Message From Chairman
I am glad to take this opportunity for the first time to connect with you whileappraising the performance of ACGL in the year that went by and share with you yourcompany's aspirations for the future.
It will be hard to fill the vacuum created by separation of Mr S V Salgoacar whoserved as the company's Chairman for over 3 decades; however with all humility I shallmake endeavors to carry on the good work that has happened under his leadership and try tolead the company to even greater heights with the support of everybody in the company.
With over 1.25 billion population bus transportation in India is always referred to asa 'last-mile connectivity'. Bus is the primary mode of public transport catering to almost90% of passengers in Indian cities and serving as an economical and convenient mode oftransport for all classes of people. With production and sales touching a hundred thousandunits per year the Indian bus industry is reckoned one of the largest in the world and animportant part of the automobile industry of the country. In 2015 India outgrew Brazil tobecome the fifth-largest auto market.
Over the last few years though volatile the bus industry has been growing withsignificant changes being introduced in terms of technology safety passenger comfortetc. The mounting number of commuters rapid economic growth development ofinfrastructure in small cities and different Government schemes introduced in the bussegment have led to growth in demand for world-class bus transportation in the country.
In order to raise the bus technology to international standard the Government hastaken several measures particularly in the area of safety. It has come out with the 'BusCode' that offers ultimate safety for every passenger. India has already emerged one ofthe major destinations for mass production of buses. Several international busmanufacturers have set up operations in India not only to support the fastest growing bustransport system in the country but also to export vehicles to other regions. All this isin view of the fact that India has now been identified as a major centre for low-costproduction.
Many state transport undertakings have also acquired a fleet of luxury coachescatering to the burgeoning demand from passengers most of who do not mind paying apremium for travelling in relative comfort.
In view of the above the Government of India in its finance budget 2016-17 alsoprovided for a "Scheme for Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of (Hybrid &)Electric Vehicle in India-FAME-India". Through this scheme Department has takeninitiative for introducing Electric/Hybird transportation in the country under NationalElectric Mobility Mission Plan (NEMMP) Scheme 2020 to provide clean mobility solutions tothe people while reducing the country's dependence on fossil fuel. Plan provision has beenkept for the implementation of this Scheme.
We are keeping track of all these changes and no stone will be left unturned in ourendeavor to be successful in this competitive era. While addressing the challenge tocompete on costs with our competitors the Board also understands the importance offormulating various Strategies to enhance the product profiles wherein the Company couldoffer innovative applications for our designs which will prove useful and relevant to ourcustomers. As the country adopts stricter regimes of quality and safety regulation yourCompany is all set to be at the forefront to be able to meet the necessary requirements.
I am happy to mention that during the year under review Your Company has shown acommendable performance -We manufactured the highest number of buses (4960 numbers) so farin any financial year. This year can be marked as a special one since your Company alsoreached a remarkable landmark of "50000 buses sold" since inception of the busbusiness. The Sheet Metal business witnessed an improvement of 11% during the same period.There is no doubt that the Management team has done an admirable job that does credit toYour Company.
Your Company continues to invest in numerous brand building initiatives to understandmarket dynamics which will help strengthening the dealer and customer connects.
As part of its CSR the Company has undertaken many major laudable initiatives in theareas of women empowerment support of the differently abled education public health andthe environment.
We have continued our practice to consistently reward our shareholders. Your Companyhas proposed declaration of 150% dividend in line with the best dividends declared in lastfew years.
Summing up I believe your Company has maintained its growth momentum last year settingnew records of operational performance. Given the present economic indications and theplans developed for the future I am confident that your Company will continue to betterits performance in the coming years.
I would like to express my sincere appreciation for the confidence reposed in us by theshareholders and thank our employees our principal shareholders on the Tata Group theGovernment of Goa our suppliers and commercial partners for their continued supportduring the year. I would also like to thank my colleagues on the Board for their continuedsupport and guidance to the Company's management which certainly encourages themanagement in meeting the challenges in the Company's growth journey.