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ITC targets West and South Asia as new markets for stationery items
The Hindu Business Line - 18 Sep 2014

ITC Ltd's Classmate and Paperkraft notebooks and stationery items will soon be available in West Asian and South Asian countries. The company will foray into Bahrain, Kuwait, UAE, Qatar, Oman and Saudi Arabia next fiscal. Entry into South Asia is planned a year later.

We will start with the Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) countries next fiscal as there are no entry barriers. This will be followed by the South Asian countries. Chand Das, Chief Executive, Education and Stationery Products Business, ITC Ltd, told BusinessLine.

Market sources indicate that the GCC countries generally offer higher value realisation on such products.

The company says the total 'customer spend' (the maximum retail price including taxes paid by the consumer) for Classmate and Paperkraft is around Rs. 1,400 crore.

Currently, Classmate notebooks account for approximately 85 per cent of the segment turnover. Other offerings under Classmate include pens, pencils and mechanical pencils and art stationery.

Focus would also be on introducing premium offerings in the pens category targeting gifting and other segments. For pens, the focus is more on value addition, Das said.

According to him, ITC is also looking to cater to the college students segment with its new range of premium notebooks under the 'Pulse' brand.

Launched nationally this year, the notebooks will be priced 15 to 20 per cent higher than the Classmate range.

In terms of design, the notebooks would have additional features such as page separators, different segments for subjects, pen-holders, spiral binding and so on. Sources indicate that the idea is to create a separate product category with the offering and increase the product basket.

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