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Vitality of companies operating in an economy makes the decisive difference in the capacity of a country to create wealth and to upgrade the basis of competition from comparative factor advantages to innovative capability that enables the highest order of value capture.

lTC, as a premier 'Indian' enterprise, consciously exercises the strategic choice of contributing to, and securing the competitiveness of the entire value chain of which it is a part. This philosophy has shaped the vision for your Company - the vision that I had referred to in earlier years as "A Commitment beyond the Market".

Flowing from this vision, and against all odds, your Company chose to not only invest towards acquiring international competitiveness in quality and cost of manufacture of its own paperboards mill, but also to extend its engagement across the fuller value chain. Pulling together the resources at your Company's disposal, lTC's insights as a substantial consumer of value-added paperboards were leveraged to support technology upgradation and modernisation of the mill. A biotechnology based research programme that was on a relatively modest scale at that time, was leveraged to convert degraded, private wastelands in the economic vicinity of the mill into productive sources of fibre through a social farm forestry programme. Such a strategic option entailed long gestation and daunting uncertainties.

Today, your Company's paperboards business is the decisive leader in the Indian market, with value-added products now constituting nearly 50% of sales. The product footprints extend to several markets in Asia, Africa and the EU.

Your Company's initiatives in energy management have earned national awards for excellence. The modernised pulp mill, besides enhancing competitiveness and substituting imports, also enables the production of elemental chlorine free pulp. It is the only one of its kind in India, thereby setting world-class standards of environment friendly technology.

Societal value has accrued through increasing forest cover, enhancing contribution to restoration of ecological balance and above all, providing sustainable employment to nearly 160,000 people* in some of the most remote tribal regions of the country with related multiplier impact on the economy.


- Extracts from Chairman Y C Deveshwar's speech at the
Annual General Meeting, July 2003


* This figure currently stands at 290,000.


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