Hotels-to-cigarettes conglomerate ITC Ltd. expects recovery in urban consumption to be relatively muted, while that in the rural side it would take a bigger hit amid stoppage caused by the second wave of Covid-19 pandemic.
The conglomerate stated in its annual report, “Rural demand, which remained strong in Fiscal year 2020-21 on the back of robust agricultural output, government support and reverse migration, may also be blunted by the large-scale spread of the virus to the hinterland in the second wave."
The conglomerate company said while the Indian economy faces a multi-dimensional challenges in the short term, it will still remains one of the most dynamic major economies in the world with huge potential.
The company added more, “With structural drivers of growth firmly in place, the pace of economic growth is expected to pick up over time.”
The report stated that the policy announcements in this year’s union budget are expected to provide further momentum to build India’s competitiveness and foster inclusive growth.
The report stated more that higher capital expenditure outlay along with increased spends on agriculture and rural infrastructure development predicted well for the economy and will encourage virtuous consumption, investment and employment cycle.
The conglomerate had also launched over 120 products in the year and also boosted its direct and indirect reach and the direct reach rose 1.3x and indirect increased to 1.1x compared to pre Covid-19 levels.
The conglomerate has doubled the network of stockists to target rural markets and to drive growth, also will reduce the impact of stoppage wholesale channel and service emerging demand.
As demand for hygiene products has increased during the Covid-19 pandemic, ITC’s hygiene brand Savlon has become a rupees 1,200-crore brand.
During the year 2020-21, the company’s portfolio of over 25 brands which includes Bingo, Yippee, Aashirvaad among others represented an annual consumer spend of over rupees 22,000 crore.