During the year, our core focus remained on ‘Health, Cost and Cash’.
I take pride in leading an organisation that continues to play a pivotal role in nation-building. It reflects the positive impact our teams continue to make in the face of unprecedented challenges.
During the year, we ensured the health and safety of our people. We connected more closely with our customers and reinforced our market leadership with value added products and services. We also optimised our operations for greater efficiency and strengthened our commitment to sustainability by driving focused efforts in the area.
The government’s focus on infrastructure and affordable housing is expected to bolster cement demand. Affordable housing initiatives are expected to pick up pace under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY) with enhanced budgetary allocations. The Government spending on housing and infrastructure projects is expected to increase demand for cement and building materials. Good monsoon has helped to improve the agricultural output which also augurs well for increased cement demand.
As per the November 2020 India Brand Equity Foundation (IBEF) Report on Cement Industry, cement demand is expected to reach 550-600 MTPA by 2025, thanks to a gradual upswing in housing, commercial and industrial construction.
During the year, we reported net sales of `13,487 Crore and consolidated net profit of `1,430 Crore. We could ensure healthy cash flows due to rigourous working capital management.
On the project front, we completed and commissioned the new grinding unit at Sindri in the state of Jharkhand, which is one of the fastest capex projects to be implemented despite the challenges posed due to COVID-19 and other restrictions. The new facility will add 1.4 MTPA of cement capacity to its existing 3 MTPA unit at this site. The foundation stone for Sindri grinding unit Phase-2 was laid in December 2019 with the objective to service the expanding market, strengthen presence in the eastern region and add value to the overall business.
A sharp focus on sustainable development embodies safety, conservation of energy and natural resources, preserving environment and biodiversity, water stewardship and the well-being of host communities. Our plan to set up Waste Heat Recovery System (WHRS)-based power plants at Jamul (Chhattisgarh) and Kymore (Madhya Pradesh), are a right step towards achieving efficiencies, while reducing CO2 emissions.
Although the disruption brought about by COVID-19 created short-term challenges, it also created medium-term opportunities. During the year, our core focus remained on ‘Health, Cost and Cash’. Our operations continued to pave the way for business continuity and resilience as we drove cost efficiencies and prudently optimised cash flows to conserve liquidity.
We are innovating more than ever and investing in our people, technology and operations to develop solutions that take advantage of emerging trends in the industry. We continue to invest in areas of solutions and products, digital initiatives, technology, sustainability and in people development to build the ACC of tomorrow.
The way business environment is changing, organisations which embrace technology and remain focused on digital innovation, intelligent use of data and excellence in customer services would be able to lead the way. Over the last few years, we have increasingly focused on transforming our business by leveraging IT and digital interventions. We are enhancing customer experience through upgraded versions of Dealer Connect App. This offers additional functionalities. The Concrete Club App comes with a singular social platform for construction professionals such as architects and engineers.
Companies today are judged as much by their integrity and trustworthiness as by their financial performance. At ACC, doing business with integrity goes hand in hand with our strong corporate governance framework, excellent safety protocols, care and concern for all stakeholders.
In order to build the ACC of tomorrow, we believe in the importance of a diverse workforce and an inclusive environment. We are working towards attracting and developing a workforce that is diverse and have set up the ACC-Ambuja Leadership Academy (AALA) to make learning an everyday employee experience. ACC continues to strengthen its ‘Zero Harm’ journey, with the goal of zero injuries, onsite or offsite, in all its operations so that ‘Every day is a Safe day at ACC’.
Our sustainability strategy is led by our Sustainable Development 2030 Plan, which focuses on four broad pillars of climate and energy, circular economy, environment, and people and communities. We are working intensively at our plants, to further reduce our CO2 emissions. We are investing to improve the energy efficiency of our production facilities. This is ensured by using alternate raw materials and fuels and replacing CO2 intensive clinker in our cement with waste derived resources such as fly ash and slag. This results in products, which have significantly lower carbon footprint.
Through the ‘Geocycle’ brand, we continue our efforts to provide safe waste management solutions to industries and municipalities, while meeting the highest standards of health, safety and sustainability. Geocycle processes waste materials of various kinds to be used as kiln fuel, thereby offsetting the need for fossil fuel to an increasing extent.
The long-term success of our business is rooted in our ability to keep sustainability at the core of our endeavours. Our unwavering commitment towards balancing business growth, environmental stewardship and social progress bears testimony to our concerted and responsible efforts towards transitioning to a brighter future.
ACC continues its social development initiatives to support our host communities as well as assist those affected by disasters in various parts of the country. The initiatives focused largely on our key impact areas — DISHA (Sustainable Livelihood), VIDYA UTKARSH (Quality Education) and WASH (Water, Sanitation, Health & Hygiene). In 2020, we kicked off malnutrition mitigation project in partnership with the State Government and district administration.
Since the COVID-19 outbreak, ACC touched millions of lives by manufacturing and distributing triple layered face-masks and food packets, sanitising villages, towns and hamlets and spreading awareness. ACC has taken steps to alter the attitude of the nearby communities towards health and hygiene through awareness campaigns.
Here’s wishing you all a healthy, safe, and productive year ahead.