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ITC gears up for 'next normal'

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<div>In his AGM address on Friday, Sanjiv Puri, Chairman, ITC Limited, outlined the top strategic priorities in preparing for the 'next normal' and reimagining the future for ITC during the unprecedented times.

ITC Chairman also reiterated its resolve to support an Atmanirbhar Bharat, as well as the company's superordinate national purpose to create larger value for the country and its stakeholders.

He said reimagining the future will encompass three distinct phases which will co-exist in the journey ahead.

First, a 'survival' phase as corporates brace to manage the current crisis. Second, a 'reboot' phase as businesses align to the new normal with certain segments experiencing demand destruction, some new trends emerging whilst several pre-crisis trends gain accelerated pace.

Third, as the crisis ebbs, corporates will have to gear up for the 'next normal' with some trends moderating, some remaining at an elevated level, certain segments witnessing recovery, whilst new opportunities and industry dynamics get constantly redefined.

Puri also talked about how ITC's competitive ability reinforces its future-readiness. He said consumers continue to prefer trusted brands. Quite expectedly, the demand for essential products in the food and hygiene segments witnessed a surge. There is a growing preference for organic, naturals and fresh products though consumers also seek indulgence, comfort eating and even resort to 'revenge' consumption.

"ITC's innovation engine is at work 24×7 to develop future-ready products. This was leveraged by ITC to rapidly introduce over 40 high quality, first-to-market products and variants during the pandemic to meet emerging consumer demand," he added.

Puri said accelerated digital transformation is integral to ITC's future-ready strategy and is increasingly being harnessed to enhance competitive advantage.

New technologies such as Industry 4.0, Artificial Intelligence, Big Data, industrial Internet of Things (IoT) and Machine Learning are being deployed by all Businesses, including ITC's supply chain and logistics to enhance operational effectiveness.

Puri said ITC has set ambitious sustainability goals for the future. ITC aspires to meet 50 per cent of its total energy consumption from renewable sources by 2030. ITC intends to sequester over four times the CO2 emissions from its operations as well as create rainwater harvesting potential equivalent to over five times its net water consumption over the next decade. As part of its waste management programme, the Company aims to ensure that 100 per cent of its packaging is reusable, recyclable or compostable in the next decade.

Puri said ITC is well poised to expand its horizons in the agricultural sector. The transformative agri-reforms will also open up new opportunities. These measures are likely to enhance operational efficiencies and accelerate ITC's journey towards building a robust and future-ready Value-Added Agri Products portfolio catering to both the B2B and B2C channels. ITC is stepping up farmer engagement in wheat, potato, chillies and fruits &amp; vegetables through a Crop Value Chain Cluster model to connect small farmers to markets.

"ITC's superordinate goal to serve larger national priorities is enshrined in its credo of Nation First — Sab Saath Badhein. The vision to create multiple drivers of future-ready businesses, competitive and inclusive value chains that retain larger value in India, is deeply aligned to the Prime Minister's clarion call for an 'Atmanirbhar Bharat'," he added.

"It is now ITC's vision to empower 10 million farmers in India multiplying livelihoods that will benefit over 50 million people," he said.</div>