Unified and strong
The year tested us in ways that justified the reasons for the merger in the firstplace. Consumer sentiment continued to spiral weighing down growth across the economy.Demand slackened in global markets. Other events such as liquidity crunch and policyuncertainties contributed to volatility in the Indian economy. Most of the macroindicators such as GDP growth Index of Industrial Production (IIP) growth consumer priceindex and automobile sales turned unfavourable during the year.
The impact on the automotive segment has been significant with a minor uptickwitnessed in the last quarter. However newer players in the automobile sector with focuson compact Special Utility Vehicles (SUVs) did reasonably better.
At Schaeffler India we responded to these headwinds by being well- prepared andcautious through our research improving our core value proposition for customers. Werelied on the inherent strength and de-risked nature of our business model. We tookvarious steps to fortify the identity of the Schaeffler' brand in India.
2019 marked our first full year of operations since the merger as Schaeffler India andit was a challenging yet eventful one. We embarked on a new journey of redefining ourstrategies rebuilding our synergies and reorganising ourselves as One Schaeffler.
While our revenues and profits registered degrowth compared to the year before thelast quarter allowed us to end the year on a high note.
We the Board of Directors of Schaeffler India remain committed to creating value forall of you and taking your Company to greater heights through our efficient processplanning and strategy implementation.
During the year we took significant steps to empower the communities that we operatein and played a proactive role in driving sustainability across our operations. Ourinitiatives such as Nitara access to healthcare and hygiene and the STEP programme werea great success.
We are also integrating with the Group's Asia Pacific region highlighting ourincreasing role in generating growth. With this in mind we are continuing with ourinvestments in India especially by expanding our R&D capabilities.
Your Company is well-governed by a Board that has the right balance of independent andnon-independent directors.
Going forward we will continue to persevere and excel through decisionmaking thatdelivers on long-term value creation. Robust governance practices are key levers to ourefforts to drive customer-centricity and are a reflection of our affinity to the Group'sethos.
With an aim to provide shareholders a deep-dive into our business productionprocesses R&D capabilities and ESG (Environment Social and Governance) initiativeswe organised a maiden visit for them to our plant in Talegaon Pune. I along with themembers of the India executive leadership team played hosts to over 150 shareholders. Itwas heartening to receive positive response and appreciation from all of them post thevisit. We are truly overwhelmed by the enthusiasm intrigue and warmth of our dearshareholders.
Together with our partners across the value chain we are creating a strong ecosystemto realise our plans over the coming years. I would thus like to extend my heartfeltgratitude to investors and our parent company for their continued support and steadycommitment.