The Bangalore R&D centre contributes to brands including Lifebuoy, Pureit, Ponds, Fair and Lovely, Radiant, Omo, Brooke Bond, Lipton, Walls and Knorr.
Unilever's recent initiative on water purification was also driven out of this laboratory.
In Bangalore, we develop products for skincare, tea, home care, heath and hygiene. For skincare we explore new lotions, creams and sensory experiences. Our tea programme looks at aroma, taste and nutrition benefits through understanding the bio-chemistry of the tea plant and improving blends. Our Herbal Research Group develops products with proven efficacy for the body and mind. In cleaning we focus on areas such as minimising water usage while washing. One important aspect of our health and hygiene programme is to ensure that clean and safe drinking water can be provided to the masses.
Around 300 employees work at the site – including 75 scientists (bio-scientists, chemical engineers, material scientists, physicists and chemists), 150 research associates and 50 support staff – specialising in Microbiology, Virology and Microstructure Creation. While we have internal expertise in many areas, we also collaborate extensively with leading international experts, academic institutions and research groups.
Unilever R&D in India was established in Mumbai in 1958 to carry out research on soaps, infant foods and perfumes. The location switched to Bangalore in 1997. Over the years the team has been responsible for breakthrough innovations such as bar soaps, fortified salt, instant tea and water purification.
A model of sustainability
The research campus was built to complement and enhance its surroundings. As well as being constructed in harmony with rare flora and fauna, there is an ongoing programme to reduce its carbon footprint through energy saving measures and to improve water sustainability through recycling.