CHAIRMAN''S MESSAGE «
The year gone by witnessed the implementation of GST as also many other related changes such as the E-waybill and the like. GST brought along many challenges procedurally and the entire 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 however maintain my opinion that the economy remains sluggish and no drastic improvement is expected in the near medium term.
Our team successfully addressed and handled the transition to GST and all our 1000 plus offices could effectively handle the implementation thereof. The in-house Information Technology team rose to the occasion and enabled its timely implementation. Our business performance too was satisfactory and it was encouraging to note the gradual growth in business volumes during the latter half of the year. I firmly believe that the GST presents enormous growth opportunity for our industry and I foresee many value added services that the Company can offer to the customers in the days to come.
The onset of this tax legislation could also present many distribution opportunities considering our vast network of offices across the country. Our distribution reach is one of the best in the country and we aim to monetize the same. We also aim to garner additional revenues over a period of time from our unmatched vehicle maintenance infrastructure as also our Information Technology capability. Towards this end we have also modified our Objects clause in the Memorandum of Association during the year and I thank the shareholders for supporting the resolution.
During the year gone by, we have also committed significant resources for infrastructure development. Owned infrastructure facilities enable better resource utilization, improved service levels to customers as also better material handling. Towards this end we are in the process of constructing our own facilities at Surat in Gujarat and Bellary in Karnataka. We are also purchasing an existing delivery office building at Mangaluru which is critical to enable us retain our customer base there. We have also signed up with Ashok Leyland for the purchase of 1200 high capacity trucks as also several other smaller vehicles for local pick up and delivery. This amply demonstrates our confidence in the future prospects of our 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 the daily variations in these, it is difficult to immediately pass on the incremental cost to the customers and we need to bear the burden of increased costs that affects our profitability margins. We have however shown resilience to such challenges and are prepared to meet these head on in the coming days. I also remain firm in my opinion that businesses would need to wait for a while to actually see the perceived benefits of GST becoming a reality. A lot depends on the sincerity and approach of the concerned regulators in implementing and monitoring it. In the long run though the same would definitely benefit the organized businesses. I foresee good times for all organized players in our 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 all levels for their wholehearted dedication and efforts. I also thank all the stakeholders - Investors, Customers, Suppliers, Bankers, Government authorities, Regulators and the management team including the Co-Directors on the Board for their continued association with the Company and seek such continued support in the days to come.
DR. VIJAY SANKESHWAR
CHAIRMAN & MANAGING DIRECTOR