ITC which is a subsidiary of BAT is India’s largest producer of tobacco products and has almost a monopoly position in the manufacture of cigarettes. Using its massive cash flows from the ever prospering tobacco business, the company has diversified into a number of other business segments like retail, agro industry, hotels , paper etc. The company has become one of India’s biggest FMCG companies in Indian using tobacco profits to extend its Indian empire. Lack of government action on tobacco has made it the biggest Indian company However the biggest source of revenue and profits continue to be the cigarette segment which kills thousands of Indians each year.
The company has been awarded at the recent Rio summit of sustainable development with an award by UNDP for transformational rural initiatives. It seems quite strange that a company which sells death dealing products to millions of people is being awarded by the United Nations . The UN has recognized a very small piece of the ITC business while ignoring the lion’s share of the business model which is based on addicting and killing people.
Brief on ITC
ITC Ltd. – With a market capitalisation of Rs.137,000 crores, ITC is one of India’s foremost private sector companies. While ITC is an outstanding market leader in its traditional businesses of Cigarettes, Hotels, Paperboards, Packaging and Agri-Exports, it is rapidly gaining market share even in its nascent businesses of Packaged Foods & Confectionery, Branded Apparel, Personal Care and Stationery. ITC is one of the country’s biggest foreign exchange earners (US $ 3.2 billion in the last decade). The Company’s ‘e-Choupal’ initiative is enabling Indian agriculture significantly enhance its competitiveness.It earned revenues of Rs.5,000 crores & a net profit margin of 25% in December 2010.
This award has been instituted by the United Nations Development Programme, International Chamber of Commerce and the International Business Leaders Forum in partnership with the Netherlands Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency and the UN Global Compact.ITC was among five large global companies to get this honour, the statement added.Y C Deveshwar, chairman, ITC, received the Award at a ceremony held at Rio.The event was presided over by Helen Clark, administrator, UNDP, Georg Kell, executive director, UN Global Compact, Gunilla Carlsson, Minister for International Development Co-operation, Sweden, Ben Knapen, Minister for European Affairs and International Cooperation, Netherlands and the chief executive officer of the IBLF, Clare Melford.
ITC’s social and farm forestry programmes provides sustainable livelihoods to rural wasteland owners by helping convert their wastelands into pulpwood plantations.
They are supported by ITC’s research and development-produced high-yielding, disease resistant clonal saplings with shorter harvesting cycles.