History of ITC Group

History of ITC Group

by Tanushree Jaiswal Last Updated: Jun 02, 2023 - 07:18 pm 4.8k Views
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Introduction

ITC Limited, formerly the Imperial Tobacco Company of India Limited, is a conglomerate company headquartered in Kolkata, India. Founded in 1910, ITC has a rich and storied history that spans over a century.

Initially established as a subsidiary of the British-American Tobacco Company, ITC began its operations in India as a cigarette manufacturer. Over the years, the company has diversified its business interests and expanded into various sectors, including FMCG (Fast-Moving Consumer Goods), hospitality, paperboards and packaging, agribusiness, information technology, and more.

ITC has played a significant role in shaping India's industrial landscape and has introduced several iconic brands and products. The company has consistently strived for excellence and strongly focuses on innovation, sustainability, and corporate social responsibility.

The history of the ITC group's growth narrative is about the ITC group's economic success. Today, ITC Limited is one of India's largest and most respected corporations, with a presence in multiple industries and a diverse portfolio of products and services. It has garnered a reputation for its commitment to quality, customer satisfaction, and ethical business practices.

About ITC Group Limited

ITC Group Limited, often called ITC, is a diversified conglomerate based in India. The company operates across various sectors. Here is a brief overview of the key details about ITC Group Limited and  what ITC group do:
 

Name

ITC Group Limited

Founded

1910

Headquarters

Kolkata, India

Chairman & MD

Sanjiv Puri

Industry

Conglomerate

Products

FMCG, Hotels, Paperboards, Packaging, Agribusiness, IT

Employees

Over 34,000 (as of 2021)

Gross Sales Value (figures as of 31.03.2022)

₹ 90,104 crores

Net Profit (figures as of 31.03.2022)

₹ 15,058 crores

Website

www.itcportal.com

 

ITC Group Limited is known for its strong emphasis on sustainability and corporate social responsibility. It has received several accolades and awards for its commitment to environmental conservation, rural development, and social initiatives. With a diverse portfolio of businesses and a presence in both domestic and international markets, ITC Group Limited continues to be a significant player in India's corporate landscape.

History of ITC Group Limited

●    ITC Group Limited traces its roots back to 1910, established as the Imperial Tobacco Company of India Limited.
●    Initially, ITC focused on the tobacco business, manufacturing cigarettes and tobacco products.
●    Over the years, the company diversified into various sectors, including hotels, paperboards, packaging, agribusiness, and FMCG.
●    In the 1970s, ITC ventured into the hospitality industry and expanded its presence in the paper and packaging sector.
●    The company underwent a significant transformation in the 1990s, expanding its FMCG portfolio and diversifying into new areas such as information technology.
●    Today, ITC Group Limited is recognized as one of India's leading conglomerates, with a strong presence across multiple industries and a focus on sustainable business practices.

About ITC Group Limited Timeline

The timeline of ITC Group Limited showcases the remarkable journey of the conglomerate as it evolved and diversified its business interests over the years. Since its inception as a tobacco company, the ITC Group has expanded its operations into various sectors, including about ITC group’s FMCG, hospitality, agribusiness, information technology, and packaging divisions. The timeline highlights the key milestones, achievements, and strategic moves that have shaped the growth and success of the ITC Group. 
"How big is ITC Group?" is a common question that arises due to the company's extensive operations and a diverse portfolio spanning various industries. When talking about the ITC Group, it is impossible to overlook the diverse portfolio of products and services it encompasses, ranging from cigarettes and FMCG goods to hotels, agri-business, packaging, and wellness, among others.
Spanning over decades, this timeline exemplifies the group's ability to adapt to changing market dynamics, innovate, and emerge as a leading player in the Indian business landscape. From its early beginnings to its current multifaceted presence, the timeline reflects the resilience, vision, and entrepreneurial spirit that have driven the ITC Group's continuous expansion and transformation.

1910: The Imperial Tobacco Company of India Limited (ITC) is established as a subsidiary of the British-American Tobacco Company. This information was all about how did ITC group start.

1911: ITC starts its operations in India, manufacturing and selling cigarettes. It marked about the ITC group's entry into this sector.

1925: ITC sets up its Printing & Packaging business as a backward integration for its Cigarette business. This move establishes about the ITC group’s packaging business.

1975: ITC entered the hotel business by acquiring a hotel in Chennai. It was renamed 'ITC–Welcomgroup Hotel Chola.' The objective is to create value for the country by earning foreign exchange, developing tourism, and generating employment. Over the years, ITC's Hotels business has become a leader with more than 100 self owned and managed properties across India.

1979: ITC ventured into the Paperboards business. ITC Bhadrachalam Paperboards Limited later became the market leader. The division merged with Tribeni Tissues Division in 2002. It formed the Paperboards & Specialty Papers Division. ITC's paperboards are known for their technological excellence and high productivity. 

1985: Surya Tobacco Co. is established in Nepal. It was a joint venture between British American Tobacco, ITC, and independent shareholders. It later became a subsidiary of ITC. 

1990: ITC acquires Tribeni Tissues Limited, a speciality paper manufacturing company. The merged entity became the Tribeni Tissues Division (TTD) and was later merged with Bhadrachalam Paperboards Division in 2002 to form the Paperboards & Specialty Papers Division. ITC also establishes the Agri-Business Division for the export of agri-commodities, leveraging its agri-sourcing competency.

2000: ITC diversifies into the Greeting, Gifting, and Stationery products business with the launch of the Expressions range of greeting cards. It also enters the Lifestyle Retailing business with Wills Sport’s range of relaxed wear for men and women. Additionally, ITC spun off its IT business into a subsidiary named ITC Infotech India Limited.

2001: ITC enters the food business with the introduction of 'Kitchens of India' ready-to-eat Indian gourmet dishes. This was a remarkable achievement that demonstrated about ITC group's capabilities in the agriculture sector. 

2002: ITC enters the confectionery and staples segments with the launch of brands like Mint-o, Candyman, and Aashirvaad Atta (wheat flour). It also introduces the brand Sunfeast in the biscuits segment and Bingo! in the branded snacks category. ITC expands its safety matches business by marketing popular brands like iKno, Mangaldeep, Aim, Aim Mega, and Aim Metro.

2003: ITC enters the market of Agarbattis (incense sticks), forging a partnership with the cottage sector. This marked the company's expansion into the realm of fragrances and spiritual offerings. ITC introduces popular agarbattis brands such as Spriha and Mangaldeep, offering a diverse range of fragrances, including Rose, Jasmine, Bouquet, Sandalwood, Madhur, Sambrani, and Nagchampa. These brands cater to the evolving preferences and spiritual practices of consumers, providing them with high-quality and aromatic agarbattis.

2005: ITC launches the Inizio range under Essenza Di Wills for men and women, providing a comprehensive grooming regimen.

2007: ITC introduces 'Fiama Di Wills' premium range of Shampoos, Shower Gels, and Soaps. It also launches the 'Superia' range of Soaps and Shampoos in the mass-market segment. Additionally, the 'Classmate' brand has expanded its portfolio to include Children's Books, Slam Books, Geometry Boxes, Pens, and Pencils.

2008: ITC repositions the Education and Stationery Products Business and launches India's first environment-friendly premium business paper under the “Paperkraft” brand. 'Vivel De Wills' and 'Vivel' range of soaps and shampoos are also launched.

2017: ITC launches its range of frozen snacks under the ITC Farmland brand, offering convenient and healthy food options. ITC expands its hospitality portfolio by launching its luxury hotel brand, 'WelcomHotel Bella Vista' in Chandigarh. The hotel project highlighted about the ITC group's ability to undertake luxury hotel projects to the next level.

2019: ITC expands its hotel portfolio with the opening of 'ITC Royal Bengal' in Kolkata, the largest hotel in Eastern India.

2020: ITC acquires the Kolkata-based packaged spice brand, 'Tata Sampann', to strengthen about ITC’s group presence in the spices market for Rs. 21.5 billion.

2021: ITC strengthens its presence in the dairy segment by launching its Sunfeast Wonderz Milk brand. The move emphasized about the ITC group's commitment to sustainability.

2023: ITC continues to focus on sustainability and responsible business practices by setting ambitious goals for carbon emissions reduction, water conservation, and renewable energy usage. The company's commitment to sustainable growth and its initiatives for environmental and social stewardship reaffirms its position as a responsible corporate citizen.

ITC Group Limited has been committed to growth, diversification, and sustainable business practices throughout its history. With its presence across various sectors, the company has established itself as a leading player in the Indian business landscape.

About ITC Group Limited Subsidiaries

To answer the question "What are the products of ITC Group?", it is important to highlight the vast range of offerings across sectors such as tobacco, FMCG goods, hospitality, agri-business, packaging, paperboards, retail, wellness, and more. Here are some of the subsidiaries of ITC Group Limited:
 

Subsidiary Name

Industry

ITC Infotech India Limited

Information Technology Services

ITC Hotels Limited

Hospitality and Tourism

ITC Limited

Tobacco and Cigarettes

ITC Agri Business Division

Agribusiness

ITC Paperboards and Specialty Papers

Paperboards and Packaging

ITC Foods Division

Packaged Foods

ITC Life Sciences and Technology

Life Sciences and Technology Solutions

ITC Retailing

Retail

ITC Packaging and Printing Division

Packaging and Printing

ITC Wellness

Wellness and Personal Care Products

ITC International Business Division  

International Business

ITC e-Choupal

Digital Agricultural Services

ITC Group Limited Subsidiaries: Overview

ITC Group Limited, a diversified conglomerate in India, operates through numerous subsidiaries across various sectors. These subsidiaries contribute to ITC's growth and diversification strategy, expanding its presence in industries such as FMCG, hospitality, paperboards, packaging, agribusiness, information technology, and more. Here is an overview of some of the key subsidiaries of ITC Group Limited:

●    ITC Infotech India Limited

ITC Infotech India Limited is an IT services company that provides end-to-end solutions to clients across industries. With a strong focus on technological expertise and a client-centric approach, ITC Infotech delivers comprehensive services, including application development and maintenance, testing, infrastructure management, and consulting, enabling businesses to thrive in the digital era.

●    ITC Hotels Limited

ITC Hotels Limited, a leading chain of luxury hotels in India, goes beyond the ordinary to create exceptional hospitality experiences for guests. With renowned brands such as ITC Hotels, WelcomHotels, Fortune Hotels, and WelcomHeritage, the subsidiary offers world-class accommodations, personalized services, and immersive experiences, ensuring unparalleled comfort and satisfaction for travelers.

●    ITC Limited

ITC Limited, the flagship company of the ITC Group, excels in the manufacturing and marketing of cigarettes, tobacco products, and FMCG goods. With iconic cigarette brands like Classic, Gold Flake, and Navy Cut, ITC Limited has established a strong foothold in the tobacco industry, delivering high-quality products that cater to diverse consumer preferences. In addition to its tobacco products, ITC Limited has successfully diversified its FMCG portfolio, offering a wide range of consumer goods across categories such as personal care, packaged foods, beverages, and more. Brands like Aashirvaad, Sunfeast, and Bingo have gained widespread popularity and trust among consumers, reflecting ITC's commitment to delivering exceptional quality and value.

●    ITC Agri Business Division

ITC Agri Business Division works closely with farmers, providing them with technical assistance, training, and market access through initiatives like e-Choupal. By leveraging technology and agricultural expertise, the division facilitates agricultural commodities trading, sourcing, and processing, empowering farmers and fostering sustainable agricultural practices.

●    ITC Paperboards and Specialty Papers

ITC Paperboards and Specialty Papers, a leading player in the paper and packaging industry, offers a wide range of high-quality paperboards. From packaging boards to graphic boards and specialty papers, the subsidiary provides innovative solutions that meet the diverse packaging needs of industries, ensuring optimal product protection and visual appeal.

●    ITC Foods Division

ITC Foods Division, a prominent player in the Indian packaged food industry, offers a diverse range of food products that cater to evolving consumer demands. With popular brands like Aashirvaad, Sunfeast, Bingo, and Yippee, the division delivers delicious and nutritious options, including biscuits, snacks, noodles, ready-to-eat meals, beverages, and dairy products.

●    ITC Life Sciences and Technology

ITC Life Sciences and Technology focuses on developing and commercializing innovative healthcare and personal care products. Through extensive research and development, the subsidiary offers a wide range of products in segments such as skin care, oral care, hand hygiene, and wellness, promoting well-being and enhancing the quality of life.

●    ITC Retailing

ITC Retailing operates a chain of multi-brand retail stores under the brand "ITC Store." These stores provide a convenient shopping experience, offering a wide range of products across categories such as personal care, home care, food, beverages, and apparel. ITC Retailing focuses on meeting the diverse needs of customers by providing quality products under one roof.

●    ITC Packaging and Printing Division

ITC Packaging and Printing Division cater to the packaging needs of various industries, including FMCG, food and beverage, and pharmaceuticals. With expertise in manufacturing and marketing packaging materials such as flexible packaging, paperboard cartons, and labels, the division ensures efficient and visually appealing packaging solutions that enhance product safety and brand visibility.

●    ITC Wellness

ITC Wellness focuses on promoting health and wellness through its range of products. From nutraceuticals to health supplements and functional foods, ITC Wellness aims to improve the overall well-being of individuals. With a focus on quality and efficacy, the subsidiary provides products that support a healthy lifestyle and contribute to personal wellness. Driven by extensive research and a commitment to scientific excellence, ITC Wellness continuously innovates its product offerings, keeping up with evolving consumer needs and trends in the health and wellness industry. Through its wide array of carefully formulated and curated products, ITC Wellness strives to empower individuals to take charge of their well-being and lead healthier, happier lives.

●    ITC International Business Division

ITC International Business Division is responsible for ITC's international trade and export operations. The division facilitates the export of ITC's products to global markets, ensuring adherence to international standards and exploring new business opportunities worldwide. Through strategic partnerships and a customer-centric approach, the division drives the global expansion of ITC's business. With a deep understanding of cultural nuances and market dynamics, the International Business Division tailors its strategies to cater to the specific requirements and preferences of different regions, ensuring that ITC's products resonate with global consumers. Through its relentless focus on quality, innovation, and customer satisfaction, the division continues to foster mutually beneficial relationships and drive sustainable growth in international markets for the ITC Group.

●    ITC e-Choupal

ITC e-Choupal, an innovative rural initiative, leverages technology to empower farmers. By providing real-time agricultural information, access to quality inputs, fair market prices, and services, ITC e-Choupal enhances the productivity and income of farmers. This sustainable and inclusive approach fosters rural development, transforming the lives of farmers and strengthening the agricultural ecosystem.

These subsidiaries and others contribute to ITC's diversified business portfolio, enabling the company to operate in multiple industries simultaneously. By leveraging synergies between its subsidiaries, ITC Group Limited has achieved significant growth and established a strong presence in both domestic and international markets.

Conclusion 

The history of ITC Group Limited is rich and has grown into a diversified conglomerate with subsidiaries spanning various sectors. To know more about the ITC Group, it is essential to explore its diverse portfolio of products and services spanning various industries. From its origins as a tobacco company, ITC has expanded its operations and entered new industries such as hospitality, paperboards, packaging, agribusiness, and information technology. With a strong focus on innovation and quality, ITC is poised to adapt to evolving consumer demands and contribute to India's economic growth.

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About the Author

Tanushree is a seasoned professional with 6 years of experience in the Fintech and Edtech industry.

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