Companies

ITC eyes acquisitions in FMCG space

Abhishek Law Kolkata | Updated on July 12, 2019 Published on July 12, 2019

Sanjiv Puri, Chairman & Managing Director, ITC (File photo)   -  Debasish Bhaduri

It is also investing in start-ups

Diversified conglomerate, ITC Ltd, is open to acquisitions as it looks to grow in the FMCG space. The conglomerate is also engaging with and investing in start-ups, its Chairman, Sanjiv Puri, said.

Speaking at the Annual General Meeting of then company, Puri said, “around” 25 per cent of the company’s revenue comes from “newer FMCG businesses”. In order to accelerate growth, ITC plans to “fortify the existing categories”.

“This would he supported by multi-dimensional investments as also strategic opportunities for acquisitions,” he said during the Chairman’s speech.

Around 50 products were launched last year to strengthen its presence in existing categories and enter new segments.

“A strong pipeline of products is constantly being readied for progressive launch,” Puri added.

Presence in value-added products are being expanded while “attribute-specific” products like high curcumin turmeric, low-sugar potato and organic pulp is being marketed. Wax-free apples are also being promoted.

Investment and Innovation

Puri further added that the company’s Life Sciences and Technology Centre (LSTC) has been mandated to develop future ready products and processes. Around 830 patents have already been filed.

“Your company (ITC) is engaging with start-up ecosystem and where appropriate making investments,” he said.

This apart, the LSTC has been instrumental helping developing a range of ‘health and wellness products’ that include offerings under the ‘Aashirvaad Nature’s Super Food’ brand. Offerings include ragi flour, multi millet mix and gluten free flour.

The company, is also in the process of building a ‘bamboo to agarbatti value chain’ anchored by the Mangaldeep brand. This will reduce imports and also create livelihoods for promoting bamboo cultivation in the country, Puri said.

An all-women nursery in Tripura has been set up and “it can be replicated in other states” where such plantations are feasible.

“Currently 180 billion bamboo sticks are imported to India for the agarbatti industry. Substitution of bamboo imports with domestic cultivation has the potential to generate employment opportunities of around 22 million person days per annum, translating to additional farmer income of around ₹1300 crore,” he said.

Published on July 12, 2019
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