Only a handful of enterprises in the world have traversed a 100-year journey and still managed to remain contemporary and competitive with the changing trends and consumer demands. The transformation from a small outpost of an overseas-owned company with a single product to one of India’s most valuable and admired multi-dimensional and multi-business enterprises, ITC has been able to achieve milestones due to its aim to bring collective growth to the nation and its stakeholders. Today, in the Hunger Packs “Vocal for Local” edits we bring to you the inspirational story of an Indian conglomerate and its journey to becoming one of the most trusted brands of India.
Incorporated on August 24th, 1910, under the name Imperial Tobacco Company of India Limited, the name of the Company was changed twice before it was finally named I.T.C. Limited in 1974. ITC Limited now has a meaningful presence in all the three sectors (Agriculture, Services and Manufacturing) with products in 20+ categories with over 1,500+ variants.
ITC started venturing into multiple businesses other than Cigarettes and Leaf Tobacco by starting ITC’s Packaging & Printing Business in 1925, Hospitality in 1975, Paperboards and Speciality papers in 1979, Agribusiness in 1990, Lifestyle and IT in 2000.
With the Lifestyle and IT businesses just beginning to make their presence felt, ITC jumped into the branded packaged food industry in 2001, with offerings such as Kitchens of India. Since then, ITC has managed to grow in the FMCG Foods business to a significant size under numerous distinctive brands, with an enviable distribution reach, a rapidly growing market share and a solid market standing.
With Assets worth 71,000 Cr in 2019, ITC already exports its products to North America, Europe, APAC, Middle East and Africa. In addition to this, the Agribusiness vertical which was established by ITC in 1990 had been the most promising contributor to the “Make in India initiative” for a really long time and will play an essential role in achieving the Going Global initiative as well.
ITC has witnessed continued growth momentum ensured by the sustained leadership in the cigarettes business and rapid ramp-up of non-cigarettes portfolio. The latest launch of the packaged Lassi in Kolkata under the Aashirvaad Svasti brand is one such example. Priced at Rs 10 for a 160ml pack, the product is set to compete with Amul and several other national and regional brands in Kolkata.
As a step to keep ahead of their competition, ITC started working on its D2C strategy consisting of itcstore.in and food trucks. By partnering with companies like Agzo, My gate and many more under their initiative Store on Wheels to ensure last-mile delivery of products to users in over 6 states In India.
In addition to this, ITC ltd. is also set to bring low priced units in almost every category in India owing to the changing consumer demands during the pandemic. The launch of Savlon hand sanitizers in sachet for 50 p is the first step taken in reference with their move. In accordance with their primary focus to drive demand and grow consumer franchise, such a step was necessary as a result of the reduced buying capacity of an average Indian.
In one of the recent acquisition deals, ITC acquired Kolkata based spice manufacturer Sunrise Foods Private Ltd. on 23rd May, in a move to cement its position in the FMCG market and in alignment with the ITC’s aspiration to significantly scale up its spices business. Moreover, it will not only support the spices under the Aashirvaad brand but will help to strengthen the hold of ITC in the east when it comes to their spices portfolio.
ITC Ltd. over the last 100 years has shown to lead the Indian dream from the front while personifying the ‘vocal for local’ spirit. It is a classic example of how innovation and agility can build inspirational companies and journeys for others to follow.
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