A man talks on his mobile phone as he walks past an ITC office building in Kolkata September 4, 2012. ITC Ltd sells 80 percent of the cigarettes in the world's second most populous country where 275 million people use tobacco products. But as India follows the rest of the world in adopting anti-smoking regulations, the company's core tobacco business is getting squeezed and it is venturing into dairy products, drinks and perhaps even healthy breakfast foods to try to expand its money-losing consumer products business. Picture taken September 4, 2012. REUTERS/Rupak De Chowdhuri (INDIA - Tags: BUSINESS HEALTH) - RTR37J7R
ITC Limited said it planned to add 2,500 rooms to its hotel segment to take the total inventory to 12,000 in five years from 9,500 now, even as the diversified group mulls foraying into the healthcare space.
Sanjiv Puri, ITC Managing Director, said the company would invest Rs 2,500 crore in the next two to three years in Telangana, among others, to set up an integrated consumer goods manufacturing unit and logistics facility and for the capacity augmentation and efficiency of Bhadrachalam Paperboard.
He said ITC appointed a committee internally to examine the possibility of foraying into the healthcare space. Once it submitted its report, the Board would examine it and take a final call.
"Currently we have four brands under ITC hotels. Some are owned and some are managed. We currently have 107 hotels with 9,500 rooms. In the next five years, we can add another 24 hotels which are at various stages of construction, both owned and managed. It will bring another 2,500 rooms. This would take to roughly 130 hotels with 12,000 rooms," he said.
ITC's hotel group operates under four distinct brands -- 'ITCHotel' at the luxury end, 'WelcomHotel' in the 5-star segment, 'Fortune' in the mid-market to upscale segment and WelcomHeritage' in the heritage leisure segment.
ITC formally inaugurated ITC Kohenur at a cost of Rs 775 crore. The hotel has 271 rooms, suites and service apartments. Puri said ITC earlier said it would invest Rs 25,000 crore over the next five years in various sectors, of which Rs 10,000 crore would be invested in food processing.
"Our vision is to build 20 integrated consumer goods manufacturing and logistics hubs in the country. Some of them are under construction," he added. Earlier, in his inaugural address, Telangana Minister K T Rama Rao asked ITC Chairman Y C Deveshwar to look into the possibility of helping the revival of Ballarpur Industries Limited (BILT) unit near Warangal.
The Minister also said the revival of the plant would help 2000 of its employees get employment. BILT shut down its pulp manufacturing factory at Kamalapuram in 2014, citing losses. Reacting to the Ministers request, Deveshwar said they would look into it if the state government comes out with some sops for the unit's revival.
On investments in Telangana, Puri said ITC had invested about Rs 2,500 crore in the state, including for the hotel in Kohenur. "A similar investment is underway in the form of integrated consumer goods manufacturing unit and logistics facility and for capacity augmentation and efficiency of Bhadrachalam paperboard," he said.
ITC has a speciality paper and paperboard manufacturing unit near Bhadrachalam in Telangana. To a query, Puri said the cigarette industry is under a lot of pressure due to the steep increase in taxation. He said 80 percent of ITC's capital employed is in the non-cigarettes business.