BrandWagon Conclave 2021: ITC’s Hemant Malik on the need to develop a strong digital presence

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October 28, 2021 8:00 AM

ITC has been very heavily invested in digitisation and is constantly monitoring the new trends, Malik stated

Malik stated that Aashirvaad Atta accounts for the largest share of digital ad spendsMalik stated that Aashirvaad Atta accounts for the largest share of digital ad spends

With consumers stuck at home last year during lockdown, the shopping habits saw a stark shift. Online grocery platforms saw a rise in userbase, forcing many companies to develop a strong digital presence. “Organisations which have a higher degree of agility were able to do much better than other companies during a crisis. We had one of the finest quarters last year as we started our ITC Store on Wheels,” Hemant Malik, divisional chief executive, foods division, ITC, said. He was speaking at the second edition of BrandWagon Conclave held virtually, in conversation with Roshun Povaiah, editor, FE Digital.

According to Malik, the company had first developed the ITC store as a brand platform rather than a commerce platform. “We wanted a place where we can talk about the brand. However, now the ITC store has become a regular part for us which houses all of our 800 SKUs. We are able to launch all our new products on our e-store and get valuable feedback from customers and are able to estimate the demand we will get for those products,” he said, adding that the drawback of a modern trade store is the lack of new experience and a wider range of products which online stores are able to provide.

ITC has been very heavily invested in digitisation and is constantly monitoring the new trends, Malik stated. Citing an example of B Natural immunity juice, he highlighted how the company has been following the spike in conversation on social media platforms around immunity, which allowed the company to launch the product 40-45 days after the first lockdown last year. “We are able to launch new products based on the insights we get from monitoring conversations around new trends, new demands on digital,” he claims.

As for advertisement spends, Malik stated that Aashirvaad Atta accounts for the largest share of digital ad spends as the digital space has evolved from being only for the new-age consumer. Furthermore, he added that on e-commerce, the return on investments is more easily measurable as opposed to other products, giving clarity to marketers on what to advertise and where.

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