This is an unprecedented time like no other in our lives. The COVID-19pandemic continues to drive uncertainty stress and trauma. My heartfelt sympathies are tothe many families who have been adversely impacted by COVID-19. At the same time onbehalf of all at Ramco Cements my immense gratitude to all the doctors medical staffmembers and the front-line staff at hospitals and to all the essential workers andvolunteers for serving and caring for people in need.
While the pandemic has caused severe social crisis its economicramifications have also been manifold. It has pushed majority of global populace underlockdown and triggered global recession. The Indian economy too is no exception. Majorityof sectors have been impacted including the infrastructure segment which may see delaysin investments due to fiscal constraints.
Though the near-term scenario may seem bleak let us not forget thatthe country has risen stronger from many such past crises. Though recovery may take timewe are optimistic of the longer-term outlook. Measures by RBI to reduce repo rates and bythe Government to roll out Rs. 20 Lac Crore economic-cum-relief stimulus package will helprevive the economic engine.
The Indian cement industry which was already dealing with difficulteconomic scenario too was impacted. Lower government spending liquidity crunch in thereal estate along with monsoon issues and natural calamities led to a
1% decline in demand in FY 2019-20. Aggressive capacity addition by theindustry players led to the capacity utilisation falling by an estimated 3-5 percentagepoints as demand slumped.
It is noteworthy that amidst this challenging scenario marked bysluggish demand and pressure on input costs your Company delivered a steady performance.Our capex programmes largely remained on track. The grinding capacity at Kolaghat WestBengal and Vizag Andhra Pradesh have been successfully doubled and the establishment ofgreenfield grinding unit at Haridaspur Odisha is all set to commission. The otherprojects of greenfield Cement Plant at Kalavatala and establishment of Line III atJayanthipuram Cement Plant both in the State of Andhra Pradesh are scheduled forcommissioning by the end of FY 2020-21.
This additional capacity comes on stream at a time when the demand isexpected to be weak. Factors such as weak global demand supply disruptions grapplingeconomy with lockdown and
It is noteworthy that amidst this challenging scenario marked bysluggish demand and pressure on input costs your Company delivered a steady performance.Factory shutdowns and delayed capex cycle will impact the construction industry. Howeverwe expect the demand to revive from the second half of FY 2020-21 with pick up in ruralhousing Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (rural) Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana and spendingon key infrastructure projects. Our focus until then will be to stabilise operations atthe newly commissioned plants and ensure steady progress of ongoing projects. Moreimportantly these plants being strategically located in the Eastern part of India willensure faster recovery. This region is largely underpenetrated and thus has high growthpotential compared to rest of our country.
I also believe that our ability to differentiate will ringfence us.Ramco Cements has been a company where manufacturing is largely accompanied by focussedinvestments in research service and information technology. Our feet on the ground anddecades of domain expertise enable us to understand the gaps in the market and anticipateneeds which ensures consumer delight.
Our practical insights combined with superior technical research allowsus to develop right and superior quality products. Our product bouquet comprises specificgrades and types of
We are continuously undertaking research and investing in green energyto make our products and processes more sustainable.
Cement that are customised for specific purposes and provide therequired differentiation to consumers. With our technical advisory services we ensurethat the consumers use the right products for right applications in the right way which isessential to get maximum benefit out of it. Our MACE division comprising of a highlyexperienced technical team plays an invaluable role in this endeavour.
Our robust information technology platform has been a true gamechanger. It enables us to run business efficiently and control operations end-to-endbesides ensuring hassle-free supply chain management with real time information forjust-in-time delivery.
Alongside business Ramco Cements has been a strong proponent ofenvironment protection and sustainable development with its 4P bottom line approach Product Profit Planet and People. We are continuously undertaking research and investingin green energy to make our products and processes more sustainable. We are increasinglyusing IT in supply chain management for better planning and rationalising logistics whichhas reduced the number of truck movements. Our safety practices are benchmarked to globalbest practices. This was evident during the COVID-19 pandemic where we carried out regulartemperature checking of employees and truck drivers along with carrying out sanitisation.
Our community engagements around education health and skilldevelopment are contributing to holistic socioeconomic development of villages.
I take this opportunity to congratulate the senior leadership and theteam whose tireless efforts has led to a good performance even in tough times. It onlygoes on to show their dedication and passion. I also thank all our stakeholders for theircontinued support and the members of the Board for their guidance. Our efforts willcontinue to deliver sustainable growth and ensure value creation for all stakeholders.