With Raymond Reimagined in our heart and tomorrow on our mind we are re-writing thefundamental rules by which our group is run today. To meet the aspirations of an everevolving consumer rapidly changing dynamics of work environment and how humans areembracing technology we are well on course on the journey of augmenting who we are.
With a strong financial performance during FY 18-19 by all our businesses andpurposeful strides on strategic milestones we are making steady progress towards ourvision of Raymond Reimagined. The business continues to build capacities for enhancedperformance and delivery across verticals with innovative products and services as well astechnology adoption that include digitisation and automation. As the inevitable march oftechnology continues the Raymond of today has positioned itself at the forefront of thismovement to enable futuristic growth and sustained value creation backed by future-readyeco-systems AI machine learning advanced analytics and more.
Today we remain committed to ensuring the highest standards of corporate governanceand excellence at Raymond. I continue to advocate that if family businesses don't adaptand bring in the distinction of ownership and management then they run the risk of beingobsolete. Having said that I stepped down as Chairman of Raymond Apparel Limited inNovember 2018. As a large business it was crucial for me to give up on all theresponsibilities of day to day management of multiple businesses and the company'sleadership team has been reconstituted with the induction of new board members bringingin valuable expertise and experience.
With these broad changes and the infusion of talented and experienced leadership thecompany is geared for exceptional growth. In FY 2019-20 the Indian economy is expected tocontinue its journey of growth the key demand driver being its growing population ofyoung and aspiring professionals. This presents an opportunity for us as we haveaggressively expanded our physical presence across the country to ensure last miledelivery. Our digital platforms complement these efforts by offering a seamless customerexperience. Also our international operations continue to stabilise that is boosting ourpresence in US and Europe. I am also happy to report that our linen manufacturing plant inAmravati stabilised in FY 2019-20.
The company is exploring newer avenues to continue to enhance shareholder value. Thisobjective marks its foray into the real estate sector with Raymond Realty. This forayunderlines our aim to unlock value and to monetise company's assets by developing 20 acresfrom the land parcel that it holds in Thane.
In a bid to encourage inclusive growth Raymond continues to enrich the tailoringecosystem providing a platform for skill development in the textiles and apparelmanufacturing industry by rapidly adding tailoring hubs across the country. In additionwe created over 3 million hours of employability for Khadi artisans in more than 75clusters across 16 states in India.
Reckoned with the pioneering initiatives in the field of education and providing equalopportunities to all at Raymond Group we stay committed to our role in creating accessand excellence in education. We have added yet another school as Smt. Sunitidevi SinghaniaSchool at Thane which is due to commence in the academic year starting June 2019. Todaywe impart quality education to 10000 children a year through our various schools and havea vision to take this number to 1000000 students countrywide.
Today with tomorrow on our mind we are building capabilities enabled by technology tocreate an organisation that is nimble footed and ready for future opportunities. Takingforward the last years' customer centricity theme ahead and in the era wheredifferentiated products and services will keep us ahead of the curve we are focussed tokeep consumer at the forefront to create a new legacy for Raymond.
Gautam Hari Singhania
Chairman and Managing Director