To address you as the Chairman of a promising company that PI Industries continues tobe is a matter of great pride and privilege for me. Let me begin with acknowledging thestellar contribution that my predecessor Salil Singhal has made in steering the companyto its position of greater significance in the global agrochemical industry. His passionfor exploration and commitment to professional ethics has cascaded across the rank andfile of the company. As Chairman Emeritus Salil's continued guidance would help us takePI to greater heights.
The world is acknowledging India's continued economic strides and steady socialprogress. Thanks to many a concurrent factors being at work the Indian agriculture sectoris headed towards a greater transformation. Aiming to double the income of farmers by2022 the Government of India is intensifying its budgetary and policy support towardsfarmer empowerment and rural infrastructure development. Moreover an improveddistribution and availability of electricity coupled with increasing penetration ofinternet and smartphones are adding to rural empowerment. The private sector companies whohave agricultural interface are putting in commendable efforts in educating and empoweringfarmers with modern day agronomics and the same is translating into an improvedproductivity of the farm sector.
Still agricultural infrastructure and productivity in India has a long way to go. Withjust 45% of net sown area having irrigation facilities and an estimated 15-25% ofpotential crop production being lost due to insects weeds and diseases the headroom forproductivity improvement is immense. With more than half of the country's 1.3 billionpopulace economically dependent on agriculture your Company is favourably placed tocontribute to and in turn benefit from an increased farm production and ever increasingincome of the farmers.
India's stature in the global agrochemical industry has steadily risen kudos to a deepunderstanding of complex chemistry a vast talent pool of qualified professionals and agood culture of ethical partnerships and respect for IPR. At a time when the globalagrochemical industry is transitioning towards a greater consolidation and uncertaintiesin the Chinese Chemical industry a greater share of global contract research synthesisand manufacturing opportunities are bound to head towards India.
Your Company has sensed these global opportunities much ahead of its peers andbenchmarked it against best global efficiencies in the agrochemical space. The trustrespect and partnership that your Company has built and nurtured with the leading globalinnovators over many decades would prove to be an unparalleled enabler of sustainedaccelerated growth. With a distinct blend of domestic and international businesses yourCompany's business model itself is a decisive differentiator one that acts as aspringboard in a favourable environment and a shock absorber in testing times.
Technological advancements are disrupting the legacy business models across the broadspectrum of industries with the emergence of newer themes such as renewable energy inpower electric hybrid in automobile etc less toxic in pharmaceuticals. Businesses needto reinvent and realign themselves in order to stay relevant in the future. Being at theforefront of new technologies we continue to sharpen our ability to leverage them acrossdifferent segments of chemistry combined with biology.
Staying focused on existing patented/proprietary molecules in agrichem space we aredeveloping many new products/solutions for the Indian markets. We continue to buildinnovative business process capabilities for efficient and speedy delivery to ourcustomers with a mark of outstanding quality.
our demonstrated capabilities across process research and best in class manufacturingassets of global standards help us attract leading innovators for their outsourcedresearch and manufacturing needs. In order to give a further fillip to our futureprospects we are entering into strategic alliances with global agrichem majors. We arealso working with global innovators in fine chemicals domain with a view to leverage ourrespective capabilities to provide a wider range of solutions beyond agrichem.
During the year we launched a high potential product in the domestic market andcommercialised four molecules in the exports market. We formed a joint venture with MitsuiChemicals Agro Inc. (MCAG) to provide registration services for their proprietaryagrochemicals in India. We also entered into a strategic tie-up with BASF Germany one ofthe leading chemical companies and a well-known name in the crop protection industry tomarket their innovative fungicides and herbicides in India. While the financial year2016-17 proved to be a mixed bag for the agrochemical industry the efficacy of ourbusiness model got reflected in your companies performance.
With all the building blocks of sustained growth decades- strong relationships withglobal innovators enviable expertise in complex chemistry the inherent streak ofinnovation world class manufacturing and R&D assets and strong brand equity &distribution network already in place your Company's sharp focus of sustainabledevelopment and adherence to a stricter cost regime is going to catapult it into a higherorbit of value creation. Our newly developed research & development center is bound tointensify the culture and speed of innovation across the organisation.
on a more personal note it has been a privilege to head such a promising anddiversified board aptly backed by best of breed management team that remains driven bytheir passion to innovate a better world through a better PI. I take this opportunity tothank all my fellow board members for their valued guidance and contributions andcongratulate the Company's management and staff for another year of robust operational andfinancial performance.
Let us continue to make the better use of chemistry and deploy it towards creating abetter world!
With warm regards
Narayan K. Seshadri