India: Sanjiv Puri, new ITC COO, seen as Deveshwar’s successor

Sanjiv Puri, COO, ITC Photo: LiveMint

ITC Ltd has appointed Sanjiv Puri, a wholetime director of the company, as chief operating officer (COO) with immediate effect, the company said in a filing to the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE).

On 6 December, Puri took over as executive director from 6 December, replacing P.V. Dhobale. Before that, Puri was the president of ITC’s packaged goods business that accounts for about 80% of ITC’s business.

Puri is seen as the successor of chairman Y.C. Deveshwar, who is to step down early next year after a more than two-decade stint as chairman. Deveshwar, who will continue as non-executive chairman for at least three years after that, has already set a high target for his successors – Rs.1 trillion revenue from consumer goods segment (other than cigarettes) by 2030.

This is more than 10 times of the company’s current revenues from the segment. In fiscal year to March 2016, ITC reported Rs.9,731 crore in revenue from sale of packaged goods (excluding cigarettes) with a pre-tax profit of Rs.70.5 crore.

Puri, a graduate of the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur, joined ITC in 1986. Puri has worked with ITC in several roles. Puri’s first major break was in 2001 when he was appointed the managing director Surya Nepal, a subsidiary of ITC that became one of the largest private companies in Nepal. Puri also played a key role in ITC’s entry into the apparel business.

In 2006, Puri became the managing director of ITC Infotech and led the business till August 2009. Then, he became the divisional chief executive of ITC’s tobacco business, with additional responsibilities of trade marketing and distribution of the country’s largest cigarette maker.

In 2014, Puri became the president of fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) business. After Puri took charge of the packaged goods business, ITC entered into the juice segment with the acquisition of the BNatural brand. The company also acquired the hygiene brands Savlon and Shower to Shower from Johnson & Johnson.

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This article was first published on Livemint.com

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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.