Arjun Uppal

Arjun is currently Head of Agri Business at Hariyali Kisaan Bazaar. This is a rural retail initiative of DSCL (DCM Shriram Consolidated Limited) and works with the objective of delivering goods and services to the rural community across India. It is the largest organized sector enterprise engaged in rural retail in India. He is directly responsible for several businesses such as Dairy, Fruits and vegetable, Seeds, Cattle Feed, vocational training, telecom etc.

Prior to this Arjun was an Advisor to ICICI Bank’s Rural Credit Businesses: (2005 to 2007). There were two phases in this role. First was to interface between ICICI Bank and potential customers that operated in the rural space. This entailed working with large corporates such as ITC, Godrej, Hindustan Unilever, Reliance, Fabindia, Tata Chemicals etc with the objective of understanding their business models. Based on their needs, the Bank would create relevant products to cater to specific requirements. Creating a producer company model for Fabindia was one of the highlights.

During the second phase, he worked closely with Dr Nachiket Mor and ICICI Foundation. The objective was to build businesses that had social impact. This covered several sectors such as food processing, handicrafts, skills, rural tourism, energy, etc. It essentially involved understanding the sector, identifying successful models, preparing business plans, funding such enterprises and then mentoring these to reach scale.

Arjun was Managing Director of Mother Dairy Foods Ltd in its formative days. (2002-2003). The company’s mandate was to build a contemporary brand, form joint ventures with state federations and run the business in a commercially viable manner.

Arjun spent 19 years with Hindustan Unilever Ltd till 2002 and worked in various commercial and general management roles. Two major achievements were in turning around the Seeds business and Kimberly Clark Lever Limited from losing operations to profitable ones.

Arjun’s two major interest areas are agriculture and social entrepreneurship. He has experience in these areas having worked in this space for over twenty years. He is associated with the BASIX group as well as several NGOs.

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