Staff Reporters
Sep 2, 2022

Asia-Pacific Power List 2022: Samir Singh, Unilever

Unilever’s first global marketer to be based in APAC has helped the brand navigate the pandemic and find fresh purpose coming out of it.

Asia-Pacific Power List 2022: Samir Singh, Unilever
Asia-Pacific’s 50 most influential and purposeful marketers

Samir Singh

Global chief marketing officer, personal care
New member

Starting out as an area sales manager in India 25 years ago, Samir Singh now helms global marketing for a key business unit at one of the largest FMCG companies in the world. In May 2002, Singh was promoted to global CMO for Unilever’s personal care business. His new remit covers marquee brands including Axe, Closeup, Dove, Lifebuoy, Lux, Pepsodent and Rexona.

Along the way, Singh, who previously led a $10 billion global skin cleansing and oral care business as executive vice president, has helped the storied 100-year old Lifebuoy brand find fresh legs (and hit a billion euros in revenue) in a pandemic-fuelled pivot.

As the pandemic slowly wound down, he also helped other brands like Dove find a fresh purpose with a ‘skinification’ push. Dove is doing this by offering a range of shower gels with ingredients from its skincare labels, which it claims provide skin benefits. Axe, on the other hand, has seen the relaunch of its ‘Axe Effect’ campaign.

Singh, as a global marketer, has had to find different drivers to push his sustainability agenda. In the US, where there is higher awareness and value placed on sustainability, Unilever has sustainable solutions from Dove that highlight significant reductions in plastic and water consumption while still delivering the benefits consumers seek.

In Asia, the push has been different, with value for money taking centre stage. Singh is a votary of widespread sustainability among marketers, pushing not just premium labels to be more conscious, but mass market ones too. Dove’s refillable aluminium bottles and Lifebuoy’s Powder to Liquid handwash are two examples of this push from the marketer.

He's also ensuring other pieces of his business—such as oral care brands Closeup and Pepsodent—don’t slip up on the sustainability front. Unilever has initiated pilot projects in India (with partners like Banyan Nation, Saahas and UNDP), France (with Veolia and CITEO) and Indonesia (with PT Natura) to demonstrate the actual recyclability of more sustainable compostable toothpaste tubes.

Asia-Pacific’s 50 most influential and purposeful marketers


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