Welcome to the 97th Annual General Meeting of your company. As we closeanother year of pursuing excellence while driving sustainable innovation I would like toexpress my gratitude on behalf of the Board of Directors for the unflinching trust youhave placed in us. It is this trust that has helped us reach new milestones and pioneerindustry trends while remaining steadfast in our commitment to reduce the world's carbonfootprint.
In 2018 the world economy witnessed a slowdown. This is largely attributable to thesoftening of international trade along with trade tensions escalating and some largeemerging markets experiencing substantial financial market pressure.
We have felt the extent of this pressure in the Indian market too. While the year beganon a strong note soon we were faced with the challenge of rising oil prices and financialmarket volatility. As these problems smoothened out over the year the weakened globaleconomic growth became the emerging hurdle in our growth path.
However India has still maintained its pole position as one of the world's fastestgrowing economies even in face of global economic uncertainty. In fact it is expected toremain at the top of the global growth profile in the next decade as well thanks to somekey initiatives that acted as fuel for sustainable growth.
Flagship initiatives such as the implementation of the GST legislation Insolvency andBankruptcy Code FDI liberalization. Ease of Doing Business and Make in India launched bythe Government of India ensured that growth across the macro-economic parameters remainedunaffected.
The Indian manufacturing sector has witnessed a steady recovery in the last two yearswith an estimated GVA at 8.1% in 2018-19 as compared to 5.9% during 2017-18. But if we areto meet our aspiration to become a USD 5 Trillion economy in the coming few years with themanufacturing sector contributing USD 1 Trillion then deeper reforms and a moresimplified regulatory regime are sought to give a thrust to the current momentum. India ispoised to move ahead on the journey of economic and inclusive growth in FY20 amidst hopesand expectations that the toolkit of measures particularly the acceleration of reformsannounced by the government in recent years would rapidly transform India and drive theeconomy to a high growth phase.
With an encouraging economic momentum as the backdrop Ingersoll Rand has not onlysustained its progress this year too but has also further strengthened its position as amarket leader.
As India marches ahead on a solid growth trajectory to complete 74 glorious years ofindependence and the vision of a Better India continues to take shape Ingersoll Rand isgeared to translate its multi-pronged and progressive agenda into action for the year2019-20 and grow exponentially in this conducive environment.
For the year ending March 31 2019 we recorded revenues of ? 739.07 crores fromcontinuing operations which is a phenomenal 20.2% higher compared to that of previousfinancial year owing to increased revenue from sale of products to domestic customers. Ourprofits after tax for the year ending March 31 2019 stood at ? 80.9 crores which is 9%lower compared to profit after tax of previous financial year primarily due to lowerinterest income (consequent to reduction in deposits with banks after the special dividendpay-out) which was handsomely compensated by increase in sales volumes.
Our intention to organize business around the needs of the customer in a simplifiedmanner spurred us to introduce a fundamental shift in how we serve our customers. We havemoved to an 'account management' structure where one sales professional assumes soleownership of customers' needs using Ingersoll Rand suite of services. This change frommultiple touch points to one face for customers will lead to personalized deeper customerrelationships.
We highly regard and acknowledge the contribution of our channel partner communitytowards our successful journey and as an annual affair this year again we held anextremely successful channel meet for Direct and Distribution channels. Launched in 2017the Ingersoll Rand Channel Partners Accelerating Network (l-CAN) initiative has startedyielding results. This initiative has led to brainstorming and working together onstrategic growth areas as well as improved on-time shipment rate faster quality issuesresolution and higher customer satisfaction index.
Your company kept up its efforts to amplify brand awareness and reputation byparticipating in key industry events and seminars throughout the year to showcase ourproduct and solutions excellence. We engaged heavily with a wide spectrum of importantindustries across the length and breadth of the country.
In an effort to ensure that we are up-skilling our sales arm we adoptedSalesforce.com's industry-leading sales force automation toolkit. This state-of-the-artcloud platform accessible anytime anywhere truly provides the mobility to our sales teamto excel from any part of the world. Through sales excellence we continue to invest inour people mature our practices as a sales organization and strengthen our partnershipswith our customers.
Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) benchmarks are areas of prime focus at IngersollRand. Your company is committed to pursue the goal of "zero workplace injuries"and "incident free" operations and ensure all employees are aligned with thisobjective. This year we also attained a 17% reduction in fresh water consumption at Narodaplant by reuse of treated domestic waste water. Our relentless focus towards energy savingmeasures helped us attain substantial savings by carrying out energy audits andimplementing projects to save energy.
The Employee Engagement Index score for 2018 continued its upward trend with 96%participation rate from employees across locations validating the company's commitmenttowards building a winning culture.
To reinforce our commitment towards establishing an increasingly diverse workforcemultiple initiatives were taken to increase the representation and retention of femaleemployees through the Gender Diversity Employee Resource Group (ERG). This furtherunderscores our intent to uphold the pledge of Paradigm for Parity Coalition made by ourparent company to bring gender parity to corporate leadership structure by 2030.Continuing to place a premium on the wellness of our employees this year again wesponsored the Global Corporate Health Challenge. Around 225 of our employees participatedin the same displaying their leaning towards a healthy work-life balance.
In another initiative our Career Progress Navigator tool is helping provide equalopportunity towards growth and career advancement within Ingersoll Rand spurringcompetency and employee satisfaction. In the same vein we continued our journey towardslean thinking and problem solving by establishing MDIs and training employees on LeanLeadership by exposing them to 2 weeks of Lean Leader Development Program (LLDP).
Our continued initiative to strengthen the industry-academic relationship and pave wayfor future talent saw over 1000 students visiting our Naroda plant on the occasion ofInternational Manufacturing Day. The students from various colleges running vocationalstudies engineering and management programs across Gujarat joined us at the manufacturingsite and were delighted to get this opportunity.
Making a Difference
Our passion for growth and our concern for the world beyond the walls of our businesscontinues to be stoked in equal measure. As such in compliance with the Companies Act2013 we continued to support existing initiatives and undertook some new ones that alignwith our purpose as an organization.
Our support for the Government of India led mid-day meal scheme was able to cover 6070children across 33 schools in Ahmedabad Gujarat while our projects focused on furtheringSTEM (Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics) education progressed to makescientific concepts simple and application-based for identified beneficiaries in Haryanaand Gujarat.
We also entered the third year of our association with National Skill DevelopmentCorporation (NSDC) aimed to train 1100 of the country's educated youth from weakersections. Over 675 candidates have been trained till date and 81 % of them successfullyplaced. Additionally the partnership has skilled over 290 women till date with a focus ontheir economic independence.
Taking forward our social responsibility focus on community development we supportedthe completion of pay and use Public Toilet Complexes and continued to maintain thepatches of land in Gurgaon we adopted last year.
Kerala was struck by massive floods which were declared a calamity of a "severenature" by the Central Government this year. In an endeavor towards positiveintervention amidst this mass destruction we allocated 5% of our CSR budget to contributein the recovery and rehabilitation efforts undertaken by the state.
Crystallizing our collective vision of creating long-term value in the world are ourcompassionate and engaged employees who volunteered wholeheartedly in all our communitydevelopment initiatives. In 2018 the volunteering hours of our employees went up by 20%since last year to over 2100 hours.
As we usher in the new financial year we look forward with renewed optimism to growsteadily along with India's now diversified and resilient GDP while keeping our eyesfirmly focused on delivering excellence in every initiative we undertake. Armed with ourrich legacy and commitment Ingersoll Rand is well-geared to continue to be an integralpart of India's industrial production growth story.
This year we renew our resolve to deliver top-tier financial performance and createenduring value and returns for all our esteemed stakeholders and society.
Chairman and Managing Director