Dear Members and Associates
The year gone by has been yet another year of serious challenges caused by COVID-19Pandemic and other geopolitical situations around the world. A debilitating second wave ofthe Pandemic had hit India leading to much pain. Markets were disrupted and marred byfrequent lockdowns observing COVID protocols social distancing norms and a dampenedconsumer sentiment. A vaccine campaign which after beginning slowly gained requisitemomentum bringing much needed comfort even though the possibility of its repeatedoccurances remain.
I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude to our frontline workers who put asidetheir individual priorities and not only worked selflessly to help others contain impactof ever mounting COVID surge but also successfully carried operations in a normal mannerwithout much disruptions. We too had partnered with different stakeholders includinggovernment healthcare agencies and communities to mobilise necessary resources to savelives.
Coming to core of our business - cement has always been integral part of the growthstory of the country ever since it gained independence in 1947. If it was building oflarge dams irrigation projects canals etc. which made the country self-sufficient infood grain production during initial years of independence in 1950s or 1960s; thenbuilding of large power plants nuclear reactors hydroelectric projects etc. in 1970s orlater laid the foundation of industrial development in the country. Deregulating theeconomy and freeing of markets revolutionized the real estate sector opened servicessector including IT ITES BFSI tourism etc. in 1990s. Cement has always been an integralpart of the development journey and shall continue to remain so in decades to come.
The last two years of the pandemic and current global uncertainties have impacted thepace of economic growth across the world India though not insulated; remains amongst thefastest growing big economy in the world. Russia Ukraine war has cast its shadow on energymarkets and today the prices of fuel and energy are at all time high. It has led tosignificant increase in costs and adverse impact on industry profitability; but I amhopeful that our country and its people have the resilience to rise above thesechallenges.
It is indeed a matter of great satisfaction that during these turbulent times YourCompany was well prepared for all eventuality and responded to them with lot ofresilience. The Company chose optimism to the threat posed by the above external risks andresponded to counter the same with strong determination. Requisite preventive measureswere taken to minimise impact of Pandemic.
The Company witnessed a steep rise in freight and important input costs mainly onaccount of phenomenal rise in the prices of petroleum products globally; but we have hadrequisite farsightedness to meticulously plan for such eventuality and make effective useof reducing lead distance. To further mitigate the risk of sharp rise in fuel prices andother costs the Company continued to strive hard for further improvements in itsoperational efficiencies and maximisation of realisations by way of optimising product mixand enhancing the distribution network. Focussed steps were taken to reduce thetransportation lead the number of dumps and increase direct dispatches. To conservenational resources Your Company has been relying more on renewable sources of energy andour renewable energy usage for FY 21-22 was around 46%.
Our brands like Platinum Heavy Duty Cement and Platinum Supremo have already created aniche and firmly established themselves in the market. Your Company continued its focus onproviding better and superior products to the market through innovation and technology inFY 21-22. Our team left no stone unturned in initiating and implementing sustainedmarketing and branding efforts; keeping their ears to the ground for customer and tradefeedback to further strengthen the distribution system.
We have laid strong emphasis all-along towards protection of environment and mitigationof material ESG risks to continuously review monitor and develop sustainable policies andprocesses to save the environment. We remain committed to not only meet customers'expectations but also catering to their evolving requirements thus enabling them to buildmore durable and sustainable structures that are made sustainably.
UCWL has undertaken multiple CSR interventions for upliftment of society and itsenvironment it belongs. Our 'Project Aajivika' was launched to enhance agriculturalproductivity and thereby doubling the income of identified farmers. It included doinghousehold surveys for identification of eligible farmer beneficiaries selectingmicro/small farmers holding workshops on 'Agriculture Input for Rabi' soil testing atState Government Laboratory of micro-small farmers beneficiaries developed individualFarmer Development Plan distributed pesticides and surveyed households around plant &mines periphery for identification of eligible livestock for their Infertility Treatment.
Towards safety and health aspect for our employees and also for the neighbouringcommunity of our facilities Your Company organized Medical Camps benefiting numerouspatients. Eye Camps were held where free spectacles were also provided to needy patients.To curb COVID pandemic Cotton Masks Oximeter PPE Kits were provided. Further variousactivities were undertaken for creating awareness and mobilizing people to vaccinationcenters.
With the country rapidly progressing in every sphere of inclusive progress sustainabledevelopment and prosperity; I see increasingly bright future for the industry and theCompany. In addition to investing in growth in our core business of cement; we shall alsoinvest in expanding our product portfolio to enhance our offerings to the customers andsimultaneously embrace cleaner and greener technologies. It is indeed a matter of pridethat Your Company is already at the forefront in use of greener power and is on path ofreaching the milestones of more than 50% of its electrical energy requirements being metby renewable sources by the year 2025 and exceed 80% by the year 2030.
We with our forward looking attitude and well preparedness would not be shying awayfrom creating further capacities possibly in a short span of time to seize theopportunities on the back of significant demand growth.
I would now like to express my sincere gratitude to all our customers businesspartners associates suppliers and our esteemed members and other stakeholders for theirsupreme loyalty and confidence in us. I also acknowledge contribution of our employeeswho are our most precious resource. As we gear up in preparation for a power-packedfuture I am grateful for their partnership and hope that we continue to get support ofall our stakeholders in future too which promises to be bright and full of opportunities.