It is always a pleasure for me to communicate with you and share the progress made byyour Company from time to time. At the outset I wish to express my hope that in thecurrent challenging circumstances caused by the pandemic and the national lockdown youare all keeping good health and a flying safe.
The year in retrospect:
The financial year 2020 has been a year of significant ups and downs globally. Indiabeing a major global player has not been insulated from the waves of uncertainty that theglobal societies and economies have had to face. The extraordinary situation caused by thepandemic affected the global economies adversely including India. Governments across theworld have announced huge financial packages to help in reviving the economies which haveseen a significant downslide due to the lockdown situation.
Having said this the year has been a very eventful one for your Company whichdespite the various uncertainties faced by the Indian economy and the Media &Entertainment sector in particular has not only weathered the form but has grown fromstrength to strength. I would like to take you through some of these highlights. On aconsolidated basis your Company has put up a stellar performance for the year endingMarch 31 2020 with revenue growth of 65% over the previous year from Rs 704.60 crores toRs 1162.10 crores an Earnings before Intere Depreciation and Taxes (from continuingoperations) of Rs 341.74 crores as again a loss of Rs 71.63 crores in the previous yearand a Pro t after Tax (from continuing operations) of Rs 109.68 crores as again a loss ofRs 303.85 crores in the la year. Your Company repositioned itself as a pure Digital Media& Entertainment Company by exiting its Treasury & Inve ment business and layingless emphasis on the Real E ate segment. To achieve this your Company along with itssubsidiary IndusInd Media & Communications Limited (IMCL) led a Scheme of Arrangementwith the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) whereby the Cable TV and Headend In the Skybusinesses of IMCL are de-merged into the Company.
The NCLT has approved the Scheme and hence your
Company has now become a significant Digital Services Provider in the li ed spacefocussed on the Media/ Entertainment/Broadband business. This year marks the 25thanniversary of our operations in this sector.
The year saw the implementation of the New Tari Order (NTO) issued by the TelecomRegulatory Authority of India (TRAI) and litigation challenges and the implementationarising out of it. This was a landmark regulation that positively changed the businesseconomics for the Cable TV industry players such as your Company.
I am proud to mention that your Company took up this challenge head-on and came outsuccessfully and was identified as one of the be implementers of this Order by the Telecomand Media Regulator and the Industry.
ONEOTT Intertainment Limited (OIL) a Company belonging to the Hinduja Group and aleading Internet Service Provider in the country has become a subsidiary of your Companythrough the Scheme mentioned above.
By virtue of this your Company has become the 6th large internet service provider inthe country in the wired category.
The sector saw some huge investments during the year with both strategic and financialinvestors making significant investments in the large players in the industry. YourCompany believes that this is a positive development for all players in the sector as thesector has proved itself to be one which is poised for exponential growth.
I can assure you that your Company will take advantage of this development and will aimto grow exponentially riding on the be of cutting-edge technology which will help theCompany to create new and pro table revenue reams.
Your Company continues to be one of the forerunners in many areas some of which arethe following: The only Multi-System Operator to have over 99.50 % collections on prepaidThe only provider of services in the Cable TV industry via Satellite through the HITStechnology Innovated compression technology enabling it to pack more channels persatellite transponder Present in over 1500 locations across the country Delivering thelargest number of channels via cable and Satellite
Expansion of the business by leveraging technology and partnerships will be a key focusof your Company. Your company believes that technology and innovation will be the keymantras for growth. Consumers are today exposed to sophisticated technology and Companiessuch as yours which leverage on technology are surely to be the winners of the future.Technologies like OTT IOT and Artificial intelligence have started playing a significantrole in the day to day lives of people and companies such as yours are sure to satisfycustomer needs through innovative solutions. Your company has always believed in one ofthe key mottos of the Hinduja Group "Partnership for growth." Its business modelhas always been "Inclusive" wherein it looks to create value to all thestakeholders in the distribution chain by taking them along with itself on the path togrowth. Since inception we have always supported the local cable operators to grow andretain their businesses as entrepreneurs and remain long term partners with us. They allhave done well.
This concept of "Partnership for growth" is being taken one step further byyour company by laying focus on "Managed Services." The potential base for"Managed Services" ands at over 69 million cable TV customers today insemi-urban semi-rural and rural markets where NXTDIGITAL has a growing presence. Smallerindependent and regional MSOs operate these markets. The company is partnering with themand even with competitors by allowing them to share the distribution infrastructure of thecompany particularly the satellite footprint and deliver high-quality digital servicesto any part of the country through its HITS platform in the future. NXTDIGITAL continuesto focus on consolidating and growing its serviced subscriber base expected to cross 10million including on boarding of more than 5 million of Managed Service customers.
Infra structure sharing is the stated policy guideline of the Government for the mediaand telecommunication industry. In this respect we are ahead of the competition infulfilling the objectives of the Hon'ble Prime Minister which is focused on SkillIndia' Make in India and a Digital India.'
Corporate Social Responsibility
Your Company is fulfilling all the necessary obligations in line with our Founder'sprinciple of "Work to Give" and remains fully compliant in terms of the CSRregulations. For the Financial Year 2019-2020 your company has further contributed Rs.1.16 crores to the Hinduja Foundation for the Sustainable Rural Development Project- forrural development and education in the Jawahar Taluka in District Palghar Maharashtra.
I want to place on record my sincere appreciation of your unstinted support to thecompany all these years. I would also like to thank the Directors Management andEmployees on the excellent performance registered in the pa year. Also my thanks go outto our Bankers Auditors and Advisors for their help and guidance during the year tomaintain the highest standards of corporate governance a top priority for the HindujaGroup. I would conclude by wishing you all good health. Yours sincerely.
Ashok P. Hinduja Chairman
September 4 2020.