I'm writing to you at a time when the world is battling a threat in the form of apandemic. In this context I sincerely hope that all of you and your dear ones are safeand healthy.
Every once in a while the world witnesses a landmark event that tests the resilienceof mankind. COVID-19 is one such event. My heart goes out to all those impacted by thisunforeseen event. At the same time I am full of gratitude for all the health workersgovernment officials and other businesses and professionals who have tirelessly worked inour battle against this virus.
Reviewing the macro scenario
FY 2019-20 began on a muted note for the Indian economy and the weak sentimentcontinued through the first two quarters of the year. However interventions from thegovernment across areas including a corporate tax rate cut augured well for the economy.By the fourth quarter things had started looking up. However towards the second half ofthe month of March 2020 the outbreak of the coronavirus stopped short the economy on itstrack to recovery as manufacturing trade and supply chains came to a halt. Even with thegradual resumption of activity this will need to be monitored very closely over the nextfew quarters.
Growing with India's consumption story
At DMart we opened record 38 new stores during the year and continued to deliverreasonable growth across parameters. We now operate 214 stores across India and remainbullish on India's long-term consumption story. Our expansion plans are well-aligned tothis and we continue to be on the lookout for locations within our clusters and outsidewhere we can build new stores that can service our target customers.
Playing our part during challenging times
The safety and well-being of our customers employees and the communities where weoperate continue to be of paramount importance to us. We are taking all the necessarysteps and precautions to safeguard their health. Over the years we have been humbled bythe trust and loyalty that our customers have vested in us. We therefore consider it ourduty to service their essential shopping needs during challenging times such as thenation-wide lockdown. To this end where permitted locally we continued our operationsusing multiple delivery channels and made available daily essential products to ourcustomers.
Our larger commitments
As we grow we are also increasingly mindful of our responsibility towards the societyand the environment. We are actively seeking green building certifications for our storesusing renewable energy (solar) as part of our energy mix and installing sewage treatmentplants to recycle water among other measures to reduce our carbon footprint on the planet.
We continue to spend effectively on empowering the disadvantaged with our corporatesocial responsibility initiatives and the results from the same are quite heartwarming.This year we helped more than 100000 young school students in their endeavour to bettereducate themselves.
On the governance front we are driven by an experienced management supported andsupervised by a Board that I'm part of and a mentor whose vision has helped us scale newheights.
Our efforts to deliver and grow have been a function of a highly motivated workforcethat remains the bedrock of our success. Every day their hard work and service mindsetdrive us forward and I take this opportunity to heartily thank them. I would also like tomention the role of our trusted suppliers and manufacturers who play a vital role in oursuccess and would like to thank them for their continued support.
This year we completed a successful equity fund raise and our promoter also undertooka stock sell-down. The Company has thus met its minimum public shareholding norm asprescribed by the regulator. I would like to extend a warm welcome to all our newshareholders and look forward to their support in the coming years.
As I look ahead there is indeed a short-term uncertainty as the world adopts a newnormal. That said it's also heartening to see that world over there are concertedefforts to tide over this phase quickly and responsibly.
We are of the strong belief that together with everyone we hope to pass this phase andset the ground for India's next wave of growth.
Ramesh Damani Chairman