Mumbai: Diversified group ITC is looking to invest Rs 800 crore in Odisha over the next few years to set up a hotel property and a food processing park in the state, a top official said on Sunday.
“We are planning to invest Rs 800 crore in Odisha for a hotel and a food processing park industry,” ITC Chairman and Managing Director Y C Deveshwar told PTI on the sidelines of the Make in India Week here.
He said the hotel property will come up in Bhubaneshwar, while the food processing park details are being worked out.
Nearly, Rs 630 crore will be invested in the food processing park and the rest of the money will be invested in the hotel, he added.
With its genesis in the tobacco industry, the Kolkata-based company has diversified into multiple sectors including hospitality and consumer goods. It operates a chain of star hotels.
Apart from these two investments, the company is also looking at investments in the agro forestry side in Odisha, Deveshwar said.
“Till now we were testing the waters and getting our plans ready. Now it is time to start,” Deveshwar said, when asked about its existing investments in the eastern state.
Apart from the investments in Odisha, Deveshwar said the plan of investing Rs 25,000 crore across verticals over five years is also progressing with work on 20 projects being on and 16 more being planned.
Deveshwar said he expects consumer demand to pick up by July, majorly on the rural demand going up on receipt of MNREGA payments, an expected good monsoon and a push in government spending.
At the same event, Aditya Birla Group Chairman Kumar Mangalam Birla during a session organised by American news channel CNN said that India needs to focus on increasing the skill sets of youth to make the ‘Make in India’ drive more meaningful.
“We need to learn a lot of new skills for making global brands, including miniaturization. We are some time away from that. However, this is the right time to start learning new skills,” he said here.
When asked whether he sees domestic brands emerging sometime soon, Birla said making indian brands global is something that requires patience, time and product quality.
“I think we are yet to see any brand coming out of India that is truly global,” he said.
When asked which sector can make it to the global brand league, he said right now, the opportunity is or consumer brands. But he refused to say whether he will take any of his consumer-facing brands like Idea Cellular global or not.
But he was quick to add, “I think we have a great brand in Idea Cellular. It will be our starting point. However, currently we are focusing on the domestic market”.
Birla said the country is highly innovative.
“It (innovation) is part of our DNA. We have a government here which is focusing more on manufacturing than ever before,” a statement quoting Birla said.
“The government wants to be a catalyst through its ‘Make in India’ initiatives. Today, several new opportunities have opened up for the private sector in India, which cannot be ignored,” he added.