AGM speech

Mr. PATNAM DWARKANATH’s SPEECH FOR THE FIFTY NINTH ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING

Dear Shareholders, Ladies & Gentlemen

Good morning.

Welcome to this Fifty Ninth Annual General Meeting of your Company.

As a Chairman, this is my first AGM and let me first take this opportunity to thank each one of you for your commitment and sustained support. It is because of your active association, that the Company has achieved the stature that it enjoys today.

GlaxoSmithKline plc also initiated strategic review of Horlicks and other consumer nutrition products globally to support transaction funding. GSK expects to complete the review by the end of 2018. It will be business as usual till the end of the review. There are no changes in the way we operate or to our plans.

I am happy to announce that your Company continues to be on a positive growth trajectory. Yesterday we announced the Quarter 1 results and they are very good. For Financial Year 2017-18 it has achieved sales of around Rs. Four Thousand Crores and the profits before tax stood around Rs. One Thousand Crores. While topline performance was driven by market penetration, achieving wider and greater access and distribution of our products; Science and innovation continues to be core to our strategy. To be able to stay ahead of the curve, GSK Consumer Healthcare continues to adapt itself with consumer insights and product innovation at the heart of the business.

Your Company’s stock value has remained positive and is currently trading at around Rs. 6500/-. Based on Company’s financial performance for the year ended March 31, 2018, the Board has recommended a final dividend at the rate of Rs. 75 per equity share of Rs. 10 each, subject to your approval at today’s meeting.

India saw the biggest tax reforms since independence with the launch of Goods & Services Tax in July 2017 that subsumed over a dozen different central and state taxes. Your company was proactive and was well prepared for this transition that witnessed significant internal process changes. It saw many firsts including training to business Partners, Employees, Distributors, vendors including an upgradation of the local IT systems making the transition smooth.

Despite challenges, you will be glad to know that your Company retained its leadership position in HFD category with volume and value market share at 65% and 55% respectively. While continuing its focus on innovation and delivering products of value with superior science, it has taken a step further in advanced nutrition for consumers who want high science products.

In 2017, your Company extended the brand Horlicks into a new category of high protein drinks for active adults with the launch of its new variant Horlicks Protein+.

We also launched a new campaign for Horlicks Growth+ which focused on fostering growth in young children and also showcased the benefits of adopting a clinically proven scientific solution to address the rampant growth-related issues in children.

Our Women’s Horlicks, have stepped up its differentiation by offering new chocolate flavor. It also launched a new campaign, fashioned around the theme of #StandStrong, featuring film star Taapsee Pannu.

Boost on the other hand, achieved highest ever market share and annual gain in household penetration in its 4-decade long history of the brand in the South Indian market. The business performance was well contributed by both sachets as well as the large packs with both having equal contribution to growth. While continuing its robust performance in 2017-18, Boost also launched ‘Play The Pros’: a unique initiative which gave kids a chance to take on Pros like PV Sindhu, Virat Kohli, Sunil Chhetri amongst many others & thereby giving them an opportunity to “Play A Bigger Game”.

Your Company is expanding its reach and presence in retail areas and into the consumer mind space. It has witnessed category driven momentum across regions. Over the years, your Company has built a strong rural business that continues to reach over 21,500 villages directly. This has helped the Company build categories & brands and create positive social impact by building awareness on nutrition & promoting good health practices. The two key growth drivers in the Rural Programme are the Horlicks Swasthya Abhiyan (HAS) and Village Level Entrepreneurs (VLE).

Horlicks Swasthya Abhiyan aims to improve standard of hygiene and health in rural areas. Today, the Abhiyan reaches to over 5900 villages, 14000 Rural Medical practitioners and connects with over a million consumers. Whereas, the Village Level Entrepreneur (VLE) program touches lives of people in more than 3600 villages providing livelihood to under privileged women while enhancing access of your Company’s products directly to more than 2,16,000 homes in villages.

I'm sure you will agree with me that the role of any enterprise in the society decides its success in the long run. Continuing with the importance of role of an enterprise in the society, your Company has constantly strived to focus on the issue of malnutrition. Under its CSR programme; Mission Health, it along with its NGO partners started three key programmes to address this issue. The programmes being- the mid-day meal program for 50,000 kids with The Akshaya Patra Foundation, mass outreach to sensitise 1,50,000 school children on for safe & nutritious food with SHARP and improving awareness about importance of nutrition with NGO Sakshi for 200 kids.

It also partnered with Save the Children, JSI R&T India Foundation and Sakshi in implementing Water Sanitation & Hygiene (WASH) Programme in AP, Punjab and Haryana. And in the arena of Healthcare, it supported Government of India’s programme on de-worming of school children and eradicating elephantiasis through largest contribution of Albendazole tablets through World Health Organization (WHO).Your Company has also started a skill development programme with CII foundation focusing on capacity building of food based operators and caterers on food safety regulations.

Your Company takes great pride in the diversity of talent it has across gender, culture, demography & geographies. I complement each one of our employees for their focus, hard work, dedication, collaboration and teamwork. I would also like to appreciate the efforts put in by the senior management team in successfully driving the diversity and inclusion agenda.

I would further like to appreciate and congratulate Mr. Navneet Saluja, Managing Director and his team for their leadership, goal-oriented efforts and pushing boundaries setting renewed standards of success. 

On behalf of my fellow Board members, I express our appreciation and gratitude to all our stakeholders and business partners – workmen Unions, vendors, dealers, distributors for their constant support and contribution.