ITC Paperboards pioneering planet-friendly initiatives in specialized packaging

ITC Paperboards resets strategy to architect structural drivers

ITC Paperboards unit at Bhadrachalam

In his AGM address Sanjiv Puri, chairman, and managing director, ITC, shared his vision on ITC Next: reimagining business for the redefined future. Relevant excerpt from the speech is below:

Moving to the ITC Next horizon, the business is pioneering a planet-friendly initiative through fiber-based solutions, including molded fiber technologies for specialized packaging, leveraging its existing proprietary R&D platforms and global collaborations. The business has launched a sustainable packaging portfolio comprising recyclable paperboards, under the ‘Filo’ and ‘Omega’ series to substitute single-use plastics. This segment offers immense opportunities with the global biodegradable packaging market estimated to grow to nearly US$ 121 billion (approximately Rs 898 crore) by 2025. 

ITC’s paperboards, paper, and packaging business has made significant progress with recent strategic investments in areas such as pulp import substitution, proactive capacity addition in value-added paperboards as well as in extensive use of Industry 4.0 to drive a new paradigm of quality and efficiency.

The paperboards business derives competitive strengths from its integrated business model that encompasses a secure and renewable fiber chain as well as a one-stop packaging solutions provider. ITC has spearheaded an afforestation program that has greened over 8,75,000 acres, supporting 160 million person-days of employment, besides enabling large-scale import substitution.

ITC’s upcoming strategy

An extensive strategy reset has been undertaken to architect the structural drivers that will power ITC’s next horizon of growth and ensure that the enterprise remains future-oriented, consumer-centric, and nimble. Each of ITC’s businesses has pivoted to create new frontiers for the future, with enhanced competitiveness as well as a sharper focus on cost management to strengthen leadership or rapidly attain the top positions in the case of newer segments.

As a core element of the ITC Next strategy, ITC 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.

The Covid-19 pandemic led to the country-wide lockdown on 25 March 2020. It will be two years tomorrow as I write this. What have we learned in this time? Maybe the meaning of resilience since small companies like us have had to rely on our resources and the forbearance of our employees as we have struggled to produce our trade platforms.

The print and packaging industries have been fortunate, although the commercial printing industry is still to recover. We have learned more about the digital transformation that affects commercial printing and packaging. Ultimately digital will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future.

Web analytics show that we now have readership in North America and Europe amongst the 90 countries where our five platforms reach. Our traffic which more than doubled in 2020, has at times gone up by another 50% in 2021. And advertising which had fallen to pieces in 2020 and 2021, has started its return since January 2022.

As the economy approaches real growth with unevenness and shortages a given, we are looking forward to the PrintPack India exhibition in Greater Noida. We are again appointed to produce the Show Daily on all five days of the show from 26 to 30 May 2022.

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– Naresh Khanna

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