaimed both in India and globally, especially in the new-age digital media. The most notable example is creation of Kan Khajura Tesan, a mobile radio service that has over 30 million consumers and a winner of three Cannes Gold Lions. She has developed and built HUL’s perfect village and rural marketing programme and has led HUL’s mobile strategy. 

Movie buff

Nair enjoys painting, reading and is an avid movie buff. She is the second India-born woman to be inducted in ULE after Leena Nair, who recently left Unilever to become the global CEO of Chanel.

Nair holds a degree in Bachelor of Commerce from Sydenham College of Commerce and Economics, and is an MBA in Marketing from Symbiosis Institute of Business Management.

Unilever’s CEO Hein Schumacher said in a statement that Nair “represents part of an exceptional generation of Unilever leaders who combine world class marketing skills with frontline experience. I am delighted they will join the ULE.