JAKARTA -- Unilever Indonesia, the domestic arm of an Anglo-Dutch consumer goods maker, on Thursday appointed a new president hired from the company's Indian entity. The move is likely to strengthen ties between the two company subsidiaries and boost efficiency.
Hemant Bakshi, 50, was appointed as the new head by Unilever Indonesia's shareholders at an extraordinary meeting. Bakshi was previously an executive director at Hindustan Unilever, and replaced Maurits Lalisang, who has served as president of Unilever Indonesia since 2004.
Unilever Indonesia said on Thursday that 2015 would be a challenging year for their business because the new government led by President Joko Widodo has hiked fuel prices by more than 30%. The decision is likely to impact the consumer business.
The company is optimistic of Indonesia's longer term potential, because local buying power will increase alongside per-capita wealth.
McKinsey & Company said Indonesia's consuming class is estimated to grow by 7.7%, or 5 million people per year, by 2020. The consuming class today represents a population of 55 million. It is expected to reach 86 million, or 1 trillion in sales, at the end of the decade.