The world is passing through uncertain times. Across the globe socio-political turmoiland economic volatility have become the order of the day. The recent most significantchallenge impacting global progress is a turn toward protectionism leading to tradewarfare.
Mainly in advanced economies several factors have lowered growth since the 2010-11recovery from the global financial crisis. Slower growth of median incomes and structurallabour market disruptions has generated political support for zero-sum policy approachesthat could undermine international trading relationships along with multilateralco-operation. In India economic resurgence continued to gain momentum owing toprogressive Government policies and strong domestic demand only to be marginally reinedin by certain short-term disruptions towards the close of the fiscal under review. Itgives us immense pride to state that your Company reported heartening performance manifestin growing business numbers for the period under review despite the prevailing headwinds.This growth is a true refl ection of the dedication and commitment of each member of theAmara Raja family.
Fiscal 2016-17 was important for an important reason during this period weexpanded our horizons across every aspect of our business.
It was a year when our vision to challenge the leadership by expanding our horizonsinto new technologies applications and markets scaled new heights of achievement whichpromise to ignite our growth momentum over the coming years.
Expanding our technology horizon: In the lead-acid space having successfullydelivered trend-setting products with AGM (Absorbed Glass Mat) batteries we graduated tothe gel platform. We developed fl at plate gel and tubular gel battery variants which areexpected to be commercially launched in the current year. This progression will enable usto establish a strong footprint in value-added white spaces.
Expanding our product o3 ering:
In the lead-acid space we successfully absorbed the EFB (enhanced fl ooded battery)technology which helped us in developing batteries for micro-hybrid vehicles which isexperiencing accelerated demand. Our development should reach the dealer shelves in thefirst half of the current year. Further we have developed batteries customised for nicheapplications in the UPS segment which we feel will support the government'sDigital India' drive.
Expanding our process bandwidth: Even as we absorbed new technologies we continuedto live by the Amara Raja DNA Gotta be a better way'. For example even as weimbibed the tubular gel technology we improved upon the paste-filling and formationprocesses which we are confident will facilitate in developing and deliveringtrend-defining solutions.
The path forward
The path forward is even more exciting with India's economic resurgence pivoted onpath-breaking programs
(Make in India Digital India Creation of Smart Cities among others) and itswillingness to embrace the new promises to open interesting opportunity vistas for IndiaInc. compelling corporates to expand beyond the visible. The same holds true for thestorage battery sector where new opportunities herald high-growth opportunities to thosewho are willing to walk the road less travelled. Renewable energy a sunrise sector isexpected to emerge as an important growth area as India is moving rapidly beyond fossilfuels as its primary energy source. A recent draft 10-year energy blueprint indicates that57% of India's total electricity capacity could be derived from non-fossil fuel sources by2027. And solar energy is expected to be a major contributor to India's vision of energybeyond fossil fuel -- India's solar power generation capacity has already more thantripled in three years to more than 12 GW even as the Government has set an ambitioustarget of achieving 100 GW of solar energy capacity by 2022.
E-mobility is another interesting opportunity that can completely alter the dynamics ofthe storage battery space for the sheer size of the opportunity for India plans toleapfrog the conventional mobility model to the green mobility model. The government wantsto see 6 million electric and hybrid vehicles (22000 electric vehicles sold in 2016; ofwhich only 2000 were cars and other four-wheelers) on the roads by 2020 under the NationalElectric Mobility Mission Plan 2020. This thrust is a fallout of a report which mentionsthat adoption of electric and shared vehicles could help the country save US$60 billion indiesel and petrol along with cutting down as much as 1 gigatonne (GT) of carbon emissionsby 2030.
We believe that to remain successful in a sustainable way it is imperative to buildaround what we have created on one hand and keep responding with speed and sensibility toevolving landscapes on the other.
In keeping with this conviction we are exploring and evaluating possibilities ofmaking a foray in other technologies even as we work on strengthening our dominance in thelead-acid space. Moreover we are looking beyond India to those nations who today arewhere India was a decade or two ago (from a development perspective) and who are likely tofollow a similar growth story over the coming years. We are engaging with variousstakeholders in these new markets for establishing a meaningful presence in thosegeographies.
As our business transitions into a new and exciting phase of growth and innovation thefuture of your Company could not be in better hands than under a dynamic and experiencedleadership team led by Vijayanand as the Chief Executive O3 cer. We are confident that ourleadership team will continue to drive an organisational culture that embraces changebelieves in growing talent and invests ahead of time anticipating the future needs ofour customers.
On behalf of the Company we take this opportunity to convey our sincere appreciationto all our shareholders and express our gratitude to the government and its agencies oureminent Board our joint venture partner Johnson Controls customers employees channelpartners bankers and suppliers for believing in our vision and facilitating themanagement in taking the Company to newer heights each year.
The Management Team