The year gone by witnessed the implementation of GST as also many other related changessuch as the E-waybill and the like. GST brought along many challenges procedurally and theentire business was affected for a short while in the aftermath of its implementation.Businesses are however now realizing the benefits and opportunity that GST presents.Volumes too have started picking up since the latter half of FY 2017-18. I still howevermaintain my opinion that the economy remains sluggish and no drastic improvement isexpected in the near medium term.
Our team successfully addressed and handled the transition to GST and all our 1000 plusoffices could effectively handle the implementation thereof. The in-house InformationTechnology team rose to the occasion and enabled its timely implementation. Our businessperformance too was satisfactory and it was encouraging to note the gradual growth inbusiness volumes during the latter half of the year. I firmly believe that the GSTpresents enormous growth opportunity for our industry and I foresee many value addedservices that the Company can offer to the customers in the days to come. The onset ofthis tax legislation could also present many distribution opportunities considering ourvast network of offices across the country. Our distribution reach is one of the best inthe country and we aim to monetize the same. We also aim to garner additional revenuesover a period of time from our unmatched vehicle maintenance infrastructure as also ourInformation Technology capability. Towards this end we have also modified our Objectsclause in the Memorandum of Association during the year and I thank the shareholders forsupporting the resolution.
During the year gone by we have also committed significant resources forinfrastructure facilities enable better resource utilization improved service levels tocustomers as also better material handling. Towards this end we are in the process ofconstructing our own facilities at Surat in Gujarat and Bellary in Karnataka. We are alsopurchasing an existing delivery office building at Mangaluru which is critical to enableus retain our customer base there. We have also signed up with Ashok Leyland for thepurchase of 1200 high capacity trucks as also several other smaller vehicles for localpick up and delivery. This amply demonstrates our confidence in the future prospects ofour Company and we remain enthused to take these on stream at the earliest.
The ever increasing fuel prices are hurting one and all in our industry. Given thedaily variations in these it is difficult to immediately pass on the incremental cost tothe customers and we need to bear the burden of increased costs that affects ourprofitability margins. We have however shown resilience to such challenges and areprepared to meet these head on in the coming days. I also remain firm in my opinion thatbusinesses would need to wait for a while to actually see the perceived benefits of GSTconcerned regulators in implementing and monitoring it. In the long run though the samewould definitely organized businesses. I foresee good times for all organized players inour industry and remain optimistic on the prospects of our Company.
Lastly I wish to place on record my sincere appreciation of all our employees at alllevels for their wholehearted dedication and efforts. I also thank all the stakeholders -Investors Customers Suppliers Bankers Government authorities Regulators and themanagement team including the Co-Directors on the Board for their continued associationwith the Company and seek such continued support in the days to come.
DR. VIJAY SANKESHWAR
CHAIRMAN & MANAGING DIRECTOR