Top 10 unknown facts about ITC Limited

‘Imperial Tobacco company of India’ commonly known as ‘ITC Limited’ is one of the large corporates of India. ITC has a history of over 110 years and still dominating the whole Indian market. The company has a very diversified business like fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG), Hotels, Cigarettes, packaging, and paper boards. Starting as a cigarette-making company and now running more than 25 enormous brands, their journey is just remarkable. Here, we are presenting you some unknown facts of this journey which you shouldn’t miss:

1. Established by the Britishers

Image showing Britishers and ITC logo

ITC has a history of over 110 years and counting. It was established on 24 August 1910 by the Britishers that were ruling the Indian state at that time. Besides, ITC was first named by the Britishers as ‘Imperial Tobacco Company of India Limited’ succeeding W.D & H.O Wills. It was registered in Calcutta as a British-owned Company. ITC established its first Cigarette factory in 1913 by partnering with the farmers of South India to supply leaf tobacco. After India got independence, ITC was converted into a public company on 27 October 1954. In the same year, ITC was Indianized, and it got 6% of the Indian shareholding of the company.

2. Company with 0% promoter holdings

image showing ITC logo and an element of a promoter

Firstly, there is no legal necessity for the company to have promoter holding. Secondly, promoters high holding in a company is considered a good symbol as it shows the faith of founders in their own company. However, there are some famous and successful companies where the promoters have 0 percentage stake in shareholding and one of them is ITC. Such companies are owned and managed by professionals. Earlier, ITC was having promoters, but with time passing they exited with heavy returns. Currently, there is no promoter for ITC and therefore no shareholding of the promoter. According to the newest shareholding pattern of ITC ltd of March 2021, FII detains 12.79%, the share of the public is 44.71%, and the remaining 42.50% is owned by DII that includes insurance, mutual funds houses, and other domestic financial institutions.

3. Third-largest hotel Chain in India 

Image of a Hotel

ITC limited set foot in the hotel sector on 18 October 1975 when it established its first hotel in Chennai whose name is Hotel Chola. ITC Hotels is the third-largest hotel chain in India with Namaste as the long-lasting symbol of its brand. It operated under four district brands namely  Marriott’s “The Luxury Collection”, Welcom hotels, Fortune Hotels & Welcom Heritage hotels. The company has more than 100 hotels in above 70 destinations of the country. ITC Hotels have a special contract with The Luxury Collection of Marriott International and that’s why operate most of its hotels under the Marriott brand. Moreover, each ITC Hotel represents the civilization of the region that it is located in.

It launched the WeAssure program to further enhance the existing hygiene and cleaning protocols and became the world’s first hotel chain to get a Platinum Level Certification from DNV for WeAssure. Even ITC Hotels believe that everyone should be treated with care and sympathy. Therefore, the company also employs people who are differently abled. 

4. 9th Largest company as per Market Capitalisation

Image of stock's stats

In the financial year 2019-20, ITC completed its 110 years of establishment. Currently, ITC is running with 25+ brands in the market. As per their financial report, ITC has an annual turnover of around US$10.74 billion as of 2019-20. It ranks 9th in the list of largest market cap companies with a market capitalization of over US$36 Billion. Recently, ITC was trending in the share market and the reason being is its share price which is the highest they hit in the market since last year. The share price of ITC Limited rose to Rs.239.40/share against last year’s price of Rs. 163.40/share in October. Furthermore, technical experts of the share market are expecting the prices to hit at Rs.250-270.

Also, their consolidated profit rose to Rs.3,343 Crore as compared to last year’s profit of Rs.2567 Crore. Their operational revenue also increased by 36% i.e. Rs. 10,478 Crore(Year-ago quarter) to Rs.14,240 Crore (quarter ending Mar’21).

5. Consistent ranking in Fortune India 500 list

Fortune India 500 is a the ranking of top 500 companies of India published annually by Fortune magazine. This list is arranged on the basis of the newest sales and gross revenue figures. One of the very interesting facts about the best tobacco Indian company ‘ITC’ is that this company is persistently ranking in the Fortune India 500 list between 32-38 from the last 10 years. For instance, ITC was ranked 38 in the year 2010, 35 in 2012, 32 in 2016, 36 in 2020, etc.

6. Incredible works towards society by ITC

Image showing CSR
Source: Canva pro

Being a large corporate in India, it automatically becomes a responsibility that you should also serves the society. The foremost reason being is that the corporates use all the resources from the society and they must payback to them in good manner. ITC has done a tremendous job and perfectly matched this factor.

Here are the social works of ITC that are just incredible:

1.)  Health & Sanitation

ITC Health and Sanitation program aims towards the rural families and linking them with the proper hygiene and sanitation facility. Their core focus is to create community groups in villages and make the villagers work as a team to get proper sanitation. In addition, ITC is spreading awareness among villagers to build toilets and eliminate old practices. The company is also providing loans to the families so that they can build toilets facilities.

2.) ITC Sustainable Agriculture Programme

This Sustainable program aims mainly to help the small land farmers that are totally dependent on rain-fed agriculture. The main difficulties that these farmers face are bad monsoon, Poor soils, insufficient farming methods, etc. ITC helps this kind of farmer by illustrating the best practices with the help of a demonstrative plot of land. Moreover, farmers are trained with the knowledge of organic fertilizers, water-saving irrigation devices, a proper mechanism for efficient cultivation. This kind of training helps the farmers and makes them a higher income for their cultivation.

 3.)  ITC Solid Waste Management initiatives

The company has started an initiative called Well-being Out of Waste (WoW). This (WoW) initiative usually aims towards proper segregation and recycling of waste and makes it an effective practice. However, the best thing in ‘WoW’ is that ITC trained the Ragpickers with the help of the Municipal corporation.

4.) ITC Primary Education Programme

This program of ITC aims towards the underprivileged children who are deprived of better school and education facilities. ITC usually works to improve infrastructure in government primary schools like Desks, lights & fans, notebooks, and many more. Besides, they are progressively operating with the NGOs to provide the best education to underprivileged children.

 5.) ITC women empowerment

ITC runs the Women’s Economic Empowerment Programme which focuses on the poor and ultra-poor women of our country. Besides, the company’s main aim is to make these women self-independent and help them to come out of poverty. Women are also trained for various self-businesses and micro enterprises by the ITC.

7. A productive investment in Agricultural Sector

Image of farmers while using Internet Kiosk E-choupal

ITC entered into the Agricultural sector in the year 1990 and set up its Agri-Business Division for specializing work in the Agricultural sector. Currently, the Agri-Business Division of the company is one of the largest exporters of India. It has made a significant revolution in the Agricultural sector by various means. The E-choupal system of ITC became so successful that Harvard school of Business published it as a case study in their university. Let’s Look at the approach that the company adopted in the agricultural sector:

  •  ITC Agri Division launched its initiative, named as ‘e-choupal’ to tackle the struggles of farming from producing to selling in Mandis. It is the world’s largest rural based digital infrastructure to link the rural farmers for procurement of agricultural products like soyabean, wheat, and prawns.


  •  E-Choupal is an digital choupal for farmers where there is Internet based Kiosk set up at the centric place of a village. This Internet Kiosk helps the farmers to get digitally connected to the world and get to know the best practices to do farming.
  • The Kiosk is given to the Sanchalak and the Sanchalak is computer literate who is trained by ITC to assist the farmers of his village.
  • Besides, this Internet Kiosk is set up at every 5 km radius in the village. The farmers get to know about ITC agricultural policies, prices, weather condition, do’s and don’t’s in farming, soil and many more learning at just one place.
  • Farmers have an option to take his ready crop to the E-Choupals and can sell to ITC hub. The farmer can himself see the company’s prices and sold it to them. The Sanchalak gives a note to farmer and after that farmer takes his produce to nearest ITC testing Hub (nearly 30 Km radius). The produce of farmer is tested there and if the produce is as per criteria, company’s hub purchased it from the farmers.

Choupal Pradarshan Khet

  •  ‘Choupal Pradarshan Khet’ is also a good initiative started by the company. This ‘CPK’ programme is basically a demonstration plot of land to give the best practicing knowledge to farmers in a very practical way.

Choupal Saagar

  • ‘Choupal Saagar’ is an another successful initiative by the ITC division. Choupal Saagar is basically a physical hub which provide all the services under one roof that farmer needs. In this hubs, farmers can get the facility of logistics, warehouse, banking, investment services, and many more. Moreover, Choupal Saagar is a market for purchasing inputs like seeds, fertilizers. Also, there are soil testing laboratory for the farmers, where they can test their soil.

ITC has established a full facility providing chain for farmers in their own villages. Besides, they have connected the farmer in such a way that the farmer does not need to go anywhere else. The main benefit which the farmer gets is the rise in their income by selling their produce directly to the corporates instead of Government-run Mandis.

8. Sustainability- a core objective of ITC

Image illustrating sustainable future
Source: Canva pro

Sustainable development is needed to ensure a bright future for the future generation as well as for environmental conservation. The main issue of sustainable development is to preserve natural resources and that can be done by using more and more renewable energy resources for saving non-renewable energy sources for the near future. Importantly, energy is a key focus area in ITC’s strategy and at present, ITC meets its more than 41% of electrical energy requirement through renewable sources like wind, solar, etc. which makes it an icon of environmental stewardship. Also, the company desires to meet 50% of its energy requirement from renewable sources by 2030.

ITC Ltd said, “ As a part of Sustainability 2.0 Vision, it is planning to invest further in strengthening its renewable energy portfolio in order to contribute meaningfully to the fight against climate change”. For additional enhancement in energy and emissions-related performance, ITC businesses aim to reduce the specific energy and specific Greenhouse Gas emission. Even its hotels utilize wind energy from commercial grids as well as self-owned wind farms and paperboards business mainly uses biomass energy. Moreover, the company uses renewable energy across 20 factories, 9 hotels, and 6 office buildings.

9. Unbelievable Widespread presence in Indian Market

Image showing brands of ITC

ITC Limited is one of the most diversified private companies in India. Starting from cigarette production to having 25+ mother brands dominating the whole FMCG market of India. There are so many products and brands in the market that are the products of ITC limited and you probably be unaware of this. Hardly, there would be anybody in India who hasn’t used ITC products once in their lifetime. Here, we will present you some famous ITC brands that will surprise you:

ITC FMCG (Fast-Moving Consumer Goods)

  • Food Brands: Sunfeast, Aashirvaad, Bingo, Kitchens of India, Yippee, B natural, Mint-O, CandyMan, Gumon, Fabelle, SunBean, Wonderz Milk, FarmLand, Sunrise.
  •  Personal Care: Essenza Di Wills, Dermafique, Fiama, Vivel, Engage, Superia Gangajal, Nimyle, Nimeasy, Nimwash, Savlon, Shower to shower, Charmis.
  • Stationery: Classmate and PaperKraft
  • Lifestyle: WLS
  • Agarbattis: Mangaldeep
  •  Safety Matches: AIM, Homeliter
  • Cigarettes: Insignia, India Kings, Classic, Gold Flake, American Club, Wills Navy Cut, Players, Scissors, Capstan, Berkeley, Bristol, Flake, Silk Cut, Duke & Royal.

Other than FMCG, the company also runs their hotel at various locations in India

They run their hotels under three Hospitality Brands

ITC also holds Paperboards and Packaging Industry as one of their core businesses. They serve the other industry with their products like Cigarettes papers and Components, FMCG cartons, electrical insulation papers, Bio-based Barrier Coated Board and Many more.

  ITC Infotech

The company also works in the Information and Technology sector. ITC Infotech is a leading global full-service technology solutions provider. Their company is led by Business and Technology consulting and creating value through Domain, data, and delivering enduring value to the customers.

10. Awards won by ITC Ltd

Image showing awards won by ITC

‘ITC’ India’s leading FMCG company had been recognized with a lot of awards for its diligent attitude. Some of them are: 

  • In 2004, ITC got the Inaugural World Business Award from UNDP for its e-Choupal initiative.
  • During 2005, ITC was the 1st Indian Company and the world’s 2nd company to achieve the Development Gateway Award for its trail-blazing e-Choupal initiative. 
  • In the course of 2007, ITC received the Asian CSR Award for Environmental Excellence from the Asian Institute of Management.
  • In 2008, ITC won the top UNIDO Award on contributing Innovative Agri-Business Solutions at the International Conference in Cairo 
  • During 2010, ITC became the first Company in India to acquire Membership with WWF-GFTN for Responsible Forestry.
  • In the course of 2011, ITC’s marvelous hotels accorded LEED Platinum certification, making it the ‘Greenest Luxury Hotel Chain in the World’.
  • In 2014, ITC tops the list of ‘India’s Most Admired Company’ in a survey conducted by Fortune India magazine and Hay Group.
  • During 2016, ITC Limited emerge as the 1st company to get the India Today Safaigiri Corporate Trailblazer Award. 
  • In the course of 2018, ITC’s Spices Business got the Award for brilliance in Export from the Spice Board of India.
  • In 2020, ITC Limited has acquired the ‘Best Governed Company’ at the 20th ICSI National Awards for supremacy in Corporate Governance.
  • ITC’s ex-chairman Yogesh Chander Deveshwar also got many records including the Business Person of the Year Award from UK Trade & Investment in 2006, Padma Bhushan by the Government of India in 2011, SAM/SPG Sustainability Leadership Award in Zurich in 2007, the best Hotelier of the Year Award in 1986, etc.

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