Forked Up: Of ITC’s Overseas Expansion, Hotel Demerger And Farmer ‘Rescues’

Photo by Gabriel Jimenez on Unsplash

ITC is well-known for having its ‘eyes on the prize.’ 

Now, the largest incubator of FMCG brands in India has some serious global ambitions. 

We also smell a hotel room that suggests a ‘demerger.’ 

Meanwhile, the company’s advisory app for farmers called Maars is keeping farmers busy tending to crops. 

Global Bites

The from-tobacco-to-biscuit maker is eyeing the overseas markets to grow its consumer goods segment and increase its revenues. 

Distribution agreements to export to over 60 countries have been signed.

And then, frozen paratha, naan, chapati, and vermicelli have been added to its portfolio to boost exports.

Also, ITC will get a further impetus for exporting biscuits and cakes, snacks, dairy, and ready-to-eat categories, thanks to the recently announced product-linked incentive scheme that outlays Rs.10,900 Cr. 

Shutting Doors

ITC is considering bidding adieu to its hotel business. Chairman Sanjiv Puri cited the conglomerate’s intentions of organizational restructuring and reviving its plans to create an alternative structure for the hotel biz following a recovery in the hospitality industry after Covid-19.

ITC runs the country’s 2nd largest hotel chain with 113 properties – both managed and owned ones. 

Welcomhotel, Mementos, and Storii are the 3 brands that come under its ‘asset-right’ strategy.

We hear that ITC’s cigarette biz volume now is way more than the pre-pandemic level.

FMCG margins have improved as the brands scale up. 

And then, its secret sauce of backend sourcing worked – inflation didn’t hit ITC as much as it hit its competitors.

Taking On MAARS

ITC will also spearhead a super app, ITC MAARS super app to boost its agricultural business. 

The super app will empower farmers by providing them with access to modern tools, the right quality of inputs at the right prices, and market and financial linkages.

This initiative by the conglomerate will help overcome the challenge plaguing the Indian agriculture sector of being “seriously threatened” by climate change.

Too long? Here’s a one-liner: ITC Limited eyes the global market for expansion, considers shutting its hotel business, and spearheads a super app, ‘ITC MAARS’, to help farmers. 

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