Outlook Spotlight

ITC Is Transforming Into A FutureTech, Climate Positive, Innovative And Inclusive Enterprise – Sanjiv Puri

In the Company’s 112th AGM address Mr. Sanjiv Puri, Chairman and Managing Director, ITC Ltd, shared his Vision on ITC: Nation First - Transforming for our Shared Tomorrows.

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Mr. Sanjiv Puri, Chairman and Managing Director, ITC Ltd
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ITC has taken decisive strides to transform into a FutureTech, Climate Positive, Innovative and Inclusive enterprise. We recognise that this journey will be traversed in an era of unprecedented uncertainties, making it mission critical to be extremely agile, consumer-centric, competitive and resilient. 

Future Tech

ITC’s vision to be a FutureTech company is powered by ‘Mission DigiArc’a next-generation smart digital architecture. The DigiArc ecosystem today encompasses 200 factories, 50 warehouses, nearly 3,000 distributors and 2.6 million retailers driving real-time, data-led intelligence across the extended enterprise. Embedded with cutting-edge technologies in AI/ML together with Centres of Excellence in Industry 4.0, Advanced Analytics and Data Sciences as well as the 6th Sense Marketing Command Centre, DigiArc empowers mainstreaming of the digital-first culture to create new sources of competitive advantage. 

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Innovative

The ITC Next strategy for ITC’s FMCG Businesses has redefined the critical pathways to growth and profitability by building a future-ready portfolio focused on fortifying and scaling mega brands, leveraging these brands to address value-added adjacencies and crafting categories of the future. Innovation, brand investments, reach and digitalisation are driving premiumisation as well as penetration-led growth.

Over the past 3 years, nearly 300 new products were launched, including several premium products, leveraging the innovation capacity of ITC’s Life Sciences & Technology Centre. Some recent examples include: ‘Sunfeast Dark Fantasy’ Desserts, 'Engage L'amante', ‘Classmate Interaktiv’ notebooks and so on. Mega brands are also addressing adjacencies such as ‘Aashirvaad’ range of frozen breads, vermicelli, fresh paneer slices and ‘Sunfeast Dark Fantasy’ milkshakes.

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New vectors of growth are being nurtured at the convergence of mega trends in digital and sustainability, harnessing ITC’s enterprise strengths. ITCMAARS, Sustainable Packaging and FoodTech are vectors born out of this approach. FoodTech synergises ITC’s strengths in Foods, Hotels and Digital. Having established the product-market fit successfully in Bengaluru with 3 brands - ‘ITC Master Chef Creations’, ‘ITC Aashirvaad Soul Creations’ and ‘ITC Sunfeast Baked Creations’ - delivered through 19 cloud kitchens, we are now gearing up to take the offering to other cities. I will touch upon the other vectors later in this address.

Climate Positive

Recognising the need to comprehensively address the challenge of global warming, a climate risk modelling exercise using advanced analytics was undertaken at a pan ITC level, which was subsequently followed up with site-specific and agri value chain-specific assessments so as to sharp target adaptation actions. Based on such studies, appropriate site-specific interventions are being progressed. 

To build resilience against the growing threat of extreme weather events, ITC has initiated several purposeful adaptation measures to secure physical infrastructure and de-risk agri-value chains. Given the deep linkages of ITC’s businesses to agriculture, we have invested substantially in pursuing adaptation through innovative nature-based solutions in view of its effectiveness in building resilience of farming and rural communities. These include Afforestation, Biodiversity, CSA and Water Stewardship. The Afforestation initiative today sequesters nearly 6 million tonnes of CO2e annually. ITC’s Biodiversity Conservation initiatives have restored over 2,90,000 acres in 12 States and we intend to cover 1 million acres by 2030. Under the Water Stewardship Initiatives, the Integrated Watershed Development Programme has covered over 1.4 million acres with 28,000 water harvesting structures. The demand-side management programme undertaken in 1.2 million acres, has led to water savings potential of 780 million kilo litres. ITC has now embarked upon an ambitious plan of achieving water positive status at river basin level that will also benefit local ecosystems. The success achieved in making the Ghod river basin water positive in a span of 5 years has emboldened us to implement 4 more such river regeneration projects. ITC has also committed to pursuing Alliance for Water Stewardship (AWS) certification for all high water stressed sites by 2035. Recently, ITC’s unit at Malur has become Asia’s first food factory to be awarded the AWS Platinum level certification, which follows a similar achievement for our Paperboards Unit in Kovai.

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ITC has made tremendous progress on decarbonisation. Despite a growing operational footprint, nearly 43% of ITC’s total energy consumption is from renewable sources. Investments in solar, wind and biofuels have contributed to an installed capacity of 178 MW. ITC is also a pioneer in the green building movement with 49 LEED certified buildings. Contributing to Circularity, ITC has been plastic neutral for the 2nd consecutive year. ITC remains committed to developing newer technology pathways. Towards this end, partnerships are being forged with leading research organisations to develop viable energy storage systems, decarbonise cold chains and improve prediction modelling for generation of renewable energy.

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Inclusive

Over the years, ITC has implemented an impactful Social Investments Programme to catalyse gainful livelihood opportunities for rural communities through a two-horizon approach. Horizon-1 focus es on strengthening current livelihoods of communities, primarily in agriculture and allied sector whilst Horizon-2 builds capabilities for a better tomorrow. Interventions in areas such as primary education, vocational training, women empowerment, healthcare and others have been progressively scaled up over the years with a transformative impact on the ground. Pursuing our Diversity and Inclusion goals, it is heartening that our recent state-of-the-art ICMLs employ a majority of women, ranging between 50-75% of the total workforce.

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Disclaimer: The above is a sponsored post, the views expressed are those of the sponsor/author and do not represent the stand and views of Outlook Editorial.

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