Targetting 10 million farmers in e-choupal network by 2022: ITC

NEW DELHI: Cigarette-FMCG hospitality conglomerate ITC plans to turn e-Choupal into an online aggregator of agricultural services to provide services for farm mechanisation, credit facilities and weather services to farmers.

“This fourth-generation model, e-Choupal 4.0, will be an aggregator of agricultural services. Ecommerce will be integral to it,” said S Sivakumar, group head, agri and IT businesses, ITC. At present the e-Choupal concept reaches 4 million farmers.

e-Choupal is a concept linking the company directly with farmers via internet for procurement of agricultural products. As a part of its plan to foray into processed fruits and vegetables, the company will launch processed potatoes and dehydrated onions this month.

Going forward, the portfolio will be adding more fruits, vegetables and sea food in processed, frozen or dehydrated forms, competing directly with existing retailers and new age grocers such as Amazon Fresh.

The company also plans to double farmer reach through its agricultural business in the coming years. “The company plans to spend Rs 25,000 crore over 65 projects,” said Sanjiv Puri, chief executive officer of ITC. “With a perspective of societal value creation and India-first, to become even more competitive… we are working on creating the new ITC with futureready capabilities,” Puri added.

ITC’s consumer business, which includes packaged food, personal care and educational stationery crossed Rs 10,000 crore in revenues in 2016-17, with sales growth of 8% to Rs 10,511.83 crore. The company said FY 2017 consumer spend on the brands from the new FMCG businesses are now close to Rs 14,000 crore with major brands such as Aashirwad and Sunfeast garnering Rs 3,500 crore and Rs 3,000 crore of sales respectively. It is targeting a turnover of Rs 1 lakh crore from the new FMCG businesses by 2030.

As a part of its India-first strategy for the future, the company will focus on building world class brands, investing in R&D with strategic investments in building competitive capacities and national assets, strengthening agricultural back end, leveraging the digital wave for Industry 4.0 readiness, strengthening trade marketing and distribution infrastructure, nurturing talent.

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