We are in the midst of very uncertain times due to the spread of COVID-19 in India andacross the world. I hope that each one of you and your family members are safe andcontinue to adhere to the various guidelines and take all necessary precautions.
It has been my life's mission to find opportunities in the face of challenges and inthe process deliver value to all our stakeholders including employees shareholderscustomers partners and other relevant communities. The senior leadership and I have triedto instil the same belief in our colleagues at the Company to make it a part of ourvalues and ways of working.
Fuelled by our long-term vision of becoming a global leader in the industry and guidedby our values the Apollo Way we have successfully adapted to the changing marketrealities in the past just as we continue to drive leadership even in the currentnew normal'. Yet at the core we continue to pursue our profitable growth strategyfocusing on a three-pronged approach: consolidate market position in existing marketswhile seeking new markets/new segments; continue investment in both our brands Apollo andVredestein as well as in capacity expansion to feed our markets; and explore other growthopportunities.
FY20 was a tough year by all measures. While the auto industry had been on a slowgrowth path even in FY19 the last year proved to be a complete dampener for the industrydue to poor consumer sentiment increased cost of ownership on account of higher insurancecost and higher financing cost owing to the liquidity crisis in the Non-Banking FinancialCompany (NBFC) sector. We were still bullish about the economy bouncing back and did seesigns of a recovery in the third quarter but the fourth quarter witnessed headwinds inthe form of the COVID-19 outbreak and the subsequent nation-wide lockdown. India saw itseconomic growth hitting an 11-year low of 4.2% for FY20 even as the auto industry salesfell 18% adversely impacting the entire tyre industry which in turn declined by 8% interms of total tyres manufactured.
As you leaf through the pages of the year's Annual Report you will read about theactions we took during the year and the initiatives we will take to adapt to the newnormal. I would like to talk about our value Care for Society' which is close tomy heart even as our outreach to our communities continued unabated through the year. FY20saw a unique corporate partnership between Apollo Tyres and Ashok Leyland to providehealthcare facilities to the trucking community in Namakkal a prominent transhipment hubin Tamil Nadu India.
During the COVID-19 crisis we continued to support our communities and stakeholdersacross multiple states of India. One of the initiatives we undertook to mitigate thedistress of the wider society was creating awareness through hoardings and pamphlets inmultiple languages reaching over a million. Our team provided cooked food and 15-dayration support of essential supplies including ration and hygiene kits for families.
Looking ahead it is reasonable to assume that the uncertainty will continue. Ipersonally do not see an early end of this new normal'. Yet the show must go on andwe are already adapting and finding opportunities for growth. Our immediate priority isthe safety and well-being of our employees even as we continue to make the newnormal' our normal. It is heartening to inform that despite the crisis we have been ableto organise the virtual inauguration of our seventh manufacturing plant in Andhra PradeshIndia in June 2020. This was closely followed by the opening of our facility tomanufacture high-end bias and steel radial tyres for the two-wheeler segment in LimdaGujarat India in July 2020.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank all banks and other financialinstitutions the Government of India and the respective state governments the Governmentof The Netherlands and the Government of Hungary along with our network and businesspartners for their unstinted support and actively contributing to our success. Equally Iam humbled by your continued support and grateful for standing with us in times ofprosperity and adversities. We at Apollo Tyres remain ever committed and sincere in ourefforts to keep delivering better value to you.
I look forward to having many more exciting updates for you in the current financialyear.
|Wishing you all the best |
|Onkar S Kanwar |
|Chairman and Managing Director |