During the June quarter, securities research firm Edelweiss Securities said ITC’s branded packaged foods businesses posted robust growth in revenue, with most major categories recording improvement in market standing. In the staples, snacks and meals business, Aashirvaad atta staged a progressive recovery.
According to Sumant, nearly two dozen products, which are in the pipeline, would cater to the growing health and wellness segment. In India, the healthier products business is growing at a 50 per cent rate than conventional FMCG items. “Benefit-led, functional and curative products would be the key focus areas. Products for older consumers, immunity improvement, diabetic and other diseased people, and pregnant women are being worked out,” he said.
Organic growth alone, however, may not be sufficient to hit the revenue target. “While organic growth could be 10-15 per cent, we need to grow inorganically too. We are looking for assets where there is gap in our portfolio. Recently, we acquired Charmis from Colgate-Palmolive and Nimyle, a floor cleaner brand. After we enter a new category with an acquisition, we will grow them fast.”
In fact, ITC
is in active discussions with at a number of start-ups. “We will not go for acquisitions that would buy us large market shares. Rather, it is cost effective to buy smaller brands and scale them many times. Otherwise it’s difficult to return the investments to the stakeholders,” said Sumant.