We are in the midst of unusually difficult times as successive waves of the COVID-19pandemic continue to impact countries across the globe. As vaccination drives are underwayin most nations we are certainly moving closer towards effectively tackling the crisis.Your Company has remained committed to the well-being health and safety of all itsmembers and taken all possible measures in line with the government directions andadvisories. We believe vaccination is the only way to defeat the virus.
This is a defining period in human and business history: one that will test theresilience of individuals societies corporations and nations. 2020 was the year ofrediscovering ourselves. Yes it was inarguably the toughest time that we have seen in ourlives but it also provided us with an opportunity to take a pause introspect and take afresh guard. The learning curve has never been steeper and openness to change nevergreater.
Given the fog of uncertainty all around it is hard to be prescient in these times. Butthere is little doubt on one reality: companies with quality leadership sound businessfundamentals and a track record of winning in turbulent times will emerge as championsin the new global order.
Our operations have been impacted by the various pandemic related developments.Sustained restrictions adversely affected activities across our value chain. Significantmeasures were implemented to ensure safety of colleagues customers and associates. Suchmeasures continue to be in force at all our stores. As the spread of the pandemic abatedduring the year restrictions were gradually eased. Our stores and warehouse startedreopening in phases starting mid-May 2020. However the rapid resurgence of infections inMarch 2021 prompted imposition of renewed restrictions by state governments. Our storeswarehouses and offices have again either temporarily closed or curtailed operations inaccordance with restrictions imposed by local/ state authorities. The scale of infectionsappears to be more severe than in the previous year. The situation is unprecedented andthe impact/ play out continues to be uncertain.
With multiple vaccination options now available in large parts of the world wecontinue to be optimistic and hope to emerge stronger from this pandemic. Notwithstandingthis uncertainty over the short to medium term India is expected to return to a stronggrowth trajectory.
Difficult times like these drive us to reimagine recreate and rebuild strategies. Weare committed to a long-term strategy and we continue to invest in multiple areas whilebuilding shareholder value. Despite the challenges we have been able to address the needsand expectations of the consumer in the new normal while ensuring multiple initiativesacross the organisation are on track. We have scaled up our omnichannel initiatives alongwith a robust replenishment system to provide a superior customer experience acrosschannels. We stayed decisively on course with our long-term plans for sustainable growthand value creation for our stakeholders opening 28new stores during the year.
Your Company will continue to be agile and resilient and our efforts will be directedto build all aspects of the business. We are geared up to work through these challengingtimes and continue to focus on value enhancement for the consumer while ensuring networkexpansion. In the current context organisations need to stay focused on the future whilepositively contributing to society and I am happy to say that our Company is on the rightpath. Together we can come out of this and help our nation chart its way towardsrecovery.
V2 Retail has been refining its positioning as the most loved shopping destination forthe young Indian family. We have consistently emphasized the importance of establishingviability of existing retail stores prior to embarking on rapid expansion. At V2 we alsofollows strong product/ inventory disciplines across the value chain. Our focus continuesto accelerate our universe of Private brands. The new price positioning focus onessentials with high-quality value for money merchandise will drive the business to newheights. At our company the difference starts from our store design the friendliness ofour staff the engagement quality with our customers and our offerings mix compromising alarger proportion of non-food products especially apparel. The result is that V2 Retailis shifting the needle from quality products to holistically superior experiences.
We are now reaping the benefits of those initiatives across the organisation. As theCompany transforms its approach to customer experience and product marketing enabled byits cost excellence and talented pool of people I believe V2 Retail is well placed todeliver long-term value to its customers employees and the society and reward itsshareholders.
Ram Chandra Agarwal