Master of Business Administration

Faculty / School

Faculty of Business Administration (FBA)


Syed Akhtar Mahmud, Visiting Faculty, Department of Marketing

Committee Member 1

Mr. Akhtar Mahmud, Professor, Business Administration - Academic Affairs, Institute of Business Administration (IBA), Karachi

Project Type

MBA Research Project

Keywords">Market sensing research, General trade, Disruption, Store’s layout, Unilever, Buying behavior

Abstract / Summary

  • Market sensing research was conducted for Karachi General Trade retail segment with regards to Unilever’s brands’ in-store visibility and its performance.
  • Secondary research comprising a suitable conceptual model was adopted from a certified journal article which formed the backbone of the primary research framework.
  • Secondary research comprising three suitable case studies from India were studied for their relative pros and cons served as a starting point in developing the recommendations to the company.
  • Primary research consisted of detailed face to face interview with Karachi General Trade retailers and our own observations.
  • Interviews were conducted with respect to how the retail marketing mix (Product, Price, Personnel, Promotion, Presentation and Location) affected store format.
  • Sample size of 70 shops was covered across the six districts of Karachi.
  • Statistical hierarchal analysis and two step clustering was conducted on SPSS software which showed two different impacts of the retailing mix on store format.
  • All variables of retailing mix were found to have significant impact, except variables of ‘Service’.
  • The sample of 70 shops was broken into two distinct clusters which were named as – ‘Low Price’ and ‘Old Fashioned’ according to their nature and characteristics.
  • In 39 stores, prices of Unilever brands was found to be less than the competitors’ prices. In 26 stores it was equal to competition, while in 5 stores it was more than competition.
  • Promotional activities were little or no in 7 stores; moderate in 22 stores while high in 41 stores.
  • Out of approximately 22 total brands in Unilever’s portfolio, in 13 stores only 0-5 brands of Unilever were available, while in 18 stores there were 6-10 brands and in 39 stores there were more than 10 brands available.
  • Low Price cluster constituted 42 out of 70 shops with sizes ranging between 100 to 200 sq. In these stores more than 10 Unilever brands were available with high promotional activity.
  • Old Fashioned cluster constituted 28 out of 70 stores with sizes up to 100 sq. ft. In these stores Unilever’s brands were less than 10 with little or no promotional activities.
  • Other than the statistical findings some observational findings like weak distribution network etc. were found to further impact the case in hand.
  • After extensive research and discussion with third party agency, four new disruptive POS display tools for Unilever in the GT are suggested which aim to rectify the problems highlighted during this research. (Protruding Adjustable Talker, Utility Counter Top, Sachet Dispenser, Floor paintings)

Available for download on Saturday, December 05, 2026