- ITC’s revenues grew from under Rs 5,200 crore in 1996 to Rs 51,582 crore
hatever its befogged consumers might say, a tobacco company was always going be seen as somehow against the zeitgeist, out of sync with times defined by new age slogans, lo-cal diets and Fitbit. To Y.C. Deveshwar can go the credit of pulling ITC out of its status as a pure cigarette major and transforming it into a diversified food, personal care products and hospitality company over the last three decades. Ever newer arenas beckon even as the man himself, 70 now, moves to a non-executive role. He was in the news recently with a blueprint for healthcare—a chain of speciality hospitals that would offer doctors fixed salaries, junking the bills-linked, incentivised pay packages that have turned the sector into a heartless business.
The company’s successful e-Choupals, which offer digital infrastructure to help farmers get better market prices for their produce, already had that stamp of social responsibility. A finger on the...