Our fortitude and values come to the fore
I am pleased to present to you the third Integrated Report of yourCompany. The pandemic created many unforeseen challenges on our path. I take thisopportunity to send our thoughts and prayers to all stakeholders affected by the crisisincluding the familesi fr endsi and relat ives of the valued members of your Company. Wehave not suffered a global health crisis of this magnitude in generations and are morethan grateful to all those frontline workers who have worked tirelessly to help keepothers safe and provde essent i al goods and services to all.
At Marico our members come first and we are focusing on theirwell-being by taking all possible steps to provde thei support required to cope with thesedifficult times. Despite the wdespreadi d isruption during the year under revewi yourCompany demonstrated both resili ence and ag ility and delivered impressive results. Thishas only reinforced our faith in the lasting strength of the strategic building blocks ofyour Company namely brand people and culture. It is the trusted equity of our brandsthat consumers seek solace in especally dur i ing such uncertainty. The fortitude of ourmembers and the values i ngrained in our culture have truly come to the fore in theseunprecedented times. I_firmly beleve thati it is only when you're empowered withfreedom and opportunity that you rise above the task at hand and take complete ownershipto make a_difference.
A visible silver lining
A year since the onset of the pandemic the global economy remainsunder pressure accompanied by sustained fatalities and widespread unemployment. Howeverdespite the uncertainties the way out of this health and economic crisis is increasinglyvisible. Vaccination is picking up pace and the workforce around the world is adapting toways of working with reduced mobility. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) in itslatest report has projected a stronger recovery for the global economy compared to itsearlier forecast with growth projected at 6% in 2021 moderating to 4.4% in 2022 after ahistoric contraction of an estimated 3.3% in 2020.
The Indian economy contracted by 7.3% in FY21. In view of the severityand spread of the second COVID-19 wave in India accompanied by the overwhelming pressureon the healthcare system the IMF is likely to lower its most recent growth rateprojection of 12.5% for FY22. With the human and economic toll on the rise I hope that weovercome this crisis through a coordinated policy response to fight the virus includingacceleration of the vaccination campaign along with allocation of more fiscal resources tothe health sector and social support for the vulnerable.
Sustainable value creation at Marico
Our commitment to responsible growth has always been the focal point ofeverything we do at Marico. It has been our long-standing belief that sustainable andpurposeful businesses will stand the test of time and drive superior long-term performancestands more validated now than ever before. The severe human crisis that we are facingtoday has further necessitated a stakeholder approach to growth which relies oncompassion collaboration and inclusivity.
In FY21 your Company continued to make concerted efforts to reduceoperational risks enhance environmental stewardship garner eco-consciousness amongstconsumers maintain best-in-class governance standards and most importantly safeguardlives to thrive in the next normal of business.
As part of our climate action goals our aim is to transition theoperations of all facilities to carbon neutral status and mitigate our value chain climateimpact. Over 72% of your Company's energy needs are met from renewable energysources. Our Perundurai (Tamil Nadu) manufacturing facility has been certified asCarbon Neutral' and has received platinum-level certification from CII GreenCompany Rating System (GreenCo) and Indian Green Building Council (IGBC) - all threenotable achievements.
Water conservation is a core thrust area of our sustainability agendaand your Company aims to become a water steward thereby creating sufficient quantitiesfor community usage and agricultural purposes. Under the Jalaashay' programmeyour Company has continually replenished 100% of the water consumed in its operations andhas built a cumulative conservation potential of approximately 2.15_ Billion litres sofar. We have also ensured that 100% of your Company's liquid waste is treated andreused within the plant boundaries.
Towards plastic waste management the UpCycle' programme hasresulted in 95% of your Company's product packaging (by weight) being recyclable.Additionally in conformance with our Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) commitmentwe have completed collection energy recovery and environmentally safe disposal of about1630_MT (equivalent in weight) of post-consumer multi-layer packaging used in ourproducts. We have also completed a collaborative circular packaging initiative with Dowand Lucro Plastecycle towards the usage of post-consumer recycled (PCR) shrink films forthe brand Parachute.
Through our Parachute Kalpavriksha programme we are striving toempower coconut farmers in India to leverage scientific techniques advanced agriculturaltrainings and a range of farm-support resources that improve the quality of yields as wellas boost socio-economic livelihoods. The Company has enrolled 17997 farmers this year(cumulative number stands at 39040 farmers) covering 54931 acres of coconut farms(cumulative number stands at 1.8 Lakh acres) and effecting an overall year-on-yearimprovement in productivity of 15%.
Enabling socially inclusive development
This year your Company continued its efforts towards enablingresponsible and socially-inclusive growth for the community through a variety ofeducational outreach initiatives livelihood sustenance programmes and innovation-ledvalue-creation campaigns.
During the ongoing pandemic your Company has been able to distribute1.4 Million masks 6.7 Lakh PPE kits and 633 ventilators to help safeguard lives ofprimary healthcare workers the police and emergency services staff among others.
Since its inception in 2003 the Marico Innovation Foundation (MIF) hasplayed a catalytic role in the innovation ecosystem to help start-ups scale-up. Incollaboration with other organisations the Foundation helped fund nine scale-upinnovation challenges to recognise winning solutions. Of these the most impactful hasbeen the Innovate2Beat COVID Grand Challenge which was launched to find affordable andscalable affordable and scalable healthcare solutions in India. The five winning solutionsreceived a grant of H_24 Million.
In any crisis it is important to move quickly to reset objectives inline with changing market realities. However our strategic priorities which have alwaysbeen guided by our credo Making a Difference' remain unalteredand gain even more relevance in this evolving context. Your Company will continue to focuson nurturing and building responsible safe authentic and trusted products for ourconsumers and making them more accessible through agile and resilient execution. We willmaintain a collaborative approach with all our partners in the value chain and stay trueto our commitment to the community and the planet in a bid to create sustainable value forall.
I continue to act as the Non-Executive Chairman of the Board whileSaugata continues to lead your Company's strategic growth initiatives. While theBoard remains the guide and mentor of the top management keeping in mind the rightbalance in composition relative to Director tenure your Company will undertake a Boardrejuvenation exercise over the next few years. I also lead efforts to improve thecollective functioning of the Board while remaining actively involved in our CSRinitiatives.
I would once again like to express my gratitude to all our team membersfor valiantly fighting through the challenges posed by this unprecedented crisis andextend my sincere gratitude to the Board for its continued guidance and support. I alsoconvey heartfelt appreciation for all our business partners vendors and other businessassociates who have firmly stood by your Company amidst adversity. We deeply value thefaith guidance and support of all our shareholders and would continue to do so as weattempt to emerge stronger from the challenges and look ahead to brighter times.