ITC: "Will"(s) "Gold Flake" assist "Ashirwad" to win "Bingo!"?

I had Bata Shares some years back, and they used to give discount coupons every year.
Why cant ITC with its Huge share holders base can issue discount coupons on its Hotels which have been bleeding for some time.
Perhaps some boarders who have been tracking could explain


Yes have listened many times that this happened with Indian hotels also.
Yes they can do it maybe the base is to large as if we think of itc the number of pan that hold there share is huge just see news 1.5lac retail exit from itc that is massive.
Also hotel is not there core business but as a holder will love to get coupons for hotel or FMCG.
This may be due to its overall size as itc is a megacap type company with very low share price so the cupon number would be to huge.
Also it may also not be that good for them.


@Vego / @Contrabets - Nice ideas… I think the better solution would be to provide shareholder coupn on their They would be able to attract traffic.

Relaxo does provide its discount coupons, had been using for last two yrs now. It works both offline & online.
Titan also does it. I remember receiving it last to last year, haven’t seen mail this year. Their shareholder coupon also works both offline & online.

As a shareholder it gives me more confidence to use the company products & I think, at some level it would work as Governance too (more like psychological impact, than anything else).

Disc : Invested in above given names from last couple of years.


As a customer and as a shareholder I am a little bit disappointed to see that itc being such a giant still doesn’t serve many areas.
I personally live in Jaipur which is a tier 1 city and even in many other cities also even after launching it quite a while ago if we take online business expansion as a scale.


I feel, this quarter is going to be excellent on all parameters. All businesses have improved and are enjoying tailwinds. Have seen many reports in the past month along with 1.5 L retail investors moving out from ITC and increase in FII holding in last qrtr supports the narrative of consolidation getting over.

  • Cigarette - Volumes have exceeded pre covid levels, Good traction in export of tobacco is also expected to aid in top & bottom line.
  • FMCG - Online coverage increasing will help in improving margin and reachability. Input costs can hamper somewhat but not much as most of the raw materials are sourced internally.
  • Agri - Going to be big this qrtr due to increased exports in agri products and global events.
  • Paper & packaging - Paper industry/sector is in tailwind and the entire sector is gaining so it should benefit ITC as well.
  • Hotel - Travel has picked up and the profits will soar from this qrtr and going forward.
  • ITC Infotech - Could be moderate given the attrition and margin trend of the sector.

Disc:- Invested and Biased, Pls do your own Due Diligence.


One area that ITC can be do very well but it has not yet came to limelight: Spices

We all know ITC paid about 2100 Cr to takeover Sunrise brands which mainly caters to eastern India. I was a little disappointed with packaging and lack of marketing efforts.

Introduction to Indian Spice Market:

Not surprisingly Indian spice market is one of the biggest in the world. Currently valued at a market size of 65,000 Cr. It was projected that market size will reach 1 Lakh Crore by the year 2025. But this market size is very fragmented and dominated by the regional players. Out of this only 24 % belong to organised sector and rest are smaller regional players. But organised sector has been capturing markets pretty fast after double blow of DeMO, GST and recently covid related stress. Due to this organised sector is set to capture 50 % market size by 2025 thats is almost 50,000 Cr.

Why this market is attractive

This is a high margin business. Ordinaly simple spice has about 30-35 % gross margins while blended spice ( like biriyani masala for example ) has 45-50 % gross margins. Simply by mixing few in correct ratios margins are improved by 20 %.

Who are the dominant players

Only a handful of players dominate organised sectors but only few have true pan Indian presence.

Everest 15 %
MDH 10 %
Sakthi 8 %
Aachi 6 %
Eastern 4 %

Only Everest and MDH had pan india presence and others are trying to expand. Recently MTR took over Eastern. There were articles saying HUL is interested in taking over MDH. I feel ITC can get some market share if they play it well.

To my surprise ( probably I didnt read AR fully last year ), ITC is building a new state-of-the-art spices facility to cater the domestic and international markets. Export markets are pretty attractive as more and more Indian families are living abroad and world is also interested in eating different cuisine.

This was mentioned in 2021 Annual Report its built in Guntur. I did some small search to see the status of this.

On Jan 2021

On Mar 2022

This is the proposed facility

As with ITC philosophy this will be a fully backwards integrated facility with storage capacity. Looks like the facility is close to commissioning. I hope they will do enough marketing, good attractive packaging to gain customers.


Great insights. This is something which is not being talked about much after their acquisition. Thank you for these good research. Given you have tried their spices, how do they augur well? Are they getting the priority shelf presence? I believe they are still dominated by MDH and Everest.

I think one marketing and promotion that they could think about is to promote it with their other fmcg products. Like with Aashirwad atta for e.g. Traction, attraction and awareness has to be created.


SunRise spices is number 1 in West Bengal. ITC is trying to expand them to eastern India as well as Odhisa and Bihar.

A one brand pan Indian spices wont work. Thats the important key to understand. India has many many submarkets, so only a micro market strategy as well as price rationalisation alone will work.

Peoples taste differ state to state and we have wide variety of cuisines among India. Any company that appreciates this will succeed in spice market otherwise they are bound to fail. For example Sambar in Tamilnadu tastes different than Sambar in Karnataka. They simply cant sell same sambar powder even among south Indian states. So instead of going pan india one brand one product, they must have different brands/varieties depending on regions. This is also why regional players dominate the market.

This problem is not new to ITC and thats also why im counting on them to succeed. They have executing this very well for quite sometime. Let me explain that with cigarette example

Classic and Gold flake are mother brands. But they developed custom brands based on micro market requirements.

Brands Regions
Navy Cut Kerala & Norh East
Bristol West
Capston North
Flake East
American Club Telangana & Andhra
Silk Cut Bengal
Scissors Tamilnadu
Pleyers Karnataka

These brands were developed using local insights and local opportunities. Unlike other sectors food has to to be identified with locals otherwise people will reject it. Regional customisation is the big key here but I trust ITC more than anyone else on that.

My sister liked some but it wasnt widely available back then. But I think supply will come only after the factory is fully functional.

its been a while, but I will checkout during my next trip.


Nicely expressed views and data. I see Tata sampann not in list. Is it insignificant now and also you do see low potential that it’s excluded from such an exhaustive write up?

Excellent point! One aspect worth considering - spices have 2 aspects broadly…standalone/raw spices like say just a turmeric powder, coriander powder etc. And such mixes like sambhar masala…do you have any data on how much the standalone spices contribute today to the overall pie and the growth trajectory of the each pie in the mix?
With movement of unorganized to organized, i see significant traction in raw spices also…and see Tata sampann as formidable player here as well…any data points would be helpful.
Also, this segment can be played pan India, unlike as you rightly mentioned the mixed which need to have regional flavours…

Disc. Invested in both Tata consumer and ITC hence biased. Not a buy/sell recommendation.


So does Sunrise and Ashirwad spices :). They are small compared to existing players, but there is a large head room to grow. Sunrise had a revenue of 600 Cr end of FY21. I have no idea how much revenue Tata sampann earns.

ITC has been trashed by many analysts for doing it all themselves and not out sourcing production for better returns ( HUL for example). If one need to serve different states with milder variations, its efficient when company has its own factory and responses to micro market modifications are quicker.

Its certainly not gonna be easy for any player. In the past many MNCS tried and failed, Thats why I feel ITC will fair better as they exhibited this quality in the past. I will give you an example of atta. They have four different blend for north, east, west and south. Also consumers themselves are different. when it comes to northern India its about shifting behavioural choice of customers from non branded to branded and educating them about quality of packaged food compared to buying in loose. In southern India penetration is already higher so health benefits needs to be added/highlighted to product ( for example fiber content/multi grain). So challenges are different for different regions even for atta. When it comes to spices its gonna be even more challenging.

ITC has about 29 manufacturing locations across India, allows them to do such region specific customisation. They have built about 9 ICMLs across India that will be a game changer for FMCG business.

75 % of market right now is simple spices and about 25% is blended spices. its expected that it will be complete reveres in next 5-7 years.

I didn’t do enough research on Tata consumers, so my view may be biased. Please do due diligence.

Disclo: holding since ITC was part of HUL thread. No fresh additions in last 2 months.


Thanks, can you pls share source of this if possible. I agree with you on Atta example.


Here’s why ITC is not promoting BNatural. The brand has less than 8% share.

Another brand acquired from Johnson and Johnson, shower to shower is nowhere to be seen in the ads or on the market while India is facing its harshest summers. I am seeing similar results with fabelle.

A brand loses its presence in a crowded shelf once the company stops marketing it.


Truly agree. One area ITC should focus is on to identify the growth areas, put the entire marketing engine behind that through active brand building exercise and capitalize on the existing well known brands.

Wills and Aashirvaad have a good brand following but in my opinion ITC failed to capitalize on that. Today in most shops Wheat/Atta is synonymous to Aashirvaad but they did not exploit the brand for other groceries like pulses and rice. While they have Gulab jamun, vermicelli, ghee and spices under the same brand, I don’t get to see them in prominent places in any of the store shelves.


ITC has recently acquired one of the business verticals of PTC and it will be the sole provider of such services to PTC clients going forward. Interestingly LTTS who is already an established bigger player in the ERD space and was in the race lost out to ITC. We have to wait and see if ITC can being a formidable player in the ERD space like HCL, LTTS and KPIT

Sanjiv Puri, the current MD of ITC was once heading ITC Infotech


I am personally seeing their cash can actually be easily transferred to less mature businesses and can do massive acquisitions as l&t did with Mindtree that have made their overall returns to the shareholders be better over time and have made for a better case.
They have the largest cash even more the all of them that you said.

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ITC is lacking in promotion and advertisement… Savlon had huge demand during covid Pandemic. They had launched few products under savlon brands and launched 1 and for each product. After few days the ads where stopped and the product started to disappear from shelves…

Shower to shower is selling in the market due to old brand name… ITC did not do anything to promote after it acquired…

I don’t understand why ITC could not spend much in TV and social media advertisement. Atleast they could re telecast the same as again and again…

ITC focus only on sunfeast, Aashirvaad, yippee and does no promote much of their below brands

ITC master chef
Kitchens of India

Fabelle is a good quality chocolate which they had good opportunity to rank next to Cadbury. But Amul smartly promoted their products… even Hershey’s were aggressive in last few years…


Interestingly all related to Wheat

Big opportunity in India even now, if any big brand wakes up to chocolates…

Selling premium chocolates require a different skillset and thought process as compared to selling Atta…not sure if ITC is currently that flexible in thought scale and also has that kind of talent mix as it is still a very new FMCG company and conglomerate has other business responsibilities as well
…but this is a good gap to have to fill eventually…


Add candyman to it. It has lost shelf space even in big hypermarkets. I saw a few on the top most row when I wanted to try a few new things. Dominant products even the ones I haven’t heard have better shelf space.


ITC is huge exporter of wheat, export ban can hurt it badly.