Continuous Learning and Relentless Execution
The last year has been one of the most trying times in living memory. Humanity hashowever found ways to ride out the storm albeit at a high cost in suffering. As thevaccine rollout gathers pace globally we hope that the pandemic will be controlledquickly. Businesses also had to adjust their practices adopt new technologies and findnew opportunities in situations that became the new normal.' Consumers forced tostay home sought and adopted new shopping experiences and methods.
VGL with its vertically integrated business model and its steadfast focus on theevolving needs of its customers was able to navigate the disruptions caused by thepandemic better than most. The last year was a true test of our strength and spirit and Ithink we can say with some confidence that we have emerged more resilient wiser and morefuture ready.
With the adjustments and enhancements that we made to our business model we were ableto deliver a very robust 31% increase in retail revenues to Rs 2515 crores. While theincreased consumer propensity to shop electronically did provide some tailwinds it wasthe ability of our teams to modify our product mix improve our storytelling and make ourcustomer interface more compelling that led to such sterling growth. In FY21 weintroduced new product lines that included a range of essentials' personalisedjewelry and an entirely new channel for beauty products. We also introduced a new mobileapplication with a simplified user interface and that enabled a two-click' shoppingexperience. The engaging content both on television and live streamed on digital channelsenhanced customer connect and our new loyalty programme went a long way to ensurecustomer stickiness. Our Budget Pay
It was the spirit of our people and their willingness to rise to any challenge that wasthrown their way that was central to the great performance of the company in this mostunpredictable year. offerings continued to allow customers to buy their favouriteproducts on instalments. What is most heartening is that our teams were able to achievethis growth while maintaining strong operating margins.
It was the spirit of our people and their willingness to rise to any challenge that wasthrown their way that was central to the great performance of the company in this mostunpredictable year. While keeping the safety and wellbeing of employees as paramount ourteams delivered quarter after quarter of growth. This allowed increments in minimum wagerates and enhanced payments of overtime bonuses and profit sharing. Such efforts andthe increased trust of our employees in VGL's vision and capabilities enabled us to earnthe Great Place to Work' certification in India Greater China the UK and the US.
Our community engagement continued to make a positive impact on the lives of thosearound us. We rebranded our One for One' programme as Your Purchase Feeds'and I am happy to report that VGL has provided 51 million meals since its inception.During the peak of the pandemic VGL distributed 2.64 lacs masks in the US UK India andChina and also provided 34 lacs meals to people in need through Akshaya Patra in Jaipur.During the year we also onboarded new NGO partners to enhance the reach of our socialinitiatives.
Masks distributed across USA the UK India and China
Meals distributed to people in need through Akshaya Patra in Jaipur
Environmental Stewardship Matters
At VGL we are cognisant of the need to conserve and preserve the natural environment.We strive to reduce our environmental footprint throughout our value chain. We became theonly SEZ unit in Rajasthan with LEED Platinum V4 certification. The Austin GreenBusiness' award in the US and numerous other awards corroborate our commitment tosustainability. Our efforts towards a sustainable business extend to energy water wasteand biodiversity through the strategy to Reduce Recycle Reuse and Reclaim.
Good Governance in Letter and Spirit
Good governance is the foundation on which we have built our growth-oriented businessmodel. Our framework of corporate governance is robust and is periodically refined withthe Board's supervision and guidance. VGL was adjudged the Best Governed Company by TheInstitute of Company Secretaries of India (ICSI) at their National Awards for Excellencein Corporate Governance. The validation of our governance standards has been ourconsistent performance over the years. You will be happy to know that our Fortune IndiaNext 500 ranking has gone several notches higher from 132 in FY20 to 65 in FY21. We humblyaccept these recognitions as a testimony of growing stakeholder confidence in ourcapabilities.
As I conclude I would like to thank my fellow Board members whose insightful guidancehas helped steer VGL from strength to strength in a dynamic backdrop. I also express mygratitude towards all shareholders stakeholders and customers whose continued confidencedrives us forward. As we continue to deliver on our strategy and build a consumercentricbusiness I look forward to your continued patronage.