The year 2020 was marked by unprecedented challenges. Our way of life changed likenever before and people were compelled to adapt and adjust to new realities. It has been ayear which truly tested the capabilities and competencies of our Company. The resilienceof our business model and our values of care and integrity allowed our people to cometogether with a real sense of purpose. Although the immediate future remains uncertain dueto the Covid-19 pandemic we remain strategically and operationally poised to take theorganisation ahead.
What we feel and believe inside is the same exhibited outside. We always believe thatthe real battleground is always in the mind and when we come out victorious progress isan inevitable conclusion. Despite the uncertainties in the market FY 2020-21 has indeedbeen one of the golden years in our Company's history. Our brands have shown growth alongwith increasing acceptance among consumers. Having said that we are seeing an importantdevelopment in the industry the changing aspirational tastes of a varied segment of Indianconsumers are translating into enhanced demand for qualitative and reputed knitweargarments. Therefore we have stressed on manufacturing knitted garments that offerenhanced experience and are of perceivably superior quality across each of its brands. Toachieve this we have meticulously planned and established production units upgraded ourproduct offerings to drive locational and operational advantages thereby enhancingstakeholders value creation in the long run.
Resilient India is no stranger to challenges. It has faced challenged and surpassedthem with stature and poise. Concurrently the average Indian is braving the odds to givethe Indian economy an all-out push. India's backbone its rural economy continues tothrive. Monsoons and harvesting have remained good for the last year and this year too. Asa result India has not experienced any supply shortages in farm produce. As a logicalfallout consumption in lesser-known towns has been picking up.
The simple barometer of this resilient economy is evident through the GST Collectionsduring FY 2020-21. Barring the first two months when there was a complete lockdown demandhas started picking up which led to increased GST collections by the Government. Webelieve that this great nation will keep on rising with its positive journey and willcross all the benchmarks created by itself in the past. Today the entire world is lookingupon India as an important country in the global supply-chain. This is expected to createcountless opportunities for India Inc. in the medium and long term.
A peep into the innerwear industry
The growing popularity of comfort wear among the young Indian population in recentyears has prompted many companies to expand their knitwear range. With rising incomelevels higher purchasing power rise in the number of working women and growingconsciousness towards fashionable products demand for quality knitwear products in ourcountry has also seen a rise. Covid-19 pandemic has had tremendous impact on the clothingand apparels segment with many people being forced to work-from-home. As a result peoplestarted preferring comfort over fashion; thus further increasing demand for comfort wearand athleisure. Thus quality conscious manufacturers are continuously focusing on productconsistency and design over a period of time to gain consumer confidence for a particularbrand. As casualisation trends are picking momentum the knitwear industry has beenconstantly registering a significant upsurge. Domestic players are also focusing onouterwear with bold colours designs and styling track pants shorts T-shirts and mostimportantly athleisure wear which is going to give them higher margins in the long run.
Over the years the industry has created a huge entry barrier by creating brands backedby big celebrity endorsements. Moreover modules and fixtures for product displayattractive packaging and point-of-sale imagery ensured respective brands were brought intolimelight using first-of-its-kind brand communication. Increasing per capita risinglevels of information and media exposure have also given the industry a new dimension. Thetrend is not restricted to just metros but can be witnessed across Tier-I II and IIIcities and small rural towns as well.
Along with the domestic market exports also offer huge opportunities for growth forIndian knitwear makers as the global apparel brands seek to look for alternate suppliers.Due to the sizable domestic market and huge export opportunities phenomenal growth isexpected in the knitwear segment. We are confident of massive opportunities for Indianknitting industry. With the current geo-political situation supply chain disruption anduncertainties over investments in neighbouring countries India is certain to regain itspole position in the world of knitwear industry.
On a standalone basis our revenue grew by 34%. In terms of profitability EBITDA andPAT grew by 99% and 126% over the last year respectively. We achieved record revenue andprofitability on back of a strong volume growth operational efficiencies better productmix and various optimisation measures despite the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
The second wave of Covid-19 had adversely affected the economy. In these tough timesour priority had clearly shifted to take care of our people on ground who were workingrelentlessly in these challenging times. The Company organised vaccination camps atvarious locations for the needy people. We also extended the health insurance program forall the employees.
The phy-digital strategy
Post relaxation of restrictions due to the Covid-19 pandemic and as the Indian economystarted opening up our dealers started to resume their business activities. We are happyto announce that our 1200+ dealer and 125000+ retail network along with 11 EBO'sthrough our 7000+ SKUs are functioning well. We are scaling partnerships with retailchains and E-commerce players to increase our reach and relevance to both urban and semiurban populace especially the millennials. We have undertaken initiatives like jointbrand promotions with retail chains as well as strengthened online visibility to increasesales through this channel. Going forward we plan to establish franchise business modelwithin the top 50 cities in India. Future plan is to roll out 30 EBOs by the year end and100 EBOs in 2-3 years.
We are taking strategic initiatives to improve our customer base in the Central andSouthern part of the country. We are appointing new distributors and building experiencecentres to further strengthen our sales in the potential and existing markets. As we moveforward we see an immense opportunity in the outer wear and athleisure segment. We arealso expanding in new international geographies in export business by opening business innew countries in middle east Africa and Russia.
The uniqueness of our brand helps build a positive perception. The Management'sinvolvement in brand building and an all-pervasive team effort has only made it a reality.We continue to invest behind brand building to support market growth initiatives in corecategories and expansion into adjacent categories. With consumers spending significantlymore on-screen time we are reallocating judiciously on advertisement and promotionalspends from non-media to media channels to drive share of voice in the core portfolios inthe near-term. Over the years we have consistently been investing 6-8% of our revenuetowards brand promotional expenses which reduced to 4.2% during the year under review dueto Covid-19 pandemic. But we expect to regain the same level of our brand expenses duringFY 2021-22 as normalcy regains.
We continue to reaffirm our commitment to deliver a sustainable long-term business andearnings growth by leveraging our key enablers brands talent and culture. We expect goodgrowth in Thermal Women and Athleisure wear. Outerwear casual clothing is expected tosee significant growth. Product development will continue to be our key focus. We want toensure that product launches are profitable and increase our competitiveness in themarketplace. We will undertake the right promotional initiatives to grow and ensure thattheir message is rightly communicated to the consumers. We will continue to make specialefforts to keep improving quality. This is not just to protect ourselves from thecompetition but to truly delight consumers.
In every crisis we strive to find an opportunity. It's time to review our course makeadjustments and prepare for a different and better future. Waves of growth and recessionhave shaped human lives since the beginning of time. But we must be prepared to weatherany storm always learning from our experiences and improving our capabilities. We remainoptimistic for FY 2021-22.
The Company's Board comprises leaders with domain expertise from diverse fields suchas business strategy finance risk management retail e-commerce and human resourcesand continues to guide the top management in achieving its long-term goals. We would liketo take this opportunity to thank all our team members for their continuous engagementcommitment and support during the year. We also convey our deep appreciation to all ourbusiness partners vendors and other business associates for all they do which makes ourCompany successful. Finally a very special thanks to all our shareholders for the faiththey have bestowed on us over the years. We look forward to your continued support as westrengthen our today for our tomorrow.
We extend our warm wishes to everyone for their good health safety and well-being.
With best wishes
Prahlad Rai Agarwala Chairman
Ghanshyam Prasad Agarwala Vice-Chairman
Kunj Bihari Agarwal Managing Director