It was around FY 2008 when global financial crisis plunged businesses into a VUCA(Volatile Uncertain Complex & Ambiguity) environment. The world seemingly hasn'tchanged much in these 10 years as we continue to grapple with VUCA and a stable globalenvironment is still elusive.
Closer home India experienced its own disruption with an unprecedented and audaciousact of demonetisation. In a purported bid to weed out black money nearly 85% of thecurrency in circulation was sucked out of the system.
The sudden act led to utter uncertainty chaos and insecurity that gripped businesses& individuals alike. Havells swiftly reviewed the emerging scenario in respect to ourkey stakeholders including dealer channel. We realised that dealers were at a loss on howto react to demonetisation requiring communication and guidance. Your Company immediatelyarranged a simultaneous audio broadcast with 5000 dealers wherein I along with the teamaddressed their anxieties and concerns clarifying how the current demonetisation would bebeneficial in the long term and extended certain relaxation for their immediate worries onsale and cash collection.
I am pleased to share with you that we manage this entire tumultuous period in anorderly manner normalising operations in a relatively short period. Our outreachgenerated significant goodwill and appreciation from partners and further cemented ourreputation as a dealer-friendly company.
The year was capped by the significant acquisition of Lloyd consumer business markingHavells foray into large appliances like air-conditioners LED TV & Washing machines.The acquisition is in line with your Company's strategy of delving Deeper intoHomes' with a fast growing Lloyd brand and a well oriented distribution and servicenetwork.
Consumer durables is a high growth segment led by a lower penetration increasingurbanisation and expanding aspirational middle class. We are confident that theacquisition would contribute significant value to our shareholders.
Beyond acquisition we made meaningful progress in other business through launch of newproducts extensions and categories. We continued to innovate and created opportunitiesbolstered revenue in each product category. While the Company's revenue grew by 14% theprofitability grew by 17%.
On the back of consistent feedback and expectations of consumers we introduced a widerange of personal grooming products especially for the youth of the country. During theyear we also introduced high quality air coolers that will be indigenously manufacturedat our Neemrana plant. In the fiscal we also marked our entry into solar solutions androoftop solar power generating systems for both home and the industry. The new businessdivision christened as "Havells Enviro" has already installed a total of 3.5 MWrooftop solar system at your Company's Faridabad Plant and Alwar Plant.
Your Company is committed to Make in India' since its inception. We furtherstrengthened our manufacturing footprint with a switchgear plant at Guwahati in Assam.This is the Company's first plant outside North India. With this addition Havells now has12 state-of-the-art plants in the country across 7 locations.
Havells has been at forefront to discharge its social obligation through variedinitiatives contributing to a bright future for India. During the year we served over11.6 million meals to around 58000 children daily across 688 government schools in AlwarRajasthan. We also constructed over 1200 eco-friendly bio-toilets in addition to existingstrength of 800 ensuring safe and clean sanitation facilities for both boys & girls.To ensure the toilet's optimum usage and maintenance we are also conducting sanitationsensitisation workshops. This will help children understand the importance of health andhygiene and inculcate these habits from an early age.
We are excited about the opportunities in FY 2017-18 and beyond. We concluded FY2016-17 on a stronger note delivering on our strategic priorities and generating positivemomentum across the board. We continue to be guided by our founder's principles ofhumility transparency respect and continuous learning & adaption. We believe thatIndia is in a golden growth phase for the next few decades and Havells is prepared todischarge its role in fulfilling the aspiration of India & her people.
Before I conclude I would like to thank your Company's employees the board and allother stakeholders for their consistent commitment engagement support and encouragementin our journey. We will continue to seek our shareholders' participation and support aswe extend our footprint to create new pathways to progress and tap impending strategicinvestment opportunities.
With warm regards
Anil Rai Gupta