My father introduced the concept of drip irrigation to India in 1986. A practice that optimizes the use of water and increases crop yields. His consistent efforts to upgrade technologies in the field of agriculture strengthened JISL''s reputation across the world. He was a man of many facets - farmer, businessman, social activist, environmentalist, writer, public speaker and mentor. His life and his actions gained him many recognitions and followers.
To fill in the shoes of a man with such stature and live up to his legacy is a daunting task. But, I consider myself blessed to have the JISL family by my side. From them, I received a constant assurance that I am not alone in this but, all of us together are working towards living up to his values.
While growing a business may appear like a laudable exercise, at Jain Irrigation our innate responsibilities go beyond that. Our responsibility is to nurture the legacy that was founded by my father, Padmashree Late Dr. Bhavarlal Jain. The legacy of oneness.
It means that each associate at JISL is an equal complement in challenges and in glory. The idea of oneness not only runs within our associates but extends intensely towards our stakeholders, partners and farmers. Which is why, we are committed to stay transparent to them.
We have established a strong presence across the globe and stayed relevant to society at large.
All thanks to the commitment, passion and encouragement of our associates. Some of them have been mentioned in this report, but no number of pages can do justice to all. They are the reason I for our success and simply put, they are never forgotten. Especially, since we have so much to look forward to as we strive to excel together.
At JISL, we believe that while market performance and growth are important, they aren''t the sole measures of success. Especially, not at the cost of society and environment. Hence, even though our worldwide footprint and growth has strengthened our position, it has also helped us transform rural life and bring a considerable amount of change in the agricultural sector. Our groundbreaking innovations that work towards renewing energy, re-a forestation and managing water, reinforce our promise to leave the world better than we found it. All our business lines, including micro irrigation, piping systems, agro processing, planting materials, solar water pumps are meant to create shared value.
Everything we do is to benefit the farmers and create a sustainable future for them. They are the backbone of this nation and sporadic help won''t make a difference. That''s why they deserve a support machinery that will constantly aid and guide them towards better water management and increasing their crop yields. For which, we constantly Endeavour to find new technological breakthroughs and work at bridging the gap between our businesses and rural communities. We have also worked hard to provide market linkage to farmers by buying fruits & vegetables from them at remunerative prices.
With the current work culture at JISL, we are confident that we will take full benefit of our leadership positions and international presence to enrich the lives of our rural and global communities. We shall continue to maintain high ethical standards and transparency in all our conducts and march ahead with the beacon of oneness in all our hands.
I thank all our associates, farmers, stakeholders and partners for their immense faith in us and their continuous support.
The financial year 2017 has been a good year for the company wherein the company managed to significantly improve its profit from Rs, 480 million to Rs, 1690 million while increasing the revenues to Rs, 69.4 billion from last year''s Rs, 68.4 billion.
The year gone by was filled with a lot of challenges including the impact of demonetization, especially in rural India. The agriculture distress has continued due to climate and market reasons. Despite these external challenges, our company has made significant efforts to de-risk its business model so as to create a sustainable performance.
All the important divisions of the company including hi-tech agri products, plastics, food and agro-processing division have registered positive growth in the year gone by. This was also the year our plastic division bagged a large water infrastructure order in drinking water sector for 24x7 water supply.
The company management had promised shareholders focus on deleveraging. Today our debt/equity ratio is less than 1 and our debt/EBIDTA ratio has also improved by 25% to 4:1 as against 5:1 of last year. The objective going forward will remain on further enhancing working capital efficiencies of the operation.
We have made progress in building the new platforms of Integrated Irrigation Project and solar irrigation as parts of our hi-tech agri division. We expect larger orders in this division to drive future growth. We are laying the foundation for our foray in fast moving consumer goods by creating a distribution network and nationwide retail organization for our healthy and nutritious food products. For most of our geographies, we had positive growth including in North America, Europe and rest of the world. Last year also had another significant event when we raised 200 million US dollars in long-term Green bonds in the international market. This has created one more avenue for financing our future growth and it will enable us to align cash flow with liabilities and help in our effort to reduce interest cost.
During the current year we plan to increase our revenue growth at a much faster pace based on solid organic and inorganic growth. A large order book across all divisions is giving confidence to the company management to achieve double digit growth across all business divisions on a consolidated basis. In May 2017, the company has made big acquisitions in the North American market in the irrigation sector. This acquisition will allow the company to reach closer to our customers and improve our ability to optimize cutting edge technology solutions to them.
We further plan to continue to invest in the latest technology platforms including IOT and big data analytics. Given our emphasis on innovation and operating excellence we are driving a top-quartile business that stands ahead on competitive metrics.
While managing a high level of revenue profit growth, we will continue to remain focused on financial discipline through better working capital management and generation of free cash flow. The current year has seen some disruption in business due to the roll-out of new integrated tax regime (GST) in India. We expect this to be good for the company and general economy in the medium to long-term.
On the back of a strong growth agenda for the present year the management believes that we are entering an across-board, multi-year growth cycle. We are continuing to build our organizational capabilities and manufacturing capacities while developing new ventures in business adjacencies in order to ensure sustained growth during the next 3 to 5 years.
We thank all shareholders and other stakeholders in our Endeavour to serve the larger farming community so as to create shared value.
Atul B. Jain
Joint Managing Director