How Deveshwar made ITC a Rs 3 lakh crore company

Beginning in the company as a 21-year-old in 1968, Deveshwar was appointed a director of ITC in 1984


New Delhi: Yogesh Chandra Deveshwar, chairman and CEO of ITC, died on Saturday morning. He was 72 years old. He had been suffering from several serious diseases for a long time.

Deveshwar was appointed as the CEO and chairman of ITC in 1996. He was the longest-serving CEO in the country.

ITC Ltd, a name India’s consumers relate to, thanks to their products in the market segments of food, personal care, branded apparel, cigarette, hotel, agri-business or information technology, had started as a tobacco company on 24 August 1910. The company is today the largest diversified company in the country.

How Deveshwar increased the company’s worth 10 times

YC Deveshwar joined the ITC when the financial condition of the company was bad. In more than four decades, he expanded ITC’s portfolio to many new areas. Before Deveshwar’s entry, ITC’s experiments with diversification had failed. The company had suffered considerable loss and credit.

Deveshwar was born on 4 February 1947 in Lahore of British India. He graduated from the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi, with a BTech in mechanical engineering in 1968. He received an AMP diploma from the Harvard Business School, Massachusetts. He did a course on advanced training in hotel and services from the Cornell University of the United States.

Beginning in the company as a 21-year-old in 1968, Deveshwar was appointed a director of ITC in 1984. Then he became the CEO and chairman of ITC in January 1996. At the July 2011 AGM, the company made an announcement that he would be their chairman for the next five years. He quit the post in 2017.

Milestones in the career of Deveshwar

By then, Deveshwar’s e-chaupal was 17-year-old. It had increased the company’s reach to farmers who accessed the raw material from the company inexpensively. This model was later included as a case study at the Harvard Business School.

In 2001, the company launched Sunfeast biscuits, which was a great success.

ITC started a premium notebook on lifestyle in the year 2002.

In 2007, the company launched Bingo snacks that captured a big share of the food market.

Developing a strong research and development team of 55 people to work on the diversification idea, the company’s earnings grew significantly.

ITC Ltd became a name Indian consumers related to.

During the tenure of Deveshwar, ITC’s income increased from Rs 5,200 crore to Rs 51,500 crore. At the same time, the company’s profits increased by 33 times. Profit soared from Rs 452 crore to Rs 14,958 crore.

Deveshwar received Padma Bhushan.

ITC brands launched with Deveshwar at the helm

  • ITC entered the IT industry with ITC Infotech India in 2000.
  • In 2002, it launched Papercraft, a premium range of notebooks.
  • Men’s wear brand John Players was launched thereafter.
  • Mint-O, Candyman and Aashirvaad Atta were all huge successes.
  • In 2003, students’ notebook range Classmate succeeded too.
  • With Sunfeast, ITC entered the market of biscuits.
  • In 2005, Fiama de Willis and Vivel made ITC enter the personal care segment.
  • Bingo was a branded snack launched in 2007.
  • In 2010, instant noodles brand YiPPee! Became an instant hit.
  • The year 2013 marked the entry of the company in the deodorant segment with the product Engage.