ITC Paperboards and Specialty Papers Division - ITC-PSPD - NEW LEADER STEPS UP


Jan 01 2021

Born to teacher parents in a town named Dharwad in Karnataka, Mr. Vadiraj Kulkarni studied Chemical Engineering from Regional College of Engineering, Warangal (now known as NITW). His journey with ITC began when he joined the erstwhile ITC Agrotech Ltd. back in 1996. He moved to ITC’s India Tobacco Division in 2001 and he became General Manager, Operations-Tobacco Division in 2013.
In November 2015, Mr. Vadiraj moved to Paperboards and Specialty Paper Business as Executive Vice President responsible for Manufacturing, Projects and Business Excellence. He took over as the Divisional Chief Executive of Paperboards and Specialty Papers Business with effect from September, 2020. Prior to this role, he was Chief Operating Officer of the business since November 2016.
In a conversation with Paper Mart, that was both germane and freewheeling, Mr. Vadiraj Kulkarni, Chief Executive at ITC-Paperboards & Specialty Papers Division, talks about the newly added responsibilities he has on account of being the Chief Executive, the growth path of ITC-PSPD, and the capacity upgrade project of the pulp mill. Further in the conversation, he also presents his views on the ‘Make in India’ initiative, the strategies to boost growth of the Indian paper industry and reduce dependence on imports.
Paper Mart: Taking the helm as CEO of ITC-PSPD, what add-on does it get on the platter in terms of roles and responsibilities?
Vadiraj Kulkarni: In addition to the P&L responsibility and managing all the functions, to enable effective strategy formulation and execution, the new role comes up with the additional responsibility of chartering the future in terms of growth strategies and choosing suitable vectors for enhancing profitability.
PM: With this evolution and change, how do you conceptualize the growth path for the ITC-PSPD?
VK: With the economy recovering post COVID-19, the paper industry is poised for healthy growth in line with projected GDP growth for the country. In addition, export opportunities too, are seemingly on the rise. ITC-PSPD has always built capacities in line with the projected demand through the rebuild of existing machines and addition of new machines, across its portfolio. Thus, we are very bullish about growth and have plans to strengthen our position through timely capacity additions in the near future. Our growth story is also anchored on developing bespoke products in the paperboard segment, thus, providing superior value to our customers.
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