Industrial visits are crucial in the curriculum of TISS. Besides providing insights to students on the real working scenario of any organization, they also sensitise them regarding typical practices of the industry. One such Industrial visit that TISS Hyderabad exposed its students to was to VST industries on June, 2, 2015.
The visit enabled the students to understand and appreciate the splendid history of the Vazir Sultan Tobacco (VST) Industries, which is one of the oldest tobacco companies in India. Located at the prime city of Hyderabad, near Nallukunta, it is the third largest tobacco player in the Indian market, having about 9% share in the market. Established in the year 1910, in the place called Narayanpur, it began to sell indigenous cigarettes made out of rolling paper. The company adopted its brand name CHARMINAR at the time of World War II, after which the company secured an official permission from the Government to produce CHARMINAR cigarettes. Technology was purchased from Germany, and France to produce fine tobacco. The product sale rose and when VST required more capital inflow, it approached the British American Tobacco Company for investments, who invested in the brand ‘Charminar’. In the 1980’s, VST started producing filtered cigarettes, under the name ‘Charms’, a brand that is popular till today. During the visit students also learnt about various marketing strategies used by the company.
VST today manufactures and distributes cigarettes under the brands names Charms, Charminar, Gold, Moments etc. The company declared a dividend of 450% in 2011 making it one of the highest dividend yielding stocks in the Bombay Stock Exchange. Apart from the production of cigarettes, VST is also involved in the export of tobacco.
Students also came to know about the work policies of VST where it tries to ensure proper care and proper working conditions. With almost over a hundred HR Managers VST enjoys a good employee retention ratio. It has also received the Best Employer Award by the Telangana Government last year. The day ended with a fruitful discussion between the students and the HR team at VST.