The hidden IT gem that could make ITC’s stock shine

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In July, the hotel cigarette giant ITC Ltd did something unusual. He slapped a Rs 100 crore ($ 13.3 million)

libel suit

libel suit

cnbctv18.com
ITC files Rs 100cr libel action against portfolio manager Manu Rishi Guptha for blog post
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against Manu Rishi Guptha, financial blogger and portfolio manager. A month earlier, Guptha had embarked on a

tirade

tirade

Manu Rishi Guptha
Magic, Illusion or just Deception – The ITC Story
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against the ITC leadership. Their decisions, he alleged, hurt the company’s performance and the stock price.

The long list of complaints included scathing remarks about ITC Infotech, the unlisted and under-the-radar software subsidiary of the conglomerate. “There is no way ITC Infotech can ever become anything meaningful,” he wrote.

The blog post seemed to have stung ITC. So much so that in addition to the libel lawsuit, for the first time, the group highlighted the performance of ITC Infotech in its presentation of the results for the June quarter.

Between the years ended March 2019 and 2021, ITC Infotech’s consolidated revenue increased 22% to Rs.2454 crore ($ 327 million), while its net profit quadrupled to 451 crore. rupees ($ 60 million).

Momentum continued in the June 2021 quarter: revenue increased 21% and operating profit increased 79% year-on-year. This is a sharp recovery from the lukewarm growth of its early years, when revenues and profits only rose to single digits or even contracted.

Two things seem to have contributed to the turnaround: new hands behind the wheel and an update in strategy.

In early 2019, ITC Infotech recruited Sudip Singh, a former senior executive at Infosys, as CEO. He also streamlined his business model, moving from a bunch of business segments to a specific handful, while aggressively pursuing the big deals. The latter, in particular, was a significant departure from its earlier strategy, where it focused on small trades.

There is still a long way to go for ITC Infotech before it can reach the scale of Mumbai-based Larsen & Toubro Infotech Limited (LTI) – the latter is around 5 times larger in terms of revenue. But the company has overtaken smaller players such as

Auntie elxsi

Auntie elxsi

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and

The happiest spirits

The happiest spirits

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, which have been the toast of the stock market for the past year or so.



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