New ITC chairman Puri to strengthen market leadership

Aims to build on ‘outstanding legacy’

The board of directors of ITC Ltd., appointed Sanjiv Puri, managing director, as also the chairman of with effect from May 13, 2019.

Consequently, Mr. Puri’s new designation is chairman and managing director. He would thus fill in the void created by the demise of Y. C. Deveshwar on Saturday.

Mr. Puri said his resolve was to strengthen and build market leadership across all business segments whilst reinforcing ITC’s commitment to put nation first always while building on the “outstanding legacy nurtured over the years.”

An alumnus of IIT Kanpur and Wharton School of Business, Mr. Puri joined ITC in 1986 becoming a director in December 2015.

He headed several businesses before becoming the CEO of the diversified conglomerate in 2017 taking independent charge of the company’s executive leadership.

He became its managing director in 2018.

He was mentored by Deveshwar all throughout.

Cigarettes, FMCG

Prior to his joining the board, he was in-charge of the cigarette and non-cigarette FMCG business since December 2014.

Non-cigarettes have been an area of focus for ITC which has been trying to grow this business.

He has been involved with the cigarette business as the chief executive of the tobacco division in 2009, with additional responsibility of the company’s trade, marketing and distribution vertical.

He has led ITC Infotech as its managing director and Surya Nepal Private Ltd. However, he has, until recently, remained in the shadows of his mentor. It was only last year that he spoke to the media during and after the customary post AGM press meet.

Role in FICCI

He serves on the national executive committees of CII and FICCI. He is also a director on the board of U.S.-India Strategic Partnership Forum and a member of the steering committee of FICCI according to the ITC portal

Mr. Puri takes over the reins at a time when the legal cigarette industry is under attack from smuggled products.

The growth of the other-FMCG segment, too, has belied expectations in face of muted rural demand and tight liquidity conditions. The shoes that he needs to step into are indeed large.

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