24 October, 2020

“Sometimes, Not Taking A Risk Is The Biggest Risk”

ITC chairman on how long-term approach has reshaped his company

Sandipan Chaterjee
“Sometimes, Not Taking A Risk Is The Biggest Risk”

Let me congratulate Outlook Business on its new tagline — “Think Beyond. Stay Ahead.” It’s inspired and I must say, in many ways, also reflects the spirit of ITC’s transformation. Thinking beyond and staying ahead for any organisation depends on three factors: the ambition of its leadership, the aspiration of its stakeholders and the expectations of society. And the impact of leadership can be seen in the vision, values and the vitality of an organisation. When I took office as chairman of ITC, I was confronted with a mix of challenges. Just a day before I took charge, our cigarette business received a retrospective excise duty demand of Rs 803 crore. The company’s earlier diversification into hotels and paper was faltering. Before that could be put on a firm footing, a slew of new businesses were launched in edible oils, financial services and international trading, which turned out to be disasters. Obviously, there was criticism given the weak diversification performance. Add to that, a battle for...



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