Asset-right strategy to drive ITC Next game-plan for hotels: Sanjiv Puri


In his AGM address Sanjiv Puri, Chairman and Managing Director of ITC Ltd, said the ITC Next horizon for the hotel business is premised on pursuing an ‘asset-right strategy while simultaneously leveraging ITCs world-class properties to drive growth.

In the medium term, the asset-right strategy is expected to double the number of properties in ITC’s Hotels Business. As stated earlier, ITC will continue to examine alternate structures in this segment in line with industry recovery dynamics and opportunities for value creation.

Puri said ITC has, over the years, built a footprint of iconic hospitality properties, which are globally acknowledged for service excellence and superior cuisine offerings.

“While the Hotels Business was among the most impacted by the pandemic, this period also gave us the opportunity to reimagine the business model and emerge stronger. Structural interventions were put in place to enable new revenue streams together with aggressive cost management both at a strategic and tactical level,” he added.

Innovative offerings such as the ‘Gourmet Couch’ at-home fine dining experiences have gained popularity, whilst other unique out-of-home cuisine services are being piloted. These initiatives will further enhance ITC service excellence and operational efficiencies.

The Business raised the bar on safety by swiftly re-engineering operating protocols with a contactless service design to reassure guests of best-in-class safety & hygiene standards. An industry defining programme titled ‘WeAssure’, designed with medical professionals and disinfectant experts, was accorded a first-of-its kind global Platinum Level certification by DNV.

“The ITC Next horizon for the Hotels Business is premised on pursuing an ‘asset-right’ strategy while simultaneously leveraging ITC’s world-class properties to drive growth”, he added.

Accordingly, the ‘Welcomhotel’ brand has been refreshed, receiving encouraging interest from property owners, while a new boutique brand christened ‘The Storii’ is being introduced to offer the new-age traveller curated nature experiences. The Business is well poised to leverage the emerging opportunities as mobility increases in the future.

Puri said an extensive strategy reset has been undertaken to architect the structural drivers that will power ITC’s next horizon of growth and ensure that the enterprise remains future-oriented, consumer-centric and nimble. Each of ITC’s businesses has pivoted to create new frontiers for the future, with enhanced competitiveness as well as sharper focus on cost management to strengthen leadership or rapidly attain the top positions in the case of newer segments.

As a core element of the ITC Next strategy, ITC will continue to explore opportunities to craft disruptive business models anchored at the intersection of Digital and Sustainability, the two defining trends in the ‘new normal’, leveraging its institutional strengths. Let me highlight some of the contours of this ITC Next strategy.