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On Study of Consumer Behaviour towards Products Of

Hindustan Unilever Ltd (HUL)

(Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirement of Bachelor of Business Administration, Distance Education) Punjab technical University, Jalandhar

Project Report Guide: Name: Mrs. Nisha Solanki Designation: Asst. Professor

Submitted By: Name: Kalpesh Patel Enrolment No: 820121066 Specialization: Marketing

BBA (2008-2011)

Indraprastha Institute of Technology & Management, D-21 Institutional Area janakpuri, New Delhi

Survey is an excellent tool for learning an exploration no classroom routine can substitute which is possible while working in real situations application of the article knowledge to practical situations is the bonanzas of this survey. Without a proper combination of inspection and perspiration, its not easy to achieve anything. There is always a sense of gratitude, which we express to other for the help and the needy service they render during the development of this project. First of all I wish to express my profound gratitude & sincere thanks to my esteemed learned Director who allowed me to conduct the survey. I would like to thank my lect. Mrs. Nisha Solanki who has always there to help and guide me when I needed help. His perceptive criticism kept me working to make the project more full proof. I am thankful to her for her encouraging & enriching experience for me. I am very thankful to him for all the addition & enhancement done to us. No words can adequately express our overriding debt of gratitude to my parents whose support helps me in all the way above all I shall thank all my friends.!

Name: KALPESH PATEL Enroll no: 820121066


1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9.

Company Profile Introduction Rationale Literature review and Problem formulation Objectives and Research Mythology Analysis and Interpretation of data Conclusions / Suggestions Reference / Bibliography Appendix a. Questionnaire

4 8 11 12 14 19 28 31



If Hindustan Unilever straddles the Indian corporate world, it is because of being single-minded in identifying itself with Indian aspirations and needs in every walk of life.

Type Industry Founded Headquarters Key people

Public company BSE: 500696 Fast Moving Consumer Goods FMCG) 1933 Mumbai, India Harish Manwani (Chairman), Nitin Paranjpe (CEO and Managing Director) Home & Personal Care, Food & Beverages 17,873.44 crore (US$3.97 billion) (2009-2010) [1] 2,202.03 crore (US$488.85 million) Over 65,000 direct & indirect employees Unilever Plc (52%) www.hul.co.in

Products Revenue Net income Employees Parent Website

History of HUL In the summer of 1888, visitors to the Kolkata harbor noticed crates full of

Sunlight soap bars, embossed with the words Made in England by Lever Brothers". With it began an era of marketing branded Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG). Soon after followed Lifebuoy in 1895 and other famous brands like Pears, Lux and Vim. Vanaspati was launched in 1918 and the famous Dalda brand came to the market in 1937. In 1931, Unilever set up its first Indian subsidiary, Hindustan Vanaspati Manufacturing Company, followed by Lever Brothers India Limited (1933) and United Traders Limited (1935). These three companies merged to form HUL in November 1956; HUL offered 10% of its equity to the Indian public, being the first among the foreign subsidiaries to do so. Unilever now holds 52.10% equity in the company. The rest of the shareholding is distributed among about 360,675 individual shareholders and financial institutions. The erstwhile Brooke Bond's presence in India dates back to 1900. By 1903, the company had launched Red Label tea in the country. In 1912, Brooke Bond & Co. India Limited was formed. Brooke Bond joined the Unilever fold in 1984 through an international acquisition. The erstwhile Lipton's links with India were forged in 1898. Unilever acquired Lipton in 1972 and in 1977 Lipton Tea (India) Limited was incorporated. Pond's (India) Limited had been present in India since 1947. It joined the Unilever fold through an international acquisition of Chesebrough Pond's USA in 1986. Since the very early years, HUL has vigorously responded to the stimulus of economic growth. The growth process has been accompanied by judicious diversification, always in line with Indian opinions and aspirations. The Liberalization of the Indian economy, started in 1991, clearly marked an inflexion in HUL's and the Group's growth curve. Removal of the regulatory framework allowed the company to explore every single product and opportunity segment, without any constraints on production capacity. Simultaneously, deregulation permitted alliances, acquisitions and mergers. In one of the most visible and talked about events of India's corporate history, the erstwhile Tata Oil Mills Company (TOMCO) merged with HUL, effective from April 1, 1993. In 1996, HUL and yet 5

another Tata company, Lakme Limited, formed a 50:50 joint venture, Lakme Unilever Limited, to market Lakme's market-leading cosmetics and other appropriate products of both the companies. Subsequently in 1998, Lakme Limited sold its brands to HUL and divested its 50% stake in the joint venture to the company. HUL formed a 50-50 joint venture with the US-based Kimberly Clark Corporation in 1994, Kimberly-Clark Lever Ltd, which markets Huggies Diapers and Kotex Sanitary Pads. HUL has also set up a subsidiary in Nepal, Unilever Nepal Limited (UNL), and its factory represents the largest manufacturing investment in the Himalayan kingdom. The UNL factory manufactures HUL's products like Soaps, Detergents and Personal Products both for the domestic market and exports to India. The 1990s also witnessed a string of crucial mergers, acquisitions and alliances on the Foods and Beverages front. In 1992, the erstwhile Brooke Bond acquired Kothari General Foods, with significant interests in Instant Coffee. In 1993, it acquired the Kissan business from the UB Group and the Dollops Ice-cream business from Cadbury India. As a measure of backward integration, Tea Estates and Doom Dooma, two plantation companies of Unilever, were merged with Brooke Bond. Then in 1994, Brooke Bond India and Lipton India merged to form Brooke Bond Lipton India Limited (BBLIL), enabling greater focus and ensuring synergy in the traditional Beverages business. 1994 witnessed BBLIL launching the Wall's range of Frozen Desserts. By the end of the year, the company entered into a strategic alliance with the Kwality Ice-cream Group families and in 1995 the Milk-food 100% Ice-cream marketing and distribution rights too were acquired. Finally, BBLIL merged with HUL, with effect from January 1, 1996. The internal restructuring culminated in the merger of Pond's (India) Limited (PIL) with HUL in 1998. The two companies had significant overlaps in Personal Products, Specialty Chemicals and Exports businesses, besides a common distribution system since 1993 for Personal Products. The two also had a common management pool and a technology base. The amalgamation was done to ensure for the Group, benefits from scale economies both in domestic and export markets and enable it to fund investments required for aggressively building new categories. In January 2000, in a historic step, the government decided to award 74 per cent equity in Modern Foods to HUL, thereby beginning the divestment of government equity in public sector undertakings (PSU) to private sector partners. HUL's entry into Bread is a strategic extension of the company's wheat business. In 2002, HUL acquired the government's remaining stake in Modern Foods. In 2003, HUL acquired the Cooked Shrimp and Pasteurised Crabmeat business of the Amalgam Group of Companies, a leader in value added Marine Products exports.

HUL launched a slew of new business initiatives in the early part of 2000s. Project Shakti was started in 2001. It is a rural initiative that targets small villages populated by less than 5000 individuals. It is a unique win-win initiative that catalyses rural affluence even as it benefits business. Currently, there are over 45,000 Shakti entrepreneurs covering over 100,000 villages across 15 states and reaching to over 3 million homes. In 2002 in 2002, HUL made its foray into Ayurvedic health & beauty centre category with the Ayush product range and Ayush Therapy Centres. Hindustan Unilever Network, Direct to home business was launched in 2003 and this was followed by the launch of Pure-it water purifier in 2004. In 2007, the Company name was formally changed to Hindustan Unilever Limited after receiving the approval of share holders during the 74th AGM on 18 May 2007. Brooke Bond and Surf Excel breached the the Rs 1,000 crore sales mark the same year followed by Wheel which crossed the Rs.2,000 crore sales milestone in 2008. On 17th October 2008, HUL completed 75 years of corporate existence in India

Hindustan Unilever Limited (abbreviated to HUL), formerly Hindustan Lever Limited, is India's largest consumer products company and was formed in 1933 as Lever Brothers India Limited. It is currently headquartered in Mumbai, India and its 41,000 employees are headed by Harish Manwani, the non-executive chairman of the board. HUL is the market leader in Indian products such as tea, soaps, detergents, as its products have become daily household name in India. The Anglo-Dutch company Unilever owns a majority stake in Hindustan Unilever Limited. The company was renamed in late June 2007 to "Hindustan Unilever Limited" to provide the optimum balance between maintaining the heritage of the Company and the future benefits and synergies of global alignment with the corporate name of "Unilever". Hindustan Unilever Limited (HUL) is India's largest fast moving consumer goods company, with leadership in Home & Personal Care Products and Foods & Beverages. HUL's brands, spread across 20 distinct consumer categories, touch the lives of two out of three Indians. They endow the company with a scale of combined volumes of about 4 million tones and sales of Rs.13,718 crores. MISSION Unilever's mission is to add Vitality to life. Meet everyday needs for nutrition, hygiene, and personal care with brands that help people feel good, look good and get more out of life. It is a mission HUL shares with its parent company, Unilever, which holds 52.10% of the equity. A Fortune 500 transnational, Unilever sells Foods and Home and Personal Care brands in about 100 countries worldwide. ORIGIN In the summer of 1888, visitors to the Kolkata harbor noticed crates full of Sunlight soap bars, embossed with the words "Made in England by Lever Brothers". With it began an era of marketing branded Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG). Soon after followed Lifebuoy in 1895 and other famous brands like Pears, Lux and Vim. Vanaspati was launched in 1918 and the famous Dalda brand came to the market in 1937. In 1931, Unilever set up its first Indian subsidiary, Hindustan Vanaspati Manufacturing Company, followed by Lever Brothers India Limited (1933) and United Traders Limited (1935). These three companies merged to form HUL in November 1956; HUL offered 10% of its equity 8

to the Indian public, being the first among the foreign subsidiaries to do so. Unilever now holds 52.10% equity in the company. The rest of the shareholding is distributed among about 360,675 individual shareholders and financial institutions. MANAGEMENT STRUCTURE Hindustan Unilever Limited is India's largest Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) Company. It is present in Home & Personal Care and Foods & Beverages categories. HUL and Group companies have about 15,000 employees, including 1200 managers. The fundamental principle determining the organization structure is to infuse speed and flexibility in decision-making and implementation, with empowered managers across the companys nationwide operations. BOARD The Board of Directors as repositories of the corporate powers act as a guardian to the Company as also the protectors of shareholders interest. This Apex body comprises of a Non- Executive Chairman, four whole time Directors and five independent Non Executive Directors. The Board of the Company represents the optimum mix of professionalism, knowledge and experience. Management Committee The day-to-day management of affairs of the Company is vested with the Management Committee which is subjected to the overall superintendence and control of the Board. The Management Committee is headed by Mr. Nitin Paranjpe and has functional heads as its members representing various functions of the Company.

HUL has produced numerous business leaders for corporate India. It is referred to as a 'CEO Factory' in the Indian press for the same reasons. It's leadership building potential was recognized when it was ranked 4th in the Hewitt Global Leadership Survey 2007 with only GE, P&G and Nokia ranking ahead of HUL in the ability to churn out leaders with regularity.

HOME AND PERSONAL CARE Lux Lifebuoy Liril Hamam Breeze Dove Pears Rexona

Surf Excel Rin Wheel

Fair & Lovely Pond's Vaseline Aviance

Sunsilk Naturals Clinic

Pepsodent Closeup

Axe Rexona




Brooke Bond Lipton

Brooke Bond Bru

Kissan Annapurna Knorr

Kwality Wall's

Pure it The world's most advanced in-home water purifier


I KALPESH PATEL of IITM has chosen the topic to study the Products Of Hindustan Unilever Ltd (HUL) and to study,

Consumer buying behavior Consumer response, Consumer perception, and Brand image in the eyes of consumers Marketing leaders Interest of consumers



Hindustan Unilever Limited is the Indian arm of the Anglo-Dutch company Unilever. Both Unilever and HUL have established themselves well in the Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) category. In India, the company offers many households brands like, Dove, Lifebuoy, Lipton, Lux, Pepsodent, Ponds, Rexona, Sunsilk, Surf, Vaseline etc. Some of its efforts were also rewarded when four of HUL brands found place in the Top 10 brands list for the year 2008 published in The Economic Times. Unilever was a result of the merger between the Dutch margarine company, Margarine Unie, and the British soap-maker, Lever Brothers, way back in 1930. For 70 years, Unilever was the undisputed market leader but now faces tough competition from Proctor & Gamble and ColgatePalmolive. HUL is also known for its strong distribution network in India. In order to further strengthen its distribution in the rural areas and to empower the local women, HUL launched a Project Shakti in 2000 in a district in Andhra Pradesh. The idea behind this project was to create women entrepreneurs and provide them with micro-credit and training in enterprise management, which would enable them to create self- help groups and become direct-to-home distributors of HUL products. Today Project Shakti is present across 80,000 villages in 15 states and is helping many underprivileged women earn their livelihood. As the per-capita income of India is increasing along with the Indian population. So, the future for the FMCG Companies is bright. To analysis the past performance & the future demand of HUL, FMCG products we have considered following points: We have a listed the different FMCG product lines of HUL. We have done competitors analysis in which the market share of top FMCG companies are analysed & the market share of HULS different categories product are analyzed with comparison to its competitors. Then performance analysis is made by taking 10 year financial data from 1998-2007. The profit & sales growth is analyzed we have done SWOT analysis to know the threat & opportunities of HUL in present market. The future opportunities for FMCG products are taken into consideration by analyzing the increased per capita income & increased disposable income to forecast the future demand of HUL.


SWOT ANALYSIS STRENGTHS Hindustan Unilever Limited (HUL) is India's largest Fast Moving Consumer Goods Company, touching the lives of two out of three Indians with over 20 distinct categories in Home & Personal Care Products and Foods & Beverages... Due to its long presence in India has deep penetration 20 consumer product category, over 15,000 employees, including over 1,300 managers, is to "add vitality to life." The company derives 44.3% of its revenues from soaps and detergents, 26.6% from personal care products, 10.5% from beverages, and the rest from foods, ice creams, exports, and other products. Low cost of production due to economic of scale. That means higher profits and / or more competitioners. Better market penetration. HUL is also one of the country's largest exporters; it has been recognized as a Golden Super Star Trading House by the Government of India.

Weakness Strong competitors and availability of substitute products Low export levels High price of some products High advertising cost

Opportunities Increasing per capita national income resulting in higher disposable income. Growing middle class and growing urban population. Increasing gifts cultures. Increasing departmental stores concept impulse @ at cash counters. 13


Threats HUL's tea business has declined marginally; reason is that, cost pressure is likely due to rising crude and freight costs. Tax and regulatory structure. Mimic of brands. Removal of import restrictions resulting in replacing of domestic brands. Temporary slowdown in economy can have an impact on FMCG in Industry.


The main objective of this project is to find, what are the steps Hindustan Unilever Ltd. is adapting to be market leader and to differentiate itself from its competitors. What is the steps company is utilizing to find current trend in the market. To study various brands of HUL To study the competitive brands in the market of ,home care products,. food brands, personal care products To find the market share of the HUL brands and its competitive brands. To determine the key areas of strength and weakness for HUL brands To develop a promotion plan for brand communication of the HUL To study various marketing strategies of huL



There is large no. of FMCG companies in the market, to find the defining strategies used, the methodology used is interview and survey method. Data Collection Method: For this research study, primary data as well as secondary data was collected Primary Data has been collected through personal contact. For this purpose both questionnaire and one-on-one interview was considered with the consumers, shop owners and distributors & suppliers of the company. Secondary data has collected from magazines, newspaper, company literature and websites. Data analysis: Analyzing codes to each question were awarded. Thereafter which aws written and than analysed MAJOR FINDINGS Major competitors 1. Dabur 2. Jhandu 3. Johnson &Johnson 4. Cavin Care 5.Procter & Gamble 6. Britannia 7. ITC 8. Gillette



Following steps where taken in to consideration, to identify the research problem-

1. Informal investigation Visit to the shop owners, talked to the distributors and to the consumers in the locality and surrounding areas. 2. External and Internal Analysis Understanding customer problem Understanding the market structure 3. Situational Analysis Tastes & preferences Needs & income Major Competitors ITC Dabur Procter & Gamble Cavin Care Amul Johnson & Johnson, etc A Compressive study of Secondary and Primary data (Informal Interviews) was collected through specific questionnaires for people and shop-owners & distributors. SAMPLING TECHNIQUE For my survey I used Cluster Sampling technique. I selected a sample of 100 people around the area and interviewed them according to the questionnaire. In the survey I tried to find out their preferences & tastes, their purchasing habit, are they brand loyal or they consider their friends advice or some reference group duringpurchasing. I also tried to find out that are they satisfied with the quality or present stature of product, did they want any change in the existing product.


I also interviewed some of the shop owner and distributors and try to find out what the company is doing to sustain their customer and what new changes they are bringing in their product to gain competitive advantage from other competitors RESEARCH INSTRUMENT Research instruments, for the purpose of primary data collection were Questionnaires. The Questionnaires were designed in two sets, one is for customers and another is for shop-owners and distributors. The first set is to find out about the needs and preferences of the customers and what they want from in the product and also the level of knowledge about different products in the market. Second set is all about what are the steps company are taking to get about the information about he changing preferences in the taste and needs of the customers and what company is doing to sustain their market position as well as to tap new market. DATA ANALYSIS For the analysis of data collected through survey work, a series of steps were followed which are given in a chronological order Each question of the questionnaire was assigned codes (coding) Each questionnaire was punched into ms-excel sheet thus forming a data base (punching) Further the data was analyzed by using diagrams, graphs, charts etc. The graphic rating scale and ranking method was used to measure the response and attitude of the customer. Finally, an effort was made to extract meaningful information from analyzed data, which acted as a base for the recommendations




19% 34% 4% 6% 8% hul itc nestle britania dabur 29% others

In the above pie charts we see the position of various FMCG companies doing business in India. We can see that HUL is enjoying the position of market leader and is following by ITC as close second in the market share of FMCG products.



80 70 60 50 40 37.5 30 20 10 0 13.6 9.7 23.7 14.5 8.7 7.4 3.4 22.7 20.8 54.3 57.3 54.5 47.8 44 39.1 hul competition market share 69.7 67.5

As mentioned in the above graph ,hul is enjoying the leader position in the market and is having highest market share which are followed by the market challengers like dabur India ltd , nestle,itc etc. in different categories of fmcg products like shampoos deos, coffee, dish wash etc.


60 48.8


40 29.5 30.3 28.1 hul competition market share 20



0 toothpaste ketchups


In some category market challengers are giving high level competition in different product lines such as ketchup and tooth paste. So we can see that in overall FMCG business HUL is distantly ahead of rest of the companies as far as market share of different product are concerned


19.40% 13.60%




PORTFOLIO STRADDLING THE PYRAMID ACROSS CATEGORIES Particulars Laundry Soaps Shampoo Skin Toothpaste tea Market size- 2247 1658 542 698 691 1113 $ mln Hul share 37.5% 54.3% 47.8% 54.5% 29.5% 22.7% Nearest 13.6 9.7 23.7 7.4% 48.8% 20.8% competitor

Coffee 177 44.0% 39.1%


38 37.5 37 36.5 36 35.2 LAUNDRY MARKET SHARE 34.5 34 34.1 34.3 34.5 37



32 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009

As mentioned in the above graph, hul is enjoying the leader position in the market and is having high market share in home care products.



70% 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0% MAY JUNE JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC Series 1

As mentioned in the above graph, hul is enjoying the leader position in the market and is having high market share in personal care products. Dove is a global brand and used by millions of customers, due to various innovations made it is becoming famous among teenagers and the sales are constantly increasing. MARKET SHARE OF HINDUSTAN UNILEVER SKIN CARE PRODUCTS


5% 5%


As mentioned in the above graph ,hul is enjoying the leader position in the market and is having high market share in personal care products.nivea and garnier are strong competitors of hul in skin care products to stay ahead it has to do advertisements and give various promotional offers.

FINANCIAL OVERVIEW 2009 REPORTED GROWTH CONTINUING SALES GROWTH EBIT/SALES% EBIT GROWTH OPERATING CASH FLOW 13.3% 13.5% 14.4% 15.4% 2008 9.4% 10.0% 14.1% 16.2% $365MN 2007 11.4% 11.5% 13.3% 1.1% $489MN



14 12 10 8 6 4 2 0 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 SALES GROWTH%



19.30% 15.50% 13.20%



14.70% 13.30%

14.10% 14.40% Series 1



0.00% 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009



25.00% 21.40%

20.00% 18.30% 15.00% 14.60%

19.70% 19.90% 15.70% 13.30%


Series 1 10.00%


0.00% 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009


70 62.3 60 50 40.8 40 30 20 10 0 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 Series 1 53.8 52.8 51.8 53 61.1



90 80 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 52.7 53.9 48.4 Series 1 57.2 61.1 68.1 82.8




As it is obvious from the study the products of HUL have approached the high water mark of sale in the global consumer market. However, there are genuine reasons to observe that they have yet to attain the cutting edge status on many counts. In this regard a few suggestions can be made to give the required boost to the marketing prospects of HUL products. These can be summed up as follows: An attempt should be made by HUL management to tap all the potentials offered by the global market by devoting a more substantial, efficient and better equipped resource base. This task can be accomplished in the first place by implementing a stronger and more ending distribution channel for various products so that even those sections of consumers who are not accessible so easily, can be covered with greater ease. Efficient infrastructural base coupled with better and more comprehensive advertising strategies should be resorted to; though HUL is presently surfing ahead of others on the path of taking some great initiatives it should be more concerned about it for the purpose of corporate image building. The price structure for various products should be more within the limit of affordability for consumers; the grassroots consideration in this regard should note ignored. Here, the policy of loco-centric rather than uniform price structure would certainly be more advantageous. HUL should go for more planned and sensible marketing and advertising strategies with a view to accomplishing the task of global brand image buildings. Hyper marketing and retailing network should get special attention as vital components of HULs marketing policy


In recent years, the FMCG sector declined due to down trading. Also because of presence of large number of companies trying to seize this opportunity, this force the old HUL for the change and thus, their transformation has resulted in a new HUL, which has successfully faced this challenge and reversed this trend. It has done so by substantially strengthening their brands and building capabilities. This has already begun to yield benefits and they are returning to growth. Volume growth is being followed by value growth, which in turn is bringing profit growth. India is one of the most exciting markets offering great potential. Over the next 10 years, the per capita income in India is likely to double. In FMCG, there is an opportunity to catalyze penetration, increase usage, and upgrade consumers. As a result, the FMCG market is expected to grow to over Rs.100,000 cores from its current base of Rs.40,000 crores. The new Hindustan Lever see an exciting opportunity for growth. They have 35 powerful brands covering all segments, with leading market positions in most. Today, these are stronger and more relevant to the consumer than ever. The people are energized by the scale of the opportunity and determined to seize it. The scale of the business and operations gives them the resources needed. They are delivering good services and the changes they brought in the products are well taken by the customers, by this they are generating sustainable profitable growth


LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY In attempt to make this project authentic and reliable, every possible aspect of the topic was kept in mind. Nevertheless, despite of fact constraints were at play during the formulation of this project. The main limitations are as follows: Due to limitation of time only few people were selected for the study. So the sample of consumers was not enough to generalize the findings of the study. The main source of data for the study was primary data with the help of selfadministered questionnaires. Hence, the chances of unbiased information are less. People were hesitant to disclose the true facts. The chance of biased response cant be eliminated though all necessary steps were taken to avoid the same.


WEBSITES www.hul.co.in www.fmcg.com www.economictimes.com

BOOKS Kothari ,CR, research methodology Philip kotler, marketing management






Q1) Do you use FMCG products? Yes -----No -----Q2) Which brand of FMCG products do you use? Hindustan Unilever -------P &G -------Nivea --------Others -------Q3) where do you buy FMCG products from? Super stores --------Retail Stores --------Others --------

Bathing soaps -----Skin care ------Foods -------Deodorants -------Others -------Q5) Do you think Hindustan Unilevers product is easily available in market? Yes -----No ------


Q6) During purchase what in influence your purchase? Price -------Quality ------Packaging -------Experience ------Influence by others -------Q7) Describe Hindustan Unilever in one word? --------------------------------------------------8. Your comments on Hindustan Unilevers product? ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------