From Guts to Glory!! An Evening with YC Deveshwar, Chairman ITC Ltd.

A Few Days back, I had a Golden Opportunity to be at the Young Turks 11th year Anniversary Celebration at Delhi.

Earlier the Tag for Successful people was “Rags to Riches” but now it is  “Guts to Glory”

Seems perfect for An Entrepreneur.

Every Moment of the Event is captured in my Mind and The one that I want to share with you is the talk by Mr Yogesh Chandar (YC) Deveshwar, Chairman of ITC Ltd.


It was so good that it inspired me to tweet that

“Listening to Mr Deveshwar for 1 hour is equalivent to 2 years Learning at Business School”

Some key takeaways were:-

We Need to have Indian Brands/Companies Going International


  • To Improve Indian Economy Companies/Entrepreneurs need to Focus on Business wherein, Either you “Export More” or “Substitute Imports”
  • Everything today’s young Consumer is buying is a Foreign Brand.  On Every Purchase of a Burger, Aerated Drink, Diaper, Chocolate, Phone etc etc, we are paying a Royalty which goes out of our Country. If we don’t make more Make Strong Indian Brands…. Then we will only be a Royalty Paying Nation.
  • India should build its own powerhouse of Indian Brands. Firstly win Indian Market and then explore other countries…and make it Global Brands like Tata, Mahindra and Mahindra
  • A Country Like Korea produced Samsung.
  • India requires Institutions driven with Values  & Vision and Requires effort of 2-3 generations.

Tomorrow’s Business

  • Tomorrow’s Business should be responsible businesses
  • Tomorrow’s Consumer would demand Value Proposition that you have for society at Large
  • Research and Development is Way to go.
  • ITC has 250 Scientist working in their R&D Department and have been given free hand and ENOUGH Time to produce Results 

About ITC

  • 5 Groups, 30 CEOs and 30 Businesses, all Businesses are Leaders or next to Leader in their category.
  • 5 Business represent Diversity… If u can handle them well. Then keeping them aligned will be great.
  • Also, it proves to be a boon, if different Businesses can be interlinked and help each other.
  • ITC was helped in Packaged Food Business by their Chef’s….Whom, he claims are the best in India. He mentions, nobody can understand the Indian Palate better than ITC Chef’s and that is the reason why Aashirwaad Atta is doing so well. They have different Mixtures of Atta for different Regions to suit their Palates..
  • That is also the reason that Yippee Noodles (2nd after Maggi), Aashirwaad Atta, Bingo Chips, Sunfeast Biscuits, are giving tough Competition to Market Leaders, in such a short span.
  • Yippee Noodles–We bought SIMPLE Insight— Long Noodles as Consumers want to Slurp more and Round Packs, as the Pans used to make then were Round as well. Know your Consumer!! Think as a Consumer.

Yippee Noodles AD




  • If your business makes only money, then it’s a Poor Business.
  • True Glory Lies in bringing value to many unprivileged people
  • If u think, U can do something, and if u think you cannot do something… In both the cases you are right.
  • Bet on Yourself.. Ask Yourself.
  • While Explaining that It is tough to do Business in initial Years, And then is easier. He shared that The Times are Tough when you are a Baby. When you Grow up, You develop muscle Be Quick!! Whoever will do it fast will rule the roost tomorrow.

THINK GREEN:-Facts about ITC that were Shared

  • Only Company in the world which is Carbon Positive and Water Positive.
  • Leeds Certified Greenest building in the “World”, ITC Hotels Office.
  • All ITC hotels are Leed platinum certified which also Translates that ITC chain of Hotels are the GREENEST Hotel chain in the World


  • When asked about the Future…He mentioned that I can SEE it very clearly and based on that we diversified. Apart from Conviction in his Idea/product, An Entrepreneur should be clear of where his company would reach in next 5-10 years. It should be Crystal Clear.
  • ITC was told to sell hotel as international player by Top Consulting firms that when Foreign Chains would come in the entire Business would be wiped off. We had the Conviction in our Business and the clarity of what and how we wanted to do. Results are there for all to see.

Mr Deveshwar was asked, His Company is doing lots of Corporate Social Responsibility Projects. Is this because they feel guilty of being in Tobacco business?

He answered,

  • I didn’t start it.
  • If I don’t do, somebody else will.
  • If ITC was not in the cigarette business. Then people would not stop Smoking
  • If we Ban it in India….Then people will start smuggling which will even hit the State and Central Exchequer and only the Smugglers would benefit and nobody else.



  • Don’t challenge your competition. Let them sleep.


Disclaimer::Please note these views are mine and have been gathered from what I heard. The Words I have used are not the Exact Words that were used by Mr Deveshwar, but my interpretation from what I heard and Understood. He did not mention any other Brand’s name…..The Same has been added by me for easier understanding.

All Images have been Sourced from

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Gurpreet Singh Tikku

Meet Mister Tikku – a food influencer, hardcore entertainer, and smile spreader extraordinaire! With a passion for all things delicious, Mister Tikku has spent years exploring the world of food and sharing his experiences with his followers. With his infectious personality and knack for finding the best bites around, Mister Tikku has gained a loyal following on social media and has established himself as one of the most trusted voices in the food & beverage industry. @MisterTikku