We are in the midst of very challenging times. The global economic
crisis has now adversely affected nearly all economies across the
globe, both developed and developing. Inspite of our initial optimism,
the Indian economy also stands severely affected by this crisis.
The year 2008 started with a lot of promise of continuing the high
growth of the previous years. However, monetary measures to control
runaway inflation towards the middle of the year and the credit crunch
caused by the economic crisis in the later half of the year saw demand
severely dampened and our sales sharply falling. The automotive
markets, especially, were severely affected by this crisis. Overall,
due to a good first three quarters your Company still managed to show
decent results for the year, given the circumstances.
What do we expect in 2009?
For one, it will surely be a more difficult year than 2008 with the
effect of economic crisis spreading in more and more segments of the
economy. Your Company has already begun activities to align itself to
this new market situation to become a leaner and more agile
organization. And in doing so we believe we can realize the
opportunities out of this crisis. Fortunately your organization also
has the necessary financial strength to do all this without
compromising on our long-term goals where necessary prioritized
investments towards manpower and facilities continue.
In the long run do we believe the India growth story to be still
The answer is Yes, we do. Our continued focus on sustaining our
long-term competencies is based on our confidence on the long-term
prospects of the Indian economy. We believe the fundamentals are still
strong and in time we will be back to where India should be - on a fast
We will also continue our efforts on growing the non-automotive
business at a faster pace than our automotive business as part of our
de-risking strategy. Our automotive business will continue to be the
most important segment of our business.
To sustain our competitive edge in the market it is important that we
continue to offer our customers products with an attractive value
proposition. This is especially important for the Indian market which
has its own unique needs. You are already aware of our successes in the
low-priced vehicle market and our efforts in this direction continue.
How are we doing this?
To give you an insight, we have chosen the theme for this years cover
story to be on Innovation. Innovation as you will read in this article
can be seen in nearly all areas of the Companys operations and is
deeply rooted in our culture. We believe we have today the necessary
organizational competencies and the right people within it to foster
To conclude, in this atmosphere of gloom you can be confident that your
Company has the necessary strength to not only sustain itself but is
also well positioned to contribute to and benefit from the
opportunities which the Indian market offers.