ITC to expand operations with Rs15,000 crore investment

New Delhi: FMCG, hospitality and cigarettes company ITC plans to invest about Rs15,000 crore in the next 5-7 years in other areas such as hotels, agri-business and FMCG as it seeks to transform its image to a diversified corporate conglomerate.

The company is giving added impetus to its FMCG, agro business, paper and packaging, hotels and the infotech business and has has earmarked an investment of Rs15,000 crore in the next five-seven years on these business segments.

As part of ramping up non-tobacco divisions, ITC also plans to rev up its social farm forestry projects in states like Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka, which will involve 12 lakh farmers by 2012-14, up from current three lakh.

Sources said ITC is focusing on taking modern retail to rural India and plans to enhance its reach through e-choupals (direct marketing channel for farmers) and Choupal Sagars (rural retail stores). At present, ITC has about 6,500 e-choupals covering 40,000 villages and 40 Choupal Sagars.

ITC has already announced Rs5,000 crore investments in its hotels division in the next three-four years to add 3,000 rooms in addition to the current 5,500 rooms.