Gautam Adani Addresses Adani Enterprises' Annual General Meeting: Full Speech

Gautam Adani said India is now the force for stability, cooperation and progress in a complex world.

Adani group chairman Gautam Adani at the Annual General Meeting.

New Delhi:

Gautam Adani, the Chairman of the Adani Group addressed the Adani Enterprises' Annual General Meeting (AGM) today. Mr Adani said India is now the force for stability, cooperation and progress in a complex world.

Here is his full speech:

My dear shareholders,

This year marks a very significant milestone. It happens to be our 30th anniversary. It is therefore a good time to look back and celebrate the incredible journey of Adani Enterprises, from its humble IPO in 1994 to the challenges we have faced and the successes we have achieved.

In my humble view, the true measure of our success is less about our achievements and more in our ability to stand firm in the face of adversity. In my case, I picked my lessons from my mother. Growing up in the harsh deserts of Banaskantha, what I learnt from her is that true strength lies in perseverance.

It is this perseverance that has allowed us to become one of the most admired companies in the country. And our perseverance was never more evident than that we demonstrated this past year.

We were faced with baseless accusations made by a foreign short seller, that questioned our decades of hard work. In the face of an unprecedented attack on our integrity and reputation, we fought back and proved that no challenge could weaken the foundations on which your Group has been established.

These foundations happen to be our three core values - Courage to withstand, Trust in our capabilities, and Commitment to our purpose. These values were established in 2012 - and have continued to become more relevant with every passing year.

Typical short sellers target gains from financial markets. This was different. It was a two-sided attack - a vague criticism of our financial standing and, at the same time, an information distortion campaign, dragging us into a political battlefield. The attack was a calculated strike two days before the closing of our Follow-on Public Offer. Amplified by a segment of vested

media, it was designed to defame us, do maximum damage and erode our hard-earned market value.

Given the noise, despite successfully raising Rs 20,000 crore through India's largest ever FPO, we made the extraordinary decision to return the proceeds. This underscored our dedication to our investors and our commitment to ethical business practices.

In this situation, where most companies would have gone under, our liquidity became our greatest asset. To further augment our cash reserves, we raised an additional Rs 40,000 crore, comfortably covering the next two years of our debt repayment. This decisive action is a testimony to the great strength of your company. It restored market confidence - and we safeguarded our portfolio against any volatility by pre-paying Rs 17,500 crore in margin-linked financing.

Furthermore, despite never having faced any challenges with debt repayments, we chose to drop our Debt to EBITDA ratio to 2.5x in just six months. It now stands even lower at 2.2x. This approach has not only strengthened our financial resilience but has also increased our headroom for future expansion.

Our stand against the attack was further vindicated when the Supreme Court of India affirmed our actions. In addition, our commitment to operational excellence and transparent disclosures was validated not only by rating agencies and the well-informed financial community, but also by respected global investors like GQG Partners, TotalEnergies, IHC, QIA and the US Development Finance Corporation - all of whom chose to invest in us.

The headwinds that tested us became the very ones that made us even stronger.

Today, the world stands at a crossroads. Geopolitical tensions strain global relationships, the fight against climate change grows more challenging, and technology change disrupts the way we will live and work.

In this uncertainty, the world is witnessing the rise of India. This is India's moment. We are now the force for stability, cooperation and progress in a complex world. And it is India's macroeconomic stability and ambitious growth plans that inspire our confidence.

Given the multiplier effect, the government of India has rightly focused on infrastructure development by raising its funding by 16% to over Rs 11 lakh crore for this financial year. It is worthwhile to note that annual spending has tripled in the last 5 years.

What is even more relevant is that, while the national narrative sets the stage for infrastructure spend, large parts of the funding and action are at the state level. In our case, with our operations spread across 24 Indian states, we are firsthand witnesses to the critical role state governments play in implementing the initiatives.

I am proud to say that our record-breaking achievements in 2023 underscore our alignment to national priorities as well as our ability to execute the most complex, large-scale projects with unmatched expertise.

I would like you to picture Khavda, set in one of the world's toughest deserts and now home to the world's largest Renewable Energy installation spanning several hundred square kilometres. Already generating 3,000 MW of clean energy, our aggressive timeline aims to develop 30 GW capacity in the next five years. This will be enough to power nations like Belgium and Switzerland.

For us, the Khavda park is a testimony of our commitment to sustainability and a symbol of national pride.

Furthermore, visualise the world's largest redevelopment project in Mumbai's Dharavi as we transform the world's largest slum over the next decade. Not only will this provide dignity of living to its over one million residents but, at the same time, this will build an unmatched ecosystem of sustainable living and innovation in the heart of Mumbai.

Or envision the Drishti 10 Starliner UAV, a symbol of Indian innovation, soaring through the skies, protecting the borders of our nation. These are

not just machines - they symbolize our unwavering commitment to India's security and well-being.

This ability to conceptualize and then handle complexity and execute very large projects in difficult conditions is an unmatched competency that we continue to get better at.

And the outcomes are manifested in the financial numbers we delivered.

We achieved an unprecedented milestone in 2023-24. We recorded our highest EBITDA of Rs 82,917 crore - or approximately USD 10 billion - a remarkable surge of 45%.

This exceptional performance drove our PAT to a record high of Rs 40,129 crore, marking a substantial 71% growth.

Our net Debt to EBITDA fell from 3.3x to 2.2x over the past year.

And all of this resulted in an all-time-high level of liquidity for the Group with a cash balance of Rs 59,791 crore.

These metrics demonstrated our highly stable infrastructure platform and led to a series of rating and outlook upgrades. Three of our portfolio companies - Ambuja, ACC, and APSEZ - are now AAA rated.

Let me now highlight specific performances of some of our portfolio companies.

Adani Enterprises, our Group's incubation engine, had a fantastic year. Passenger traffic at our airports witnessed strong double-digit growth and came in at 88.6 million. We were also privileged to have the Hon'ble Prime Minister inaugurate the state-of-the-art Terminal 3 at Lucknow International Airport.

Kutch Copper Limited, a pioneering project in Mundra within the AEL portfolio, commenced operations at its greenfield copper refinery. By the end of this decade, we aim to make it the world's largest single-location

copper smelter with a capacity of 1 MMTPA, thus enhancing India's self- reliance on a metal needed for our critical industries.

Adani Ports & SEZ also experienced an exceptional year, exceeding 400 MMT of cargo and handling a record 420 MMT. Ten of our ports recorded lifetime high cargo volumes. We also acquired Gopalpur and Karaikal ports, consolidating our position as India's premier ports and logistics company.

Given renewable energy's growth potential, Adani Green Energy revised its FY 2029-30 target from 45 GW to 50 GW. In the year, we added 2.8 GW, 15% of India's total renewable capacity addition. The commissioning of the first 2 GW at the world's largest renewable energy plant in Khavda within 12 months of breaking ground set a record - yet another proof point that highlights our execution capabilities.

Let me mention a few more of our operational highlights.

Adani Power's operating capacity increased by 12% to 15,250 MW, with the commissioning of the 1,600 MW trans-national ultra-supercritical thermal power plant at Godda. This makes it the first power plant in India to export all its power to a neighbouring nation.

Adani Energy Solutions continued to commission the much-needed critical transmission infrastructure, including two 765 kV lines. Our transmission order book stands at Rs 17,000 crore, and our smart metering order book has expanded to 228 lakh units.

Adani Total Gas expanded its CNG stations to cross 900 stations, and PNG connections rose from 8.45 lakh to 9.76 lakh connections. We also commissioned 606 EV charging points as well as the first phase of one of India's largest biomass plants in Barsana.

Following the acquisition of ACC and Ambuja Cements and other commissionings, the Adani Group's combined cement capacity has risen from 67.5 MTPA to 79 MTPA - and our EBITDA per tonne has more than doubled since the acquisition. We are well on the path towards our target of 140 MTPA by 2028.

We are also proud that Ambuja Cements was the lead supplier for India's longest sea bridge - the 21.8-km-long Mumbai Trans Harbour Link.

Our media entity NDTV expanded its presence regionally and scaled digitally, with a 39% increase in global digital traffic. Keeping in mind the quality of programs we intend to broadcast, we also invested in cutting edge next-generation digital infrastructure, and added new facilities in BKC, Mumbai, and NCR, Delhi.

Let me now talk about the Adani Foundation, where each number tells a story of change, of a life empowered, and of a community given an opportunity to develop. I am grateful of what we have achieved together as we strive to do our part to leave a small positive mark on this world.

Let me highlight a few of the initiatives I am personally most proud of:

•    The Adani Foundation's overall reach, that has now extended to 9.1 million individuals across 6,769 villages in 19 states.

•    The Adani Saksham skill development initiative, that saw us empower 1,69,000 young individuals with essential skills to help them take the steps to secure a brighter future and potentially become entrepreneurs.

•    The health outreach programmes, that include our mobile health care units and camps, and touched 2 million lives delivering essential services to many remote communities.

•    And the SuPoshan project that reaches 4,14,000 women and children and delivers the necessary nutrition to fortify the foundations of future generations.

Every evening, my wife and Chairperson of the Adani Foundation, Priti, makes it a point to tell me at least one story of a life that was impacted. These are life lessons both humbling and inspiring at the same time.

I have always been an optimist, and, as I draw to a close, I want to paint a picture of the future that awaits. India is no longer at the crossroads of

destiny - we stand on the brink of our greatest growth phase. By the end of this decade, our nation is set to become the world's third-largest economy. And, given our demographic dividend, we are well on our way to being the largest middle class that the world will ever witness. And with the government now in its third term, your company is well positioned to continue the economic and social programs that have driven our spectacular journey over the past decade.

Over the period of the past 10 years, we have seen our GDP double. We are now already achieving a GDP growth rate of over 7%, our stock markets are soaring to record highs, and consumption is at an all-time high, signalling robust economic health, as our middle class expands faster than any other in the world. The foundation for growth is solidly in place and the next decade promises even greater strides.

And, as we make our way towards becoming a 10 trillion-dollar economy by 2032, our spend on infrastructure is expected to grow at a CAGR of 20- 25% and reach a cumulative spend of $2.5 trillion. Given that, at the very core, we are an infrastructure company, we are well positioned to capitalize on the upcoming opportunities.

In addition, as we advance into the era of simultaneous energy and digital transition, embracing the renewable energy value chain, green data centres required to power the artificial intelligence data centre boom, the upcoming electrification of mobility, and EV revolution for cleaner air, our country is unlocking markets that promise trillions of dollars of largely yet-to-be- tapped value over the next decade.

With our record results, robust cash positions and the lowest debt ratios in our history, our path ahead is illuminated with the promise of even greater accomplishments.

The possibilities before us are immense. We are Stronger Than Ever. And our best is yet to come.

Hum Karke Dikhayenge! Thank you.
Jai Hind!

(Disclaimer: New Delhi Television is a subsidiary of AMG Media Networks Limited, an Adani Group Company.)