NEW DELHI: ITC Ltd has chalked out an “extensive strategy” to win the post-pandemic future, according to Chairman and Managing Director Sanjiv Puri.
Addressing its 110th Annual General Meeting (AGM), Puri said that the company plans to tap into newer opportunities across businesses with a strong focus on digital and sustainability — the two defining trends of the new normal.“As a core element of the ITC Next strategy, your company will continue to explore opportunities to craft disruptive business models anchored at the intersection of digital and sustainability,” Puri said.
The company has already been stepping up investments in digital and new frontiers are being explored across the entire value-chain ecosystem to add significant impetus to digital marketing, digital commerce, digital products and digital operations.Christened as ITC MAARS or Metamarket for Advanced Agriculture and Rural Services, the conglomerate plans to launch a super app in a bid to provide a robust ‘phygital’ to farmers.“This will lend new wings to ITC e-Choupal, … whilst creating new revenue streams, strengthening sourcing efficiencies and powering ITC’s FMCG brands,” he added.
In the FMCG division, the company is also looking at inorganic opportunities to expand, buoyed by the success of its earlier acquisitions of Savlon, Nimyle and Sunrise Foods. While Savlon (13x growth) and Nimyle (grew 4x) helped it capture the surge in demand in the hygiene and naturals space, Sunrise gave ITC a stronger footing in the branded spices space, especially in underpenetrated markets.
On the pandemic-induced pains, however, Puri said that the possibility of subsequent waves creates near-term uncertainties even as recovery over the last couple of months is encouraging. ITC’s sales through e-commerce channels more than doubled in FY21. Its hotel business is among the worst-hit because of the pandemic. The cigarettes business, Puri said, was severely impacted by the disruptions last year, though it recovered to nearly pre-Covid levels towards the end of the year.