Yet another exciting and challenging year came to a close at Asian Paints. It has trulybeen a year of many learnings.
As always we worked relentlessly to offer solutions that deliver enhanced value to awide cross section of consumers communities and citizens. Despite a difficult economicenvironment we registered healthy growth in each of the first three quarters. Thelockdown in March this year affected performance in the last quarter and to an extent castits impact on the results for year. Viewed in the context of the challenges we were ableto deliver a good performance and make considerable progress across businesses.
After a journey spanning four decades and many roles
Mr. KBS Anand retired as Managing Director and CEO of the Company. Under his ableleadership the Company moved from being a product-centric to a consumer andservice-oriented brand forayed into Home Improvement made international acquisitions andestablished world-class manufacturing plants. His contribution to our growth anddevelopment have been truly commendable.
Despite a difficult economic environment we registered healthy growth in each of thefirst three quarters
Mr. Amit Syngle who has succeeded Mr. KBS Anand is a veteran with thirty years ofexperience in the Company. Credited with game-changing innovations in marketing colourintroducing new age retailing and envisioning product innovations in the industry Amitbrings strong and determined leadership which I am sure will take the Company to newheights. Another leadership change was the appointment of Mr. R J Jeyamurugan as CompanySecretary and CFO in place of Mr. Jayesh Merchant who retired after an illustrious 17years in the organisation.
I am confident that the Company will benefit immensely under the guidance of the newleadership.
Key Areas of Focus
The unexpected events towards the close of the year notwithstanding Asian Paintsachieved many milestones in FY 2019-20. The Decorative business focused on productinnovations and growing the overall market in various areas like value for moneyemulsions innovative solutions in the waterproofing and construction chemicals segmentand more inspiring options in Home decor. In the Home Improvement business some of thedevelopments in the year included new choices in the Full Kitchen business and astrengthened offering in sanitaryware business. On the International front attention wason re-energising our business in markets like Egypt Bangladesh and Sri Lanka which wereperforming below their potential. The industrial business saw emphasis being put oncertain key areas in protective coatings and improved product offerings.
People and the Community
Being one with the community of which we are a part and playing an active role in itsdevelopment and progress has been an integral aspect of our philosophy. Our ColourAcademies continued to hone talents within the painter and contractor teams orientingthem towards taking responsibility for the overall project. In Himachal Pradeshupskilling programmes were conducted for plumbers opening the door to more opportunities.Our associations like that with St+Art Foundation resulted in many new initiatives inChennai and Goa. We made significant strides in promoting inclusive education and healthand hygiene awareness in our adjoining communities. During the year 43000 personsbenefited through our employee volunteering programmes which carried out successfulhealthcare camps in rural communities. I am also pleased to report our participation inrestoration of safe water structures in parts of Gujarat.
In line with our brand saliency we attempted to connect more strongly with ourcustomers through multiple campaigns and events. Our campaigns promoted our connect withhomes showcasing common day-to-day life moments to bring joy and happiness in customers'lives while at the same time giving a social message of staying safe and at home duringthe lockdown.
Responding to the Pandemic
The ongoing pandemic and consequent lockdowns are having a devastating effect on livesoccupations and wellbeing of people at large. We have taken several steps to help thecommunity navigate through these troubled times. Contributions to Central and StateEmergency Relief Funds support to NGOs supplying essential items to the needy protocolsto ensure employee safety addition of hand sanitizers and surface disinfectants to ourproduct portfolio launch of safe painting campaigns mitigating hardships faced byretailers and contractors and helping shops restart their business safely are amongst themany initiatives implemented by the Company.
Being a responsible & caring Brand the Company has forayed into the handsanitizers and surface disinfectants to support the Government and its stakeholders. Todeepen the connect with the consumers and all the stakeholders the Company has launched aSafe Painting Campaign which continues to receive a very good response. The campaign hasattempted to assure the consumers about the Safe Painting Services by helping themovercome their reservations following the pandemic and strengthen the bond which theCompany enjoys with the consumers.
Navigating the New
As the world hesitatingly limps back to normalcy much would change. Business in apost-pandemic world will be full of new challenges and new opportunities. The customer whoemerges after months of lockdown would come with new expectations. Skills learnt andtalents discovered while in prolonged isolation will not be forsaken easily. As people atlarge seek to make changes in the way they live work travel or unwind or look for newways to pursue leisure sports and entertainment it will inevitably impact our business.Winners will be the organisations that guide customers through the transition withinnovative ideas and solutions and bring joy to their lives. I am sure our inherentresilience and the unparalleled dedication of our employees will help us navigate throughthe exciting times ahead and continue to create unmatched value for all.
I take this opportunity to thank you all for your unwavering support and commitmentthat continues to provide us strength to forge ahead in our endeavour.