We are faced with an unprecedented health hazard posed by the COVID 19 that haslargely disrupted individual lives families and business operations across the world. Ithas proved to be an exceptionally difficult time with many losing their loved ones tothis dreaded disease. My heartfelt condolences and deepest sympathy to anyone that has hadto go through this loss. All of us have faced a deep personal crisis at some level or theother. My prayers that we emerge from this horrific crisis soon.
On that sombre note I would like to present to you the Annual Report FY 2020-21 of theCompany.
Economic recovery is under severe threat amid surging COVID cases and laggingvaccination in the economically weaker countries. Several factors have contributed to castdoubts on the earlier predicted 5.4% global growth in 2021. Though China and the UnitedStates seem to be leading growth trends the United Nations forecasts that the spikingCOVID 19 cases and the less than efficient implementation of the vaccinationprogram in other countries remains a looming threat to world economy. For many countrieseconomic output is only projected to return to pre-pandemic levels in 2022 or 2023.The only path to a definite recovery for both the economy and people is the availabilityand implementation of a robust vaccination program in all regions across the globe.
Global trade though growing is still seeing an uneven recovery. While servicesespecially tourism hospitality and international travel will continue to see de-growthfrom the pre pandemic levels commodities products and manufactured goods are growing.Economies that are primarily manufacturing-led are doing better.
India's GDP growth forecast has been cut from the earlier projected 13.7% to 9.3% forfiscal 2021 due to the negative impact of the second wave of Covid-19. Retail inflationslipped to a three-month low of 4.29% cent in April. The Consumer Price Index (CPI) basedretail inflation stood at 5.52% cent in March. Food price inflation eased to 2.02%cent in April from 4.87% in the preceding month.
Industry experts have pegged the growth of the Indian FMCG industry at 9.4% in theJanuary-March quarter of 2021. This is primarily due to growth in consumption and valuegrowth due to increase in prices. The rural market continued to perform with strong growthof 14.6 % during the first quarter especially due to good Rabi harvest and normal monsoonprojection are the key factors resulting in a boost in rural demand. Recent governmentinterventions like increased allocation towards MGNREGA and an extension of Pradhan MantriGareeb Kalyan Yojana also helped pump in nearly
` 1.5 Lac Crore into rural markets.
According to industry reports the metro cities have registered a positive growth of2.2 per cent in the January-March quarter after two-quarters of the declining trend versusthe year-ago period.
However with the resurgence of the COVID-19 virus and the return of lockdowns thesituation is very dynamic and pointing to a likely global depression.
Today Bajaj Consumer Care is firmly established as a dominant player in India's hairoil industry with a pan-India presence well-diversified product basket and multiplebrands. Your Company's flagship brand Bajaj Almond Drops Hair Oil is a leading name inthe Hair Oil market. The brand continues to maintain strong dominance on the distributionfront and is present across 42.6 Lacs outlets as of March 2021. Your Company also owns theNomarks Brand in India.
The overseas business of your Company is increasing its global footprints with a focuson international business in terms of penetration accessibility & availability of thebrands to the consumers. The Company markets personal care brands in more than 30countries with primary focus in SAARC Gulf & Middle East ASEAN and Africanregions. In this negative growth phase Bajaj Almond Drops has been able to maintain themarket on value 9.8%. (MAT FEB'21). In the Light Hair Oil category the brand hascontinued to increase its dominance and the value market share has increased by 1.9% to62.5%. (MAT FEB'21)
Research and Development
Innovation and creativity is imperative to your Company. We constantly strive to keepahead of the value chain so that we are able to meet the constantly evolving needs of ourcustomers. The advanced research techniques of your Company have ensured that we areconstantly on our toes to work on innovate new product categories to provide simple yettangible benefits to consumers. It achieves this through its two state-of-the art andmodern R&D facilities which is supported by advanced instrumentation and pool ofexperienced scientists. Your Company's strategic objective is to drive successfulinnovations in products and processes consistently and to be prepared for the future. Itconstantly adopts newer techniques and mechanisms to optimise its productivity andoptimally utilise resources focused on delivering products that are value for money andkeeping pace with the demand.
Bajaj Almond Drops Hair Oil
Your Company launched the NEW BEST EVER ALMOND DROPS hair oil with upgraded formulationin FY 2020-21. The Vitamin E content was doubled from previous formulation to 6xVitamin E Levels as compared to coconut oils. Our research has shown that the newformulation helps reduce hair fall by upto 80%.
Bajaj Amla Aloe Vera
The new product Bajaj Amla Aloe Vera was launched in February 2021. This producthas a completely new formulation with a winning combination of Amla and Aloe Vera. Thepackaging is modern with the shape of a bottle inspired by the design of a leaf to signifythe purity of nature in the product. The product provides 3X softness and silkiness to thehair. There are no other brands today that offer an aloe vera variant at the price it hasbeen made available at.
Bajaj Zero Grey
Bajaj Zero Grey is a new Premium Anti Greying Hair Oil and our digital first brand thathas been launched primarily for E-commerce. With well-researched ingredients like OnionHibiscus Shikakai Henna and Kalaunji it delays greying and gives users great lookinghealthy hair. The launch was a first of its kind for your Company that was marketedprimarily through social media campaigns to build reach and awareness.
Distribution is a key strength of your Company that has an extensive distributionnetwork across India through which its products are made available across more than4 million outlets. This extensive supply chain network insulates your Company fromgeographical trade channel and segmental concentration risks. While your Companycontinues to strengthen its retail presence it has also undertaken a unique initiative ofintroducing Vans to enhance rural coverage. These vans carry lower unit packs (Rs.10 Rs.20) of products which find greater acceptance among rural consumers.
COVID-19 has pushed us to accelerate our digital transformation on all aspects of yourCompany. We have fast-tracked our digital transformation journey and continue to enhanceproductivity and creativity through digital initiatives. Our focus on E-Commerce remainssteadfast and continues to help us grow. Our E Commerce business has grown by more than~3x contributing to more than 2.5% of Sales.
With continuous presence over TV and OTT platforms your Company has enhancedspecificity in reach. It has constantly been focused on impactful marketing and brandpromotion activities relating to Vocal for Local and has successfully strengthened brandequity while attracting new consumers. Its strategic brand launches and brand extensionsare aimed at retaining the existing consumers besides constantly garnering a new set ofloyal customers.
Your Company is placed competitively in the industry and is determined to grow marketshare and profitability sustainably through focus on developing top-notch products coupledwith extensive advertising and promotional campaigns.
Employees & Organization Culture
At Bajaj Group we firmly believe that employees are our biggest assets. Their safetyand good health has been my top priority during these tough times. No measures likedownsizing of team or reduction in their salaries were adopted by the Company during thistime of crisis. Moreover annual increments have also been approved and disbursed as perplan. Employee Health and Safety being our utmost priority we have implemented severalinitiatives in this regard within our Company:
|1) ||Work from Home polices prior to lockdown across |
| ||our Offices and other locations based upon the nature |
| ||of operations. |
|2) ||Employee vaccination program on reimbursement |
| ||basis for our employees their families and to the |
| ||contractor's workforce working with us. |
|3) ||Employee hospitalisation and medical support for |
| ||critical emergency cases across units. |
|4) ||Isolation Centres across units to quarantine infected |
| ||employees to avoid further contamination and spread |
| ||of the virus. |
5) Launched the Employee Benevolent Fund scheme from 1st April 2021 for one timefinancial support to bereaved families in case of the demise of any employee while inservice.
Your Company has organized several initiatives to keep the employees both mentally andphysically fit during these tough times. I am happy to inform you that your Company hasbeen certified as a "Great Place to Work" consecutively for the third time forthe period April 2021 till March 2022. The Trust Index score of the survey results for theyear has significantly moved up and have crossed the 80's level validating theefficacies of our developmental journey for employees.
Responsibility towards Society
The Bajaj Group was born out of India's struggle for freedom founded by the freedomfighter philanthropist and close confidante of Mahatma Gandhi Jamnalal Bajaj ji. Westrive every day to follow his legacy to build businesses that support the growth of thecountry and create value while serving the community in everything we do. Your Companyundertakes its CSR initiatives through the Bajaj Foundation. The Foundation works invillages in areas of education farmer welfare women empowerment sustainability andwater conservation. I wish to thank our villagers government agencies and allstakeholders for their support which has ensured that we have impacted nearly 1300villages reached close to 3.5 lacs families benefitting almost 15 lacs people in 2020. Wehope to increase these numbers in the coming days.
The COVID-19 pandemic while completely changing the way we live and do business hasalso given us an opportunity to be innovative in our approach. While we continue to driveproductivity and implement safety measures we will focus on innovation led growth toweather this crisis which is bound to have a lasting impact on all of us. We aspire toevolve into a complete FMCG company by introducing a culture of innovation to create newerpath breaking products for consumers across the globe. We want to be recognized asproviding innovative solutions to solve tomorrow's problems for our customers.
We aspire to be a community of excited imaginative and persistent people. A culturethat embraces the new and constantly pursues progress. A Company that thrives on changeand innovation.