Millennium Post

ITC to add 2,500 rooms in five years, mulls healthcare foray

Hyderabad: ITC Limited on Monday said it planned to add 2,500 rooms to its hotel segment to take the total inventory to 12,000 in five years from 9,500 now, even as the diversified group mulls foraying into the healthcare space.

Sanjiv Puri, ITC Managing Director,said the company would invest Rs 2,500 crore in the next two to three years in Telangana, among others,to set up an integrated consumer goods manufacturing unit and logistics facility and for the capacity augmentation and efficiency of Bhadrachalam Paperboard.

He said ITC appointed a committee internally to examine the possibility of foraying into the healthcare space. Once it submitted its report, the Board would examine it and take a final call.

"Currently we have four brands under ITC hotels. Some are owned and some are managed. We currently have 107 hotels with 9,500 rooms.

In the next five years we can add another 24 hotels which are at various stages of construction, both owned and managed.

It will bring another 2,500 rooms. This would take to roughly 130 hotels with 12,000 rooms," he said. ITC's hotel group operates under four distinct brands -- 'ITCHotel' at the luxury end, 'WelcomHotel' in the 5 star segment, 'Fortune' in the mid-market to upscale segment and WelcomHeritage' in the heritage leisure segment.

ITC on Monday formally inaugurated ITC Kohenur, a luxury hospitality project at Hitec City, constructed at a cost of Rs 775 crore.

The hotel has 271 rooms, suites and service apartments.

Puri said ITC earlier said it would invest Rs 25,000 crore over the next five years in various sectors, of which Rs 10,000 crore would be invested in food processing.

"Our vision is to build 20 integrated consumer goods manufacturing and logistics hubs in the country. Some of them are under construction," he added.

Earlier, in his inaugural address, Telangana Minister K T Rama Rao asked ITC Chairman Y C Deveshwar to look into the possibility of helping the revival of Ballarpur Industriies Limited (BILT) unit near Warangal.

The Minister also said revival of the plant would help 2000 of its employees get employment.

BILT shut down its pulp manufacturing factory at Kamalapuram in 2014, citing losses.

Reacting to the Ministers request, Deveshwar said they would look into it if the state government comes out with some sops for the unit's revival.

On investments in Telangana, Puri said ITC had invested about Rs 2,500 crore in the state, including for the hotel in Kohenur.

"A similar investment is underway in the form of integrated consumer goods manufacturing unit and logistics facility and for capacity augmentation and efficiency of Bhadrachalam paperboard," he said.

ITC has aspeciality paper and paperboard manufacturing unit near Bhadrachalam in Telangana.

To a query, Puri said the cigarette industry is under a lot of pressure due to the steep increase in taxation.

He said 80 per cent of ITC's capital employed is in the non-cigarettes business.

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