All stories by Ishita Ayan Dutt
ITC diversifying tobacco biz to capture US vaping marketRediff.com16 Jul 2021
The facility, which will manufacture nicotine and nicotine salts, will conform to stringent US and EU pharmacopoeia standards that define purity levels at 99.2 per cent for nicotine meant for pharmaceutical products. ITC will leverage the institutional capabilities of its century-old leaf tobacco business for this. ITC's cigarettes business saw disruptions across the value chain with the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic. The company mentioned in its annual report that with easing of restrictions and improvement in mobility from September 2020 onwards, the business recovered progressively over the remainder of the year to reach nearly pre-Covid levels towards the close of the year.
How Bhaipo plans to make Trinamool a national playerRediff.com28 Jun 2021
33-year-old Abhishek Banerjee has emerged as the most visible and significant leader in the party after his pishi (aunt), Mamata Banerjee reports Ishita Ayan Dutt.
Despite its FMCG push, for D-Street ITC is still a tobacco playRediff.com20 Jun 2021
Most of the changes have come about in the last four years and ITC is now reaping the dividends - standalone revenues from the non-cigarettes FMCG business have grown 40 per cent from FY17 to Rs 14,728.21 crore in FY21 and pre-tax profits 30 times to Rs 823.69 crore. The business accounted for 30.58 per cent of gross revenues and 4.85 per cent of pre-tax profits in FY21. "In the last four years, our margins in FMCG have gone up by 640 basis points (bps) and EBITDA margins have been moving up consistently. "We created levers that enabled a sustained growth trajectory," said ITC chairman and managing director Sanjiv Puri. Puri took charge as the chief executive officer in 2017; in 2018, he was redesignated managing director and effective May 2019, he became chairman.
Is Darjeeling Tea Losing its Fizz?Rediff.com9 Jun 2021
Scanty rainfall, last year's lockdown, growing competition from Nepal and the disaster of the 2017 Gorkhaland agitation are steadily weakening exports and sales of Darjeeling tea.
Why Alapan Bandyopadhyay matters in Mamata's BengalRediff.com7 Jun 2021
Those who know Alapan Bandyopadhyay describe him as measured, tactical and extremely focused on achieving what he sets out to do. To many it came as a surprise that he would cut short a meeting with the prime minister.
Hesitant at first, people rush to vaccination centres amid 2nd waveRediff.com4 Jun 2021
'Everyone wants to take a vaccine. The last time a camp was held, there were 1,000 people for 500 doses. People are waiting and returning disappointed. At times, it is creating problems. The demand is much more than the supply.' Ishita Ayan Dutt reports on how the West Bengal countryside is reacting to the vaccination drive.
Centre-Bengal ties may hold key to investmentsRediff.com6 May 2021
Though the mandate is seen largely an outcome of Banerjee's welfare schemes, she has promised to industrialise at a faster pace, or so read the manifesto.
Modi's Covid mismanagement helped MamataRediff.com3 May 2021
'The last three phases, the Trinamool gained more than expected due to Covid mismanagement by the Centre.'
India Inc lends a hand amid shortage of oxygenRediff.com26 Apr 2021
Over the weekend, many companies stepped in to ease the bottleneck in supply and transportation of oxygen, as demand ran high with the surge in cases.
What makes this loss-making steel co so attractive?Rediff.com14 Apr 2021
India Ratings expects long products demand growth to be sharp, supported by a demand push from the government-led infrastructure investments in affordable housing, railways, rural electrification and road networks.
Is poriborton in sight in Bengal, again?Rediff.com23 Mar 2021
Whatever the outcome from the assembly elections, what's evident is that West Bengal has entered an era of identity politics, reports Ishita Ayan Dutt.
Nandigram: Will Dada trounce Didi?Rediff.com3 Mar 2021
Nandigram, 126 km south of Kolkata, is Suvendu Adhikari's bastion, where he has vowed to defeat Mamata Banerjee by 50,000 votes or quit politics.
How XLRI cracked 100 per cent placementRediff.com26 Feb 2021
Within two days, the business school had 108 recruiters making 370 domestic and international offers, including 23 new final recruiters with an average salary of Rs 25.08 lakh.
Positive cues from China cheer Indian steel companiesRediff.com23 Feb 2021
Positive cues from China - which accounts for 56.5 per cent of global crude steel production - are likely to keep demand-supply in balance and provide support to prices. All eyes have been on China, which opened after New Year holidays, as it was widely expected that prices would recover post-holidays after the weakness in January. Jayanta Roy, senior vice president, ICRA pointed out, barring last year when Covid-related restrictions affected China's steel demand in February 2020, historical trends show a typical upward movement in steel prices post-new year festivities. China's opening post-holidays was keenly awaited, especially in the wake of the sluggishness in the market in January.
What are the future plans of Tata Steel?Rediff.com22 Feb 2021
Tata Steel delivered one of its best financial performances ever in the third quarter of the current financial year, and surpassed its deleveraging target of $1 billion. In an interview, Koushik Chatterjee, executive director and chief financial officer, Tata Steel, tells Ishita Ayan Dutt that the company will continue to focus on deleveraging but profitable and value-added growth will be equally important.
'Only one leader in TMC, no one else matters'Rediff.com22 Feb 2021
Against the backdrop of the Lok Sabha results, a much larger scale of desertion was anticipated from the TMC. 'It seems, people don't believe that the ship is sinking.'
With Air India will Pawan Ruia prove to be India's 'turnaround tycoon'?Rediff.com19 Feb 2021
Pawan Ruia has finally done it, a beaming Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, then West Bengal chief minister, had said at the reopening of the 70-year-old Sahagunj factory owned by Dunlop in 2005. But with the Calcutta high court passing a winding-up order in 2013 and the Trinamool Congress-led state government passing a Bill to take over the company in 2016, the once-upon-a-time undisputed leader in the Indian tyre industry looks vastly undone. But that can hardly be a deterrent for Ruia, who has a penchant for making headlines one way or the other.
Budget has good news for Chinese steel millsRediff.com12 Feb 2021
Spiraling steel prices led the government to cut customs duty by 2.5-5.5 per cent on a range of products from semi-finished to flat and long products for the benefit of MSMEs, that have been at the receiving end.
TMC or BJP, big-ticket projects still a pipedream for BengalRediff.com8 Feb 2021
In power, Mamata Banerjee has tried to bury the ghost of the past, but it might still be work-in-progress. Big-ticket and eye-grabbing (in terms of investment size) projects are still few and far between, reports Ishita Ayan Dutt.
Steel prices rise by up to Rs 2,400 a tonne, more hikes expectedRediff.com5 Jan 2021
A primary producer said that the prices would be raised in tranches this month and the total increase could be Rs 6,000 a tonne.