ITC to Make Andhra Agri-biz Hub, Plans Huge Investments
Guntur: After years of strong presence in Andhra Pradesh in the areas of tobacco and paper, FMCG giant ITC now plans to make significant investment in the state’s Guntur region for both agri-business and hospitality, involving hundreds of crores. Chairman YS Deveshwar said the conglomerate was looking at investment for the production of millets, chillies, spices and shrimps, as well as setting up of cold chain facilities and an agricultural research centre.
The group was also considering setting up a five-star hotel, ITC Grand Chola, in Andhra’s upcoming capital city, Amaravati. Deveshwar was in Guntur on Friday to lay the foundation stone for the group’s ‘My Fortune’ hotel. Spread over 1.44 acres, the hotel project would be completed by 2019.
ITC, which plans to make Guntur its hub for agri-business involving crop production, development research and food safety areas, would also build its office and residential complex here. The group will take up research in this complex “to see that our agri commodities are added value to”, he said.
While Deveshwar did not divulge details of the investments, ITC executives at the venue said that would be around .₹ 350 crore on the proposed hotel at Amaravati and the office and residential complex in Guntur. The agri-business research complex would have a built up area of half-a-million square feet, housing at least 500 employees. It is expected to take off by April next year and act as the group’s agri-business headquarters, said S Sivakumar, ITC group head of agri-business.
ITC plans to set up large cold chain facilities to enter the packaged shrimp business.