Working from home. Time at hand. Markets down. And the brain gets to work – even in these very difficult times, what are the sectors which are relatively recession proof? No need to pour into balance sheets and research reports; look at our day-today life itself. Three things which we buy and use, irrespective of everything currently – soaps, detergent, shampoo, lotions, hair oil, toothpaste and brush, home cleaning products. So, basically we are talking about FMCG companies whose demand will shoot up once again during these “lockdown” times.
Then there are the life essentials like food items, vegetables, fruits, oil, tea, coffee, pulses, rice, wheat and all the ingredients needed to eat and live a reasonably healthy life. Basically, we are then looking at agri products and those selling these life essentials.
Yes, there is the internet and mobile services, online education. The entire internet of things. But many of these, some can afford and some cannot. But one which is a habit and cannot be done without, like an addiction, is cigarettes – these are truly recession proof.
And there is one company, which fits into this ‘logical’ formula of being relatively recession proof – ITC. It has five major arms – cigarettes, hotel, agri, FMCG (health and hygiene, snacks, biscuits, convenience foods and staples) and paper. In Q3FY21, it had reported a revenue of Rs.12,492 crore of which 41% came from cigarettes, 19% came from agri business, 27% from FMCG, 11% from paper and hotel unit is bleeding, with revenue hardly at 2%.
Thus if today we are looking at companies which can be multifaceted, more diversified to counter the impact of the pandemic, ITC works well. Its not longer just a 'cigarette' company....
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