The year 2016-2017 has been an eventful year for the world at large. The AsianDevelopment Bank recently predicted that India's growth rate will improve to 7.4% for theyear 2017-18 and even further the following fiscal to 7.6% keeping ahead of China. It isreassuring to hear this yet the ground reality is that growth in the capital goods powersector and infrastructure has been sluggish. We have had to innovate and exploredifferent ways to protect our bottom line from slipping. Many of these have yieldedresults.
The Transformer business achieved its highest order booking ever this last year. Orderbooking has gone up 36.5% (by value). This has been the result of our Business Developmentinitiative over the last 2-3 years which is now yielding rich dividends. Our geographicalreach has grown substantially and orders in the non-tendered segment of our business havemore than doubled in the last two years. Transformer export has also seen some success byachieving a breakthrough order from a utility outside India. The learning curve in exportshas been steep and the progress slow as it is a difficult market to break through. Thisremains a focus area for growth. The Motor business has received two awards from theConfederation of Indian Industry. One was for operational excellence as a division and theother for product excellence in the energy efficient category. Last year we achieved ahuge milestone with the launch of our super premium energy efficient motor. Increasedpenetration of these motors will be one of our big initiatives. The division has bid forqualified and bagged a prestigious order for the new generation of locomotives with therailways. We have managed to retain market share in the face of extremely stiffcompetition and price erosion. Cost reduction and design optimization have yieldedresults. Margins however remain under pressure for both motors and transformers.
The Projects business has seen a landmark order from a reputed solar power company. Wehave been able to execute all orders on time and within budget. However heavy downwardpressure on prices and business risk has forced us to cherry pick only very selectiveorders in this market. We are in the process of examining other areas of interest in thisspace. The Drives and Automation division has received a breakthrough orderfrom acustomerfor a green regenerative motortest bed. We will soon have a new mobile applicationfor trouble shooting product updates and customer service excellence. The MagnetTechnology Machines division has signed a purchase agreement with a tier one customer forthe sale of gearless machines of a substantial number. This is a great achievement as wehave developed this product completely in- house. While we continue to dominate supply ofgearless machines to elevator manufacturers in the domestic market exports have also beenrising steadily.
The world today seems to be in a phase of de-globalization. Compared to ten years agoworld trade is falling global capital flows are plunging and the flow of migrants isslowing. The rise of nationalism also is affecting the macroeconomic landscape. This isthe same sentiment that has had a major influence on the Brexit and Trump getting elected.Some sectors like IT have seen the direct impact of this. India however is driven largelyby domestic demand and this should mitigate any effect of these global events. The Indiangovernment seems to be making an effort to improve the ease of doing business but we mayhave to be patient and suffer short term pain for gains in the long run.