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ITC Innovation strategy: How encouraging Intrapreneurship at ITC led to e-choupal initiative?

About ITC:

Founded in 1910, ITC Limited is an Indian conglomerate that offers services in different segments including tobacco, hotels, paper boards, foods, fashion retailing, and commodities export. The International Business Part (IBD), a division of ITC, began operations in 1990 and is involved in the export of a variety of agricultural goods. It accounts for more than 60% of ITC Group’s overall foreign exchange earnings.

The Idea and Implementation 

In June 2000, ITC came up with the concept of e-Choupal, an initiative to enhance the distribution network and reduce the cost of intermediaries by procuring the produce directly from the farmers. Sivakumar, a manager in the ITC Group’s agro-business section, contacted the company’s chairman with a funding request of INR 50 lakhs to test this concept of direct sourcing. The idea was to obtain farm produce directly from Madhya Pradesh soya farmers, thereby removing the need for middlemen. 

Currently, e-Choupal touches millions of farmers in over 40,000 communities who raise a variety of crops. It supplies farmers with useful information such as weather forecasts, domestic and international commodity pricing, and improved crop management practices. It has resultantly increased farmers’ production and made the agri-products market more competitive.

Results 

E-Choupal provides several benefits to all stakeholders including ITC, farmers, and customers. Web-based real-time data helps the farmer stay updated about the market prices for their produce. In addition, it helps ITC by reducing the extra cost associated with the intermediaries. Farmers using e-Choupal receives a 2.5% higher rate on their crops when compared to the traditional mandi system. 

According to Y. C. Deveshwar, Chairman of ITC, “ITC believes that its aspiration to create enduring value for the nation provides the motive force to sustain growing shareholder value. ITC practices this philosophy by not only driving each of its businesses towards international competitiveness but by also consciously contributing to enhancing the competitiveness of the larger value chain of which it is a part.

Encouraging a culture of innovation and enabling intrapreneurship within the organization helped ITC and various organizations achieve their objectives and resulted in revenue generation for the organization. With an idea capture system like Inspire IP Ideas, you can join these organizations too, and benefit from the ideas of your employees. Sign up for free today!

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