I WRITE THIS AT AN EXCITING TIME FOR THE
COMPANY. NEVER BEFORE HAS LA OPALA RG LIMITED
JUST COMPLETED ONE EXPANSION OF 4000TPA AND
IMMEDIATELY ANNOUNCED ANOTHER. NEVER HAS THE COMPANY INVESTED IN AS LARGE A CAPACITYINCREMENT AS IT IS PRESENTLY DOING WHICH SHOULD BE COMMISSIONED BY THE SECOND HALF OF THENEXT FINANCIAL YEAR.
The big question then is: what has changed Why is the company engaged in an aggressiveexpansion in capacity Will this expansion compromise the strength of the Balance Sheet
Permit to answer my own questions in sequence.
The one thing that has changed ever so gradually but ever so visibly as well is thelifestyle transformation in India.
There was a time when lifestyle transformation' largely concerned the rich andfamous. Interestingly these words are now relevant for most Indians evident in thequality of their smartphone the colours of their clothes the films they watch at homethe messages they exchange the restaurants they visit the places where they takeholidays the way they book film tickets and the blogs they read.
With such extensive transformative impact it is not surprising for the change toextend to the way people eat as well. There was a time when people ate off stainless steelplates because they lasted longer and were unbreakable.
Gradually people changed; they graduated beyond the because it won't breakmindset' to I want to be seen eating in a plate that enhances my self-esteem and ifit breaks I can always go and get a new one.'
There are a number of reasons for this shift in the mindset beyond what I have alreadystated. However the one factor that most would not even be aware of is that the cost oftableware has declined substantially in India over the last decade in real terms.When one factors the reality that incomes have increased significantly in the last decadethe real cost of tableware is now so inconsequential in the overall incomes that theshift from stainless steel or melamine or bone china to opalware is such a foregoneconclusion that it is almost taken for granted.
This is probably the biggest transformation that has taken place within the country'stableware sector across the last decade. From a time when the product was consideredhigher middle-class to a time when tableware is considered widely democratic is probablythe biggest change to have transpired. I am proud to state that a company like La Opala RGLimited has facilitated even accelerated this transition. The Company continuouslyexpanded capacity addressed the bulge of the market graduated preferences grew itspresence bottom-up from semi-urban India advertised relevantly and priced affordably
all the ingredients that helped it grow the market and account for adisproportionate share.
The result is in the numbers.
The Company accounts for a
65% share of the organised opalware market in the country. The Company hadapproximately RS 200 crore of free cash sitting on its books as on 31st March 2018. The
Company is debt-free. The
Company created a family of brands to address diverse customer preferences. The
Company's distribution network was attrition-free. The Company's knowledge capital
(people) remained protected. These realities inspire the optimism that the companyaddresses a sea of opportunities. As more Indian aspire to a better meal-table experienceLa Opala would be best-placed to capitalise. In view of these realities and reasons Ibelieve that our story is only starting out. The best is yet to be. Mr. A C ChakraborttiChairman
The Company had approximately
RS 200 crore of free cash sitting on its books as on 31st March 2018.