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Unilever’s IT Global Vice President talks on Mobile Businesses

The SU Career Development Services was privileged to host Mr Nicholas Wilcox, Unilever’s IT global Vice President, who took the students through the mobi revolution, drawing his case study from Unilever’s corporate drive. In a world where business is rapidly changing, with trends significantly speculating the market segments; like many other business enterprises, is not a different phenomenon to Unilever Limited Company.


Holding a record of 2 billion consumers using their products daily worldwide, Mr Wilcox put into perspective the dynamics of mobile phones’ advancements in enhancing businesses. This talk was aimed at giving the students a clearer picture of the IT solutions drawn by the company, whilst predisposing them to the employment opportunities. Under the esteemed theme: Are you the future leader we are looking for? The students were let into the detailed orientation of what Unilever entailed.


To put into context with the rapidly changing trends, Mr. Wilcox mentioned that 55% of the sales of their products were from Emerging markets, denoting Africa’s market pool. With a market penetration of 180 countries worldwide, Unilever attests to the significance of IT being the backbone of every business. With this observation, Mr. Wilcox however, cautioned the students of the need to study the different IT penetration in every region. This is because what may work in Kenya may not be viable in any other country.


Mr. Wilcox acknowledged the major trends in the industry, which have shaped business, giving priority to; mobile phones, Social Media, Cloud platforms and videos.

He took the students through how the Unilever IT team is making use of mobile technology, with brief mentions of examples from case studies such as; the nearest ice cream cabinet services being delivered in Brazil, and the plantation management services in Turkey.


As for social media, Unilever has a platform known as chatter. This is a platform which has made possible the collaboration of different business projects in real time, while greatly reducing the volume of emails.


With the numerous advancements in technology, Unilever has also taken advantage of the cloud platform, embracing the quicker access to their business data which includes documents and presentations.

Videos have made it possible for the company to hold virtual video meetings with colleagues.


In a nutshell, technology is changing at an unprecedented pace, defining how Unilever as a company and a business entity is functioning. Mobile “first” is one of the key IT strategies being implemented, which provides the company with a competitive edge.


Questions such as how the cloud platform is secured against hackers, employment reward schemes, and feedback responses from the consumers, were raised, with Mr. Wilcox tackling each with unprecedented attention.


For more information on the Unilever management trainee internship program for all final year and post graduate students, visit www.ulilever-esa.com and for details on the New Challenge, New Brand, Unilever IdeaTrophy, 3rd Edition, visit www.ideatrophykenya.co.ke