India has emerged as the fastest growing major economy in the world with a GDP that is growing at 7% and is expected to reach US$ 6 trillion by Financial Year 20271 making it the third largest economy in the world overtaking Japan.
Inspite of a favorable long term outlook, in the short term, the business environment has been challenging. It has remained volatile, uncertain, challenging and ambiguous - VUCA, this is becoming the ''new normal''. The GDP growth slowed to a five-year low of 5.8% in the January - March quarter2 this year. According to the global ranking of the World Bank''s Logistics Performance Index, India moved to 44th rank in 2018 from 35th rank in 2016 in terms of overall logistics performance.
India''s logistics network is USD 160 billion market for the Financial Year 2018 and is estimated to touch USD 215 billion by Financial Year 2020, growing at a CAGR of 10.5%3. The express logistics industry that your Company operates in, is fast changing with competitors that are hyper active and customers are extremely demanding. The industry is growing strongly with higher levels of investment. It is also undergoing continuous change in its security infrastructure and upgrades in automation and technology, these factors are turning to be the most important aspects in differentiating business.
The re-election of the government for the second term, confirms stability at the centre. We hope to continue to witness renewed energy, focus and earnestness. Amidst the rising uncertainties and economic challenges on both domestic and global front, there is an urgent need to re-energise the engines of growth and refuel the economy. The Union Budget which is due to be presented shortly in July 2019, is an opportunity for the government to boost consumption and investments through appropriate fiscal stimulus and policies. The budget is also expected to set in motion the direction that the government will take in the next five years.
The government has reiterated its steadfast commitment to modernizing the enablers of Indian logistics with a key focus on infrastructure development with initiatives such as Bharatmala and Sagarmala which aim at strengthening the countrywide road network and improving connectivity. Dedicated Freight Corridors will aim to decongest a heavily saturated road network and reduce freight transit times across industrial heartlands in landlocked India to ports on the eastern and western coast of the country. The government must speed and scale the execution of rail, road, sea and air projects. Sufficient budgetary provisions and fund allocations should be made for the seamless development and implementation of infrastructure projects.
Besides this, the country has also witnessed a regulatory boost with key reform measures and policy interventions like the Goods and Services Tax (GST), e-way bill, relaxed FDI regulations and granting of infrastructure status to the logistics industry which boosted its core competencies. The industry hopes that the government will revisit the existing tax rates under GST to simplify the structure that will benefit various industries including logistics.
The future is more complex than ever before. The express logistics business is experiencing change led by a heightened competitive environment, new entrants and in-house logistics (captive) business models of some of Blue Dart''s major e-commerce customers.
Amidst this scenario, your Company performed well this year and continues to offer a wide range of innovative and simplified solutions across industry sectors, coupled with a dedicated air and ground network, high-standard technology architecture, value pricing, customer centricity, excellent service quality and operation delivery par excellence. Your company is certified to the ISO 9001 standards and has re-certified to the new global ISO 9001-2015 standards.
The Company''s market leading services and expertise is highly regarded, and is a global benchmark operating to international standards. A reflection of the true blue characteristic and ''The Blue Dart Way'' - a way where excellence is always a habit.
Your Company also remains one of the best managed organizations in India, established by a strong brand built by a team of committed and passionate people. Blue Dart has been certified as one of India''s best Companies to Work For 2019 by Great Place to Work Institute, India, ranked No. 1 amongst the Best Multinational Workplaces in Asia by Great Place to Work - Asia''s Best Workplaces - 2019 and has been recognized as a Company with Great People Managers by Great Manager Institute and Forbes.
In the year gone by, 99% of Blue Darters participated in the Annual Employee Satisfaction Survey (ESS). Pride in working for Blue Dart clearly emerges as the highest score at 97.2%. Your Company''s employee engagement and motivation are at the zenith and Blue Dart today is truly at an inflection point.
Your Company posted Rs,8,760 Lakhs profit after tax for the year ended March 31, 2019. Income from operations for the year ended March 31, 2019 was Rs,3,16,546 Lakhs. Your Company carried over 2,332.71 Lakhs domestic shipments and over 9.16 Lakhs international shipments weighing over 754,981 tonnes during the same period.
The Board of Directors of your Company has recommended a Dividend of Rs,12.50/- (Rupees Twelve and Paisa Fifty only) per equity share for the year ended March 31, 2019, subject to necessary approval by the members in the ensuing Annual General Meeting.
As India''s most innovative and awarded express logistics company, your Company is acknowledged for its international standards, innovation, technology, value, quality, efficiency and responsiveness and strong Corporate Social Responsibility.
Over the years, Blue Dart has always been the first to identify opportunities through exhaustive market research, business intelligence, customer feedback and regular market scanning and analysis.
In 2018, Blue Dart rolled out a strategic plan to counter the challenging business environment, intensify its focus and strategically maintain & strengthen its leadership in the market.
As part of the strategy, your Company embarked on two key initiatives aimed at bringing long term benefits to customers and win in every geography. The first one being DAWN - Deliver Any Where Now successfully enabled the company to aggressively expand its reach from 6,000 pin codes to over 14,000 pin codes, enabling delivery to most Indian homes. RISE - Revenue Increase from Small Towns & SMEs to support businesses from Bharat to cater a larger market was the second initiative. As part of the expansion, the company continues to make extensive investments in infrastructure, manpower, new-age technology and automation to drive business growth and create value for its customers and stakeholders.
The strategy also entailed various initiatives and key action areas including increased use of road infrastructure, development of new products, increased focus on automation, introduction of customer convenience features etc.
Through the year Blue Dart also added three new state-of-the-art facilities at Chennai, Delhi and Mumbai Airports to further strengthen the Air Express service and build operational efficiency.
The brand has today become the market leading benchmark for value, quality, speed, reliability, responsiveness and service excellence; this is a manifestation of the internal processes created to consistently deliver on these parameters. First Choice and Net Promoter Approach are the programs that act as a ''compass'' for the direction the business needs to take to remain a ''Provider of Choice'' for customers.
We are in a rapidly changing world where burgeoning digital connectivity and ubiquity of data is reshaping the value creation model across industries. Blue Dart continues to lead digital transformation with analytics, automation, business intelligence, smart dashboards, auto-route applications, deployment of parcel lockers, electrical vehicles and investments in high-standard technology architecture including a contemporary website.
In addition, Your Company continues to tap into social media and address customer requirements through its official Face book, Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn pages to reach an extensive audience base and rapidly growing followers.
Strong Corporate Governance has always been an integral part of the Company''s business philosophy. Building community trust through responsible and sustainable management of its business is an indispensable part of Blue Dart. The Company is committed to its Living Responsibility motto. Living Responsibility or in common parlance, ''Corporate Responsibility'' is a core element of Blue Dart''s corporate strategy. Your Company (along with DPDHL group) focuses its corporate responsibility on environmental protection (GoGreen), disaster management (GoHelp) and championing education (GoTeach). Blue Dart is also part of Green Freight Asia (GFA), a network of Asian road freight companies working together to improve fuel efficiency, reduce CO2 emissions, and lower logistics costs across the entire supply chain. Your Company continues to be aligned to the group''s Mission 2050: Zero Emissions goals.
Overall, it was another year of sustained high performance with considerable achievements across our business. None of this would have been possible without the dedication and determination of our people.
The team is charged, aligned, motivated and strongly focused on strengthening the business and reinforcing its leadership position while making the organization more agile, futuristic and sustainable while it fulfills its commitment to its stakeholders - customers, investors, government, employees and the planet.
I would like to sincerely thank our shareholders for the overwhelming trust, support and confidence, the Board and all Blue Darters for their hard work and commitment to this great Company.
It gives me great pleasure to share with you the Annual Report of your Company for the year ended March 31, 2019.
Mumbai Sharad Upasani
June 3, 2019 Chairman