ITC Chairman Y. C. Deveshwar, on Friday, exhorted the corporate sector to advance their investment plans so as to improve sentiment. He said that ITC had created a Rs.25,000-crore investment programme over the next five to seven years, and was trying to advance it to help stimulate the economy. While these investments will come through 40 projects in the existing segments of hotels, paper and FMCG, the company is also eyeing the wellness segment. About Rs.2,700 crore investment is in pipeline in the existing sectors.
He said that for ITC, while funds were not likely to be a problem in implementing the investment plan, execution was a major hurdle. “We have created a central projects outfit, for improving our execution record. There is no dearth of finance, but getting clearances and our own efficiency in implementation are the hurdles,” he admitted.
He said that the company was planning an investment of around Rs.500 crore in West Bengal to set up a foods factory and a logistic hub. Two plots of land have been obtained in Howrah district (across the city). “We plan to start work this year,” he said.
Mr. Deveshwar said that segment revenues of ITC’s new businesses were growing at a faster clip than its traditional businesses, touching a Rs.5,000 crore turnover in a short time. This is expected to triple in the next five to seven years. He said that ITC had created multiple brands whose value would be an estimated Rs.18,000 crore.
On entry into the wellness segment, the ITC chairman said that 200 scientists were working to create a ‘nutritional intervention’ to address the three most common maladies found among Indians — cardiovascular, diabetes and cognition. He, however, declined to divulge any further details.
On plans to enter the dairy business announced earlier, he said that this was linked to the CSR initiatives of ITC where animal husbandry projects were initiated. To utilise the milk, ITC was now planning an investment of around Rs.500 crore. The first project may be in Munger in Bihar.