I trust you and your loved ones are safe and doing well. I am writing to you at a timewhen over the last few months Coronavirus pandemic has resulted in unprecedenteddisruption in the world. As it was expected the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemicin India has been especially severe. India's GDP growth has decelerated to 11 year lowestimated at 4.7% in 2019-20.
In 2020-21 the economy will see further significant challenges owing to the impact ofCOVID-19 pandemic and the resultant interruption to economic activity. Economic activityand lifestyles will be rebuilt factoring in coexistence with COVID-
19. Social Distancing and Work from Home practices will see greater prevalence and maybecome the new normal. As the impact of virus slows down countries and economies willbegin to reboot and we will have to adapt to what will be the new normal going forward.
One of our landmark achievements of the year 201920 is the finalization of theConsultancy agreement with 'G3 Canada Limited' and acting as their exclusiverepresentatives to trade in agricultural commodities in India. G3 is 75% owned by theSALIC the Multi-Billion dollar Saudi govt backed fund. We are extremely proud of thisassociation and I hope it will open many new opportunities to trade for our company.Further our qualified team did extremely well to identify and re-start import anddistribution of Sunflower meal into the poultry feed industry. We were proven right as thedemand was robust up until December 2019 and we were well positioned to service ourcustomers. However the outbreak of corona virus in China Europe and USA had an adverseimpact on poultry consumption in India. Indian Public dramatically decreased theconsumption of chicken eggs etc. due to fear of the virus and this adversely impacted ourbusiness. The excellent and conducive weather good rainfall and farmer supportivepolicies of government encouraged farmers to produce bumper crops of food grains. In linewith this development we have increased our engagement in domestic trading of pulses andgrains to distribute to the end users/processors. We expect robust business on thisaccount during FY2020-21.
Given the fact of pandemic and its adverse impact on Indian economy various economicsurveys have predicted that India's GDP growth could plummet to even (-15.2%) y-o-y from3.1% in Q1 of FY2020-21. However we are prepared to deal with the slowdown and hope tobeat it by growing 15-20% on year on year basis.
As part of our risk mitigation strategy we had commenced diversification into othercommodities like specialized steel products and chemicals in FY 18-19 itself. We continueddown this path in FY19-20 also. As mentioned last year company has hired a team ofprofessionals having strong techno-commercial background to look after this vertical. Wehave Pan India presence and are committed to grow in this business. In spite of facingheadwinds due to slow down in auto sector we have become a leading supplier of steelabrasives to notable accounts such as Mahindra Escorts and many OEM's catering tomultinational auto companies. We are confident that we will continue to grow in thisbusiness in FY20-21 and have high expectations from it.
No doubt that FY 20-21 will be most challenging as it started with the whole Worldbeing in Lockdown. As I write this message to you no proper remedy or vaccine isavailable yet. The entire globe has been struggling with this Pandemic. We need toevaluate the long-term impact of COVID-19 on consumer preferences in various categories.But with food being an essential commodity we expect your Company to perform better thanother sectors. Also we are better positioned than our competitors as we have beenextremely risk averse and have come out of the most severe phase of the pandemicrelatively unscathed.
Given the challenge of Pandemic & slow economy FY 20-21 requires more prudentmore calibrated and more risk averse business. Company is exploring the model of quickrotation of commodities so that a regular revenue stream can be maintained. To mitigatethe counter party risk company shall lay strong emphasis on back to back business andincrease trading of Agri products being procured/sold by govt. agencies under MSPmechanism.
I would also like to extend my gratitude and appreciation towards my fellow BoardMembers for their unstinted support. My thanks also to our business associates and vendorswho make our journey easier and simpler. And finally on behalf of the entire managementand the Board I want to thank you for your unwavering support.
I pray and hope for its early end of this Pandemic and for your safety & goodhealth in these unprecedented times.