New Delhi: ITC Ltd, the country’s biggest cigarette maker, plans to invest about Rs 15,000 crore in the next 5-7 years in other areas such as hotels, agri-business and FMCG as it seeks to transform its image to a diversified corporate conglomerate.
“The company is giving impetus on segments such as FMCG, agro business, paper and packaging, hotels and the infotech business, for which it has earmarked an investment of Rs15,000 crore in the next five-seven years,” sources said.
As part of ramping up non-tobacco divisions, ITC eyes its social farm forestry projects in states like Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka, which will involve 12 lakh farmers by 2012-14, up from current three lakh.
With almost 60-70% of its raw materials coming from its social forestry projects, ITC has already embarked on a capacity enhancement programme for paper production.
Its Bhadrachalam paper manufacturing plant would produce 4 lakh tonne annually by April 2008 from the current 3 lakh tonne and the total Elemental Chlorine Free (ECF) pulp production would increase to 2.2 lakh tonne annually by the last quarter of 2007, from the current 1 lakh tonne.
Sources said ITC is focusing on taking modern retail to rural India and plans to enhance its reach through e-choupals (direct marketing channel for farmers) and Choupal Sagars (rural retail stores). At present, ITC has about 6,500 e-choupals covering 40,000 villages and 40 Choupal Sagars.