SPIRIT OF NEW CENTURY
Chairman and Managing Director
I normally write a detailed analysis of Century Plyboards' performance in the previousfinancial year.
This year I will make it brief.
I will communicate what is uppermost in my mind and perhaps the most importantcommunication point. I am going to write about the spirit of our Company.
In 1996 the Company faced its most serious crisis when the Supreme Court banned thefelling of trees for plywood manufacture across North East India. Most hinted that perhapsthe Company's business would be discontinued. The management at Century responded withagility; it coordinated access from other points of supply and reported its best-everperformance (revenues and profits) within a year.
Never was this spirit more tested than during 2020 when we never knew whether theconsumption markets would be closed for one week one months or six months following theimposition of the lockdown.
The team at Century Plyboards could have gone into hibernation and waited for themarkets to reopen. Interestingly it was during this lockdown period that I perceived anew face of our Company.
A company that continued to trust the deep Indian consumption potential. A company thatcontinued to believe that people would wish to live in better homes.
A company that was convinced that all economic blockers would be temporary.
Across various levels of the Company connected with each other through remotevideo conference one could notice a certain restlessness. This is a precise wordthat I have used restlessness'. Our people were impatient; they needed todisplace the status quo; they needed to be the first into the open (when permitted by thegovernment). The result is that our manufacturing plants were possibly the first to reopenwithin the country's interior infrastructure sector. This was just the opening we needed.From that point onwards various Century teams pitched in: we manufactured more wemarketed quicker we realised higher we moderated costs we launched more effectively wegenerated better margins and we finished the year with more cash on our books than at anytime in our existence.
What I want to assure shareholders is that this is not just an instance of a rise inthe level of the water raising the level of all ships. This is an outperformance thatcould be the beginning of a new phase in our existence.
During this phase we expect to replicate the growth that we achieved in the lastcouple of decades in only the next few years.
Our best is round the corner.