I am delighted to present to you our maiden Annual Report as a listed entity. It was a remarkable year for us as we continue to take our business to newer heights. Our healthy, all-round performance reinforced our confidence and belief in our strategy and long-term aspirations.
Encouraging macro trends
Registering a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth of 6.8%, India remained one of the fastest growing large economies last year. It continued the momentum witnessed over the past five years and demonstrated gradual improvement on the back of prudent fiscal and monetary policies aimed at achieving the right balance between growth and inflation. A young, aspiring population and a burgeoning middle class are likely to propel disposable incomes as well as savings in the country over the next few years. Savings from approximately 250 million households in India have grown at a steady pace in the past few years, with an accelerating share offinancial savings, especially after the implementation of revolutionary reforms such as demonetisation and GST. In fact, the share of gross financial savings in total gross household savings has gone up from 41% in FY 13 to 51% in FY 18. Over the past five years, India has seen remarkable growth in terms of financial inclusion, the catalyst being bank accounts opened under the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY), which has already benefited over 35 Crore people who have deposited almost Rs. 1 Lakh Crore into the banking system.
A young, aspiring population and a burgeoning middle class are likely to propel disposable incomes as well as savings in the country over the next few years.
A promising future for the domestic mutual fund industry
India''s mutual fund industry is growing from strength to strength on the back of enablers such as a growing investor base, healthy capital market growth, ease of transactions by advancement of technology and the regulator''s efforts to make mutual fund products more transparent and investor-friendly. Yet, penetration of mutual fund products in India is a fraction of the global average and is lower than that of both developed and emerging economies. The industry is well-poised for strong growth, catalysed by rising awareness among investors, a formalising economy and growing financial inclusion. An important development in recent years has been the stabilisation of Indian financial markets and equity markets, in particular, owing to the growing prominence of domestic institutional investors, including mutual funds.
The mutual fund industry''s growth story will span across a longer time frame and the industry is well-poised for exponential growth.
Technology: A facilitator for the mutual fund industry
Rising penetration of the internet and smart phones, along with the availability of faster data speeds at affordable pricing, are changing the face of the financial services sector in India. Digital platforms offer high convenience and speed to consumers, enabling financial services companies to acquire, retain and expand their customer base at much lower costs. Besides, digitisation also plays a pivotal role in improving cost efficiencies for banks and financial services companies. Organisations offering superior mobile and digital platforms with relevant customer propositions are likely to emerge as winners in this highly competitive industry.
HDFC AMC: Empowered by your trust
HDFC AMC continued to be at the forefront of growth during the year. Retaining its dominant positioning in the industry, the Company has delivered a solid performance, yet again. We have gained market share and have added a healthy number of customers. We are confident of achieving all-round, profitable and sustainable growth on the back of our detailed strategic priorities. We look forward to being part of the deepening mutual fund penetration in India and setting new benchmarks.
Having laid a strong foundation for the future, we listed our business during the year. We would like to thank our shareholders who have reposed their faith in us. We are committed to create value for all our stakeholders and we seek your continued support in our future journey. It is our constant endeavour to drive higher awareness and financial literacy across India to empower the consumers to make correct and well-informed decisions while investing in financial products.
Before concluding, I would also like to thank all the employees of the Company for their unwavering commitment and wish them all the best as we step into the next fiscal year with renewed zeal and optimism.
Deepak S Parekh