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It gives me great pleasure to welcome you to our Company's 42nd Annual General Meeting Today.
The economy is going through a very difficult period and investment in sectors from which we derive our business has slowed down to a bare trickle. Nor are there any signs of an early upturn and the current year is therefore going to see a continuation of the ongoing difficult times.
It is in scenario that there is some satisfaction we have derived in being able to swim against the current and achieve some growth, even if modest in comparision to the preceeding five years.
A decade and a half ago we had faced a similar situation and it had then taken us several years to recover. That experience had not only toughened us, but also led to the evolution of our underlying business philosophies and strategies, on which I had dwelt last year.
Having realized the importance of market diversification while sticking to our core competence of executing turnkey electro mechanical projects, leveraging our project management skills, we have, over the years successfully achieved this diversity, both sectorally and geographically. As a result we are no longer vulnerable to slowdown in any one or even a few of the sectors that we operate in. This is now benefiting us in the sense that despite the difficult situation we still managed to grow last year, even if modestly, and largely protected our profits. This happened because the electrical distribution/rural electrification and the overseas markets yielded good business, and this compensated for the domestic slowdown in traditional sectors.
In the current year too I am anticipating a modest growth in business. However I would like to emphasize that if these difficult times continue we would prefer to hunker down and conserve resources rather than pursue any unrelated diversification or financial leveraging for the sake of merely achieving top line growth.
Nevertheless I have the confidence in our ability to cope with the current headwinds. It is on account of this confidence that the Company has stood by its policy of increasing dividend in small incremental steps . At 25% it is the highest ever dividend.
Avinash C Gupta
Chairman & Managing Director