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ITC’s Tech Enthusiast

ITC’s Tech Enthusiast

ITC Chairman and MD Sanjiv Puri

Photograph by Yasir Iqbal Photograph by Yasir Iqbal

Technology has always fascinated ITC Chairman and MD Sanjiv Puri. In fact, way back in 2000, he was asked by his mentor Y.C. Deveshwar (former Chairman and CEO, ITC) to build an ecommerce website.

“We knew it was ahead of time, but I spent a considerable amount of time reading a lot of books on technology and building it,” remembers Puri. The book that influenced him the most during those days was Larry Downes’ “Unleashing The Killer App”.  It talks about digital transformation of businesses. Puri says he refers to that book even today as the diversified conglomerate looks to become a digital-first company.

He, in fact, spends a lot of his free time reading about AI, ML and big data. One of his recent initiatives has been to set up a digital innovators’ lab which has a bunch of young employees with a mandate to come up with cuttingedge digital solutions.

He credits his younger colleagues for a lot of his digital knowledge. “I learnt a lot about bitcoins from my younger colleagues. I realised that only 3 per cent of my generation has dabbled in bitcoins, while in the new generation, it is over 30 per cent.”

Puri likes to call himself a book worm. “I am the serious types, I enjoy reading historical books, about how nations and civilisations are built. I also read a lot about health and nutrition. I recently read a book on organisational strategy, ‘Exponential Organisations’.”