Sanjiv Puri’s speech at ITC AGM

ITC to provide innovative sustainable packaging solutions to the industry

Sanjiv Puri, chairman and managing director, ITC. Photo: ITC
Sanjiv Puri, chairman and managing director, ITC. Photo: ITC

In his AGM address Sanjiv Puri, chairman and managing director, ITC, shared his vision for ‘ITC Next – Building a Competitive, Future Tech, Climate Positive and Inclusive Enterprise’. A relevant excerpt from the speech is below.

I am immensely satisfied that ITC’s Paperboards & Paper Business exemplifies triple bottom line contribution with industry-leading performance, environmental stewardship and inclusive growth models that support millions of livelihoods.

The ITC Next vision envisages a strategic focus on promising growth vectors by scaling up value-added paperboards and pioneering Next Generation sustainable packaging solutions. Investments in Industry 4.0, together with an intensified focus on technological excellence, integrated and renewable fibre value chain and import substitution, are enhancing competitiveness by setting new benchmarks in productivity, quality and strategic cost management. 

ITC is developing innovative sustainable packaging solutions on the laminated board and moulded fibre platforms and has recently launched several B2B brands to provide innovative options to the food and beverages and takeaway segments, amongst others. Given the heightened consumer and regulatory pressures to substitute single-use plastics, this area offers immense potential, and the company is committed to making a growing contribution to this sector.

ITC’s investment to support sustainability

As valued shareholders, you will be delighted that ITC’s Paperboards Business contributes to several national priority areas. Enabling large-scale climate action, import substitution and livelihood support, the company has anchored an extensive afforestation program. Cumulatively, the program has covered 9.5 lakh acres, supporting over 170 million person days of employment. It was the first in India to receive the Forest Stewardship Council-Forest Management (FSC-FM) certification and is today the leading provider of FSC-certified paper and paperboards in the country. 

It has also invested in India’s first and only Bleached Chemical Thermo Mechanical Pulp Mill to substitute imported softwood pulp through innovative technologies and support additional livelihoods along the pulp value chain. Scaling new heights in environmental leadership, investments were recently made in a state-of-the-art high-pressure recovery boiler at Bhadrachalam, which will significantly reduce emissions and costs whilst enhancing pulp productivity.

This year, a stellar performance with 36% growth in segment revenue and nearly 55% in segment results. The strategic thrust on product mix enrichment, structural cost management, sustainable packaging and Industry 4.0 will continue to drive competitively superior performance in the years ahead.

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.

It is the right time to support our high-impact reporting and authoritative and technical information with some of the best correspondents in the industry. Readers can power Packaging South Asia’s balanced industry journalism and help sustain us by subscribing.

– Naresh Khanna

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