The ITC Chairman informed, "Sales through e-commerce channels have more than doubled during the year"
In the recently held AGM of ITC, Chairman and MD Sanjiv Puri, while addressing to the stakeholders mentioned that the organisation has fast-tracked its journey in e-commerce, anticipating the surge in demand for 'contactless shopping' and home delivery. "Sales through e-commerce channels have more than doubled during the year," said Puri. He added, "ITC also strengthened its direct to consumer platform, 'ITC e-Store', reaching consumers in 11 metros."
The ITC e-Store, which currently comprises 800 products across 45+ categories, provides a single platform to showcase the wide array of ITC's product portfolio, besides enabling micro trendspotting and gaining valuable consumer insights. "ITC is also progressively introducing more 'digital first' brands to leverage the growing e-commerce space. During the pandemic, some of company's premium brands such as 'Dermafique' and 'Fiama', were repositioned as 'digital first' brands, receiving encouraging consumer response," informed Puri.
The chairman added, "ITC's digital platforms like the Mangaldeep App have also received immense appreciation, with over 1 million downloads. During the pandemic, when devotees, especially elders, could not visit temples, Mangaldeep initiated a first-of-its-kind series of live digital pujas with large participation. In addition, Classmateshop.com offers mass personalisation of notebook covers as a first-to-market initiative."
While the disruptions caused by the pandemic initially impacted some segments such as Cigarettes, Hotels, Education and Stationery Products, Puri said, ITC pivoted "smartly" to address the dynamic operating environment with speed and agility and staged a resilient recovery during the latter part of the year. Gross Revenue and Profit After Tax for FY 21 stood at over Rs 48,000 crores and Rs. 13,000 crores respectively. "In a way, the pandemic stress-tested and validated the robustness of the 'strategy reset' and structural interventions that ITC had embarked upon in recent years to sharpen competitiveness and shape a new future," said Puri.
He informed, as a part of the ITC Next strategy, the organisation will continue to explore opportunities to craft "disruptive business models anchored at the intersection of Digital and Sustainability, the two defining trends in the 'new normal', leveraging its institutional strengths."
ITC had acquired Savlon from Johnson & Johnson 2015 and Puri informed, since then, Savlon has progressively grown 13x. Another acquisition, a neem-based natural floor cleaner - Nimyle has grown by nearly 4x. "To address evolving consumer needs for a variety of healthy, tasty and preservative-free snacks, ITC launched a delectable range of frozen snacks under the 'ITC Master Chef' brand, leveraging the cuisine expertise resident in ITC Hotels with availability being extended to 100 new markets. As consumers exercise increasing preference for trusted brands, ITC's brands such as 'Aashirvaad', 'Sunfeast' among others, are well poised to address market opportunities."
More recently, ITC acquired Sunrise Foods Pvt Ltd. market leader in eastern India. Puri was upbeat about the acquisition. "'Sunrise' has a brand legacy of over 70 years. This acquisition will enable ITC to address the growing opportunities in branded spices in underpenetrated markets. The company will continue to evaluate such value accretive inorganic opportunities as an additional pillar of growth," said Puri, sparking speculations over more acquisitions.
While talking about the Agri business, Puri announced that ITC will launch a Super App during the year, called ITC-MAARS or Metamarket for Advanced Agriculture and Rural Services. "ITC-MAARS will lend new wings to ITC e-Choupal and create a robust 'phygital' eco-system to deliver seamless customised solutions to farmers, anchored by FPOs, whilst creating new revenue streams, strengthening sourcing efficiencies and powering the company's world-class Indian brands," said the chairman.
He added, leveraging cutting-edge technologies, ITC-MAARS will offer a full complement of agricultural solutions while its micro-services structure will enable plug-in by a range of 'ag-tech solutions'.