Moving ahead with fortitude
The year under review was extremely challenging as a result of global trade tensionswhich led to deteriorating conditions in the ferro chrome industry following which thedownside risk was further exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic. Business had to quicklyreorient their approach and learn to deal with the Rs.new normalRs. of lockdowns andsocial distancing coupled with a high level of uncertainty.
Whereas the expectation at the start of the new year was one of hope given productioncuts announced across the world to bring demand-supply into balance the last quarter ofFY20 quickly turned sour as the pandemic took hold in our major markets. However it is acredit to the inherent strength of our fully integrated business model that we set severaloperational records during the year even though financial performance was adverselyaffected by low prices.
Performing with vigour
We have operated through the lockdown period on the basis of the exemption available tocontinuous process industries; a captive source for the major raw material and an exportorientation eased the logistical challenges while long term relationships with largebuyers guaranteed off-take. Not only did the effort we put into building a companyrecognised for its commitment to customer satisfaction and reliability pay off I trulybelieve the challenging circumstances presented an opportunity for our strengths to cometo the fore.
Pandemic and its aftermath
What started as a localised issue spread rapidly all over the world impacting healthlifestyles businesses and economies. IndiaRs.s response was swift and has helped savelives with the lockdown giving time to augment health infrastructure. Moreover theCentral and State Government have been pragmatic and looked to balance saving lives withprotecting livelihoods. Central Banks throughout the world including RBI have announcedunprecedented measures to keep economies from seizing up and I believe a combination offiscal and monetary measures coupled with demand stimulation through for exampleinfrastructure projects augur well in due course for the economy in general and ourindustry in particular. As such we are cautiously optimistic of a significantly improvedperformance during FY21.
We swiftly adopted Rs.Work from HomeRs. wherever possible and took extraordinarymeasures to provide a safe working environment for those who had to physically report forduty. I must take this opportunity to compliment the workforce for the faith reposed in usand thank the senior management for their commitment - were it not for the combinedefforts of all concerned we would not have been able to keep functioning through thisdifficult period and meet our commitments. We have also continued with our Learning &Development initiatives albeit on a reduced scale and entirely online with a view tonurturing talent. During the year we also implemented various initiatives to enhanceworkplace health and safety
including the 12-point initiative of proactive safety culture and procuredcontemporary resources for safety training and compliance from the British Safety Council.We are grateful for the recognition of our focus in these key areas by way of the severalprestigious awards which we won during the year.
Responsible and committed
We continued to support vulnerable communities through the Bansidhar & Ila PandaFoundation (BIPF) and through various programmes implemented at the grassroots leveltouched over 250000 lives across 231 remote villages in Odisha. We also contributed tothe PMCARES and Odisha CMRs.s Relief Fund along with one dayRs.s salary contribution fromour employees to help fight the pandemic.
Conviction supported by performance
We are grateful to our people customers business partners and investors for theirsupport. While the scenario is still evolving and challenges lie ahead of us more so thanever we have demonstrated our ability to come out stronger from a crisis. Low debt andadequate liquidity buffer give us confidence about business continuity and we intend toseize opportunities to drive profitable responsible and sustainable growth in the yearsto come. I assure you of our best efforts to be worthy of the trust reposed in us and meetyour expectations.