At the outset it gives me immense pleasure to inform our valued shareholders that yourCompany has more than doubled the dividend issued per share as compared to the dividendannounced for the Financial Year 2008. This has been a result of your Company's focus onprofitable growth. It has also been satisfying to witness a substantial growth in MarketCapitalization growing from INR 1108 crores for Financial Year ending in March 2016 toINR 1949 crores for Financial Year ending in March 2017.
India is a young country where 60% of the population is below the age of fifty with itspeculiar priorities. Dedicated to India's endeavors for economic growth and prosperitythrough agriculture and employment for the youth your Company is geared up to make itsown contributions.
The fact remains that 69% of India's population resides in the rural areas with a highdependence on agriculture. In keeping with India's priority in the farm sector yourCompany aggressively participated in supplementing the tractor and agricultural equipmentmanufacturing activities by way of enhanced supply to the OE segment. The awards receivedby your Company from leading agri-companies like M&M Escorts Agro Machinery and JohnDeere demonstrate the high trust and confidence that the end user customers have reposedin your Company. Our Sales & marketing teams continue with their efforts in thedevelopment of channel partners vis-a-vis customer preference and achieving greater brandsalience for Goodyear.
The surging vehicle population in India brought in some major challenges which yourCompany has grabbed by intensifying its efforts in the passenger vehicle market coupledwith equal thrust in the farm and commercial sectors to grow its bottom line. Reshufflingand refreshing its product portfolio by inducting new product range and phasing outoutdated patterns helped your Company gain greater strengths in the market. Introductionof fitments for Sports Utility Vehicles (SUV) has further strengthen your Company's marketposition.
To rejuvenate and revive your Company's faith in consumer centric marketing philosophyyour Company has been ardently working towards expanding and strengthening itsdistribution network. Setting up a number of exclusive Goodyear stores is a step in theright direction towards brand building and customer convenience and satisfaction.
In addition to innovations for excellence in the farm segment through introduction ofnew patterns in the rear and front farm tyres to meet the anticipated needs of the farmingcommunity the year 2017 will witness considerable development work to match the changingrequirements of the industrial segment and value addition to the growing patterns ofdemand to augment the green revolution in India.
Since it is not possible for any business organization to neglect the haulage andtrucking segment your Company is embarking upon the next innovation journey to introducesome new and modern product patterns to meet the needs of the rapidly growing haulagesegment thereby revitalizing our present portfolio. Your Company's focus on this highvalue haulage segment promises to maintain and enhance the value of the Goodyear brand.
I am also greatly pleased to share that your Company was honoured with the prestigious'Golden Peacock Award for Excellence in Corporate Governance' for the year 2016 in therubber sector. Since the Golden Peacock awards symbolize Corporate Excellence for anorganization the honour represents a high benchmark for Goodyear's commitment for asustainable professional commitment towards higher Corporate Governance culture andphilosophy.
As part of the Goodyear International Operation's interest to participate in thegrowing business opportunities in India's vibrant economy I am most pleased to share thaton his first ever visit to your Company's Ballabgarh plant Mr. Richard J. Kramer theGlobal Chairman CEO and President of the Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company evinced keeninterest in the idea of strengthening and expanding business in India.
Goodyear the world over is known as a safety minded company and safety is a value atGoodyear. Goodyear India is proud to have won the India CSR award for its CSR (CorporateSocial Responsibility) initiative with the theme focused on 'Safer Roads Safer You'under the Road Safety category. Road safety is an important issue facing the Indianpublic particularly with vehicle population increasing in India by leaps and bounds. Theaward was presented at the CSR Leadership Summit organized with the aim of sensitizing thecommunity towards road safety thus saving human life through safer driving by operators.
Your Company's 'Safer Roads Safer You' is a unique initiative that has madesubstantial contributions to road safety management by providing support to individualssmall medium and large taxi fleet owners and aggregators in their efforts to strengthenthe safety and efficiency of their cab services. Dedicated to road safety and inculcationof safety mindedness your Company's training programme for the drivers provides trainingin areas such as passenger safety passenger services defensive driving passengervehicle maintenance and incident management. Your Company's CSR effort has been greatlyappreciated by all involved in road usage particularly due to a surge in the number ofroad accidents.
Your company is very optimistic for a strong performance in 2017. The farm business isanticipated to continue with equally strong momentum with strong expectation of a sizablegrowth in the rural economy coupled with normal monsoon forecasted by weather experts.Your Company will work with a continued focus on Sales and Marketing excellence bystrengthening its presence in the replacement market coupled with maintaining leadershipin the OE segment of business. Generating sustainable revenues and profits through farmbusiness replacement and OE business will continue to be the top priorities.
In Consumer segment your Company will continue its focus on driving distributionexpansion strengthening its presence in the branded retail stores and building brandsalience through investments in brand building especially in the digital space.
Now that India is all set to implement tax reforms in terms of GST with the objectiveof integrating the country into a seamless nationwide market and take wrinkles out of thetaxation system your Company is all geared up to adopt the new tax regime for the overallbenefit of our channel partners and consumers.
In conclusion Goodyear India is entirely focused on growth and profits throughavailing of the market opportunities in industry particularly in the tyre and rubbersegment and position your Company most strategically in the new tax regime and businessenvironment.
I thank our stake holders for their support trust and confidence reposed in Goodyear'smanagement.
Vice Chairman & Managing Director
Goodyear India Limited