20 Microns Management Discussions


Global economic growth

The global economy walked on a tightrope in the last couple of years as the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic continue to reverberate worldwide, the war in Ukraine unleashed a new crisis, disrupting food and energy markets and exacerbating food insecurity and malnutrition in many developing countries.

Further, high inflation continued to erode real incomes, triggering a global cost-of-living crisis that has pushed millions into poverty and economic hardship. At the same time, the climate crisis continued to take a heavy toll on many countries, with heat waves, wildfires, floods, and hurricanes inflicting massive humanitarian and economic damage.

These shocks continue to weigh heavy on the global economy in 2023. According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the global economy is expected to grow at 2.9% in 2023 – up from the previous forecast of 2.7%, compared to 3.4% growth achieved in 2022. This growth is expected to be driven by the "surprisingly resilient" demand in the United States and Europe in the last quarter of 2022, easing energy costs and the reopening of Chinas economy after Beijing abandoned its strict COVID-19 restrictions. According to IMF, Global inflation is expected to fall from 8.8% in 2022 to 6.6% in 2023 and 4.3% in 2024, still above pre-pandemic (2017–19) levels of about 3.5%.

According to IMF, US GDP is expected to grow by 1.4% in 2023 compared to 2.0% in 2022. Stronger-than-expected consumption and investment in the third quarter of 2022, a robust labour market and strong consumer balance sheets is expected to drive growth in the US markets. The Eurozone is expected to grow at 0.7% compared to 3.5% in 2022, largely owing to the higher energy cost and lower investment sentiment. The rapid spread of COVID-19 in China dampened growth in 2022, but the recent reopening has paved the way for a faster-than-expected recovery. As a result, IMF revised Chinas growth outlook sharply higher, to 5.2% in 2023 compared to the previous estimate of 4.4%. The earlier-than-expected re-opening in China has resulted in a positive impact on global activity, reducing supply chain pressures and giving a boost to international tourism. Indias outlook remains robust, with unchanged forecasts for a dip in 2023 growth to 6.1% but a rebound to 6.8% in 2024, matching its 2022 performance. Amongst the developing nations and major economies, IMF expects Britains economy to shrink in 2023 and forecasts a 0.6% fall in GDP as households struggle with rising living costs, including for energy and mortgages.

Key trends to guide the global economy in 2023 and beyond

Declining energy prices may help in the global recovery

A key factor in the improvement in activity and sentiment in early 2023 was the recent decline in energy and food prices witnessed across economies. Brent oil prices reduced from $130 in June 2022 to $80 in March 2023.

Although the current price levels are still relatively high compared to pre-war levels, but the drop in price of nearly $50 has helped boost the purchasing power for most firms and households and is helping to lower headline inflation.

According to IMF, US GDP is expected to grow by 1.4% in 2023 compared to 2.0% in 2022. Stronger-than-expected consumption and investment in the third quarter of 2022, a robust labour market and strong consumer balance sheets is expected to drive growth in the US markets. The Eurozone is expected to grow at 0.7% compared to 3.5% in 2022, largely owing to the higher energy cost and lower investment sentiment. The rapid spread of COVID-19 in China dampened growth in 2022, but the recent reopening has paved the way for a faster-than-expected recovery. As a result, IMF revised Chinas growth outlook sharply higher, to 5.2% in 2023 compared to the previous estimate of 4.4%. The earlier-than-expected re-opening in China has resulted in a positive impact on global activity, reducing supply chain pressures and giving a boost to international tourism. Indias outlook remains robust, with unchanged forecasts for a dip in 2023 growth to 6.1% but a rebound to 6.8% in 2024, matching its 2022 performance. Amongst the developing nations and major economies, IMF expects Britains economy to shrink in 2023 and forecasts a 0.6% fall in GDP as households struggle with rising living costs, including for energy and mortgages.

Key trends to guide the global economy in 2023 and beyond

Declining energy prices may help in the global recovery

A key factor in the improvement in activity and sentiment in early 2023 was the recent decline in energy and food prices witnessed across economies. Brent oil prices reduced from $130 in June 2022 to $80 in March 2023.

Global monetary policy tightening and balanced macroeconomic policies would continue to support growth

According to World Bank, 2023 is expected to be a tough year for the central banks and policy makers as monetary policies are expected to play a key role in steering the economies through the current crises and supporting an inclusive and sustainable recovery. Many developed country central banks, including the Federal Reserve and the European Central Bank, were initially reluctant to raise policy rates, perceiving the rising inflation as transitory. But, as inflationary pressures were more persistent and risked de-anchoring inflation expectations, the central banks embarked on an aggressive monetary tightening path in 2022 and 2023, raising rates at a very fast clip.

In 2023, the central banks find themselves at a critical juncture as economic prospects have weakened, while inflation is not yet fully under control and fiscal challenges remain. Rapid and synchronized monetary tightening by the worlds major central banks has pulled out substantial liquidity out of markets too quickly.

However, over-tightening of monetary policy would drive the world economy into an unnecessarily harsh slowdown – an outcome that could be avoided if rate increases by individual central banks accurately considered the reciprocal impacts of similar rate hikes by others. This will require more effective coordination among major central banks, supported with clear policy messages to manage and moderate inflationary expectations.

EMDEs will remain resilient during 2023

Higher interest rates in advanced economies, in combination with the expiration of most COVID-19 support measures in 2022, is expected to have spillover effects for Emerging and developing economies (EMDEs).

The risks of higher default rates among domestic borrowers and sovereign debt restructuring have increased, but a wave of crises remains unlikely. Real GDP growth will be more vulnerable in EMDEs with slow policy responses, higher debt loads, and smaller external buffers.

The possibility of debt restructuring under the G-20 common framework, instead of disorderly defaults, is more likely for low-income, debt-distressed countries, especially in sub-Saharan Africa.

As a region, Asia Pacific has adopted more prudent policies in the post covid era and has more manageable debt levels and healthier external buffers. Some of the key Asia Pacific economies will also benefit from lingering pent-up demand with the withdrawal of COVID-19 lockdown measures, the resumption of pandemic-delayed infrastructure programs, relatively low inflation, and the modest recovery in mainland Chinas growth.

In contrast, emerging Europe will be severely affected by the slowdown in the Eurozone and the continued impact of Russias war in Ukraine.

Outlook

Still recovering from the unprecedented upheavals thrown by the global pandemic over the last three years, the global economy expects rocky recovery over the next couple of years as events, such as the recent banking turmoil, have increased uncertainties. According to IMF, the global output growth is expected to fall from 3.4% in 2022 to 2.8% in 2023, before rising to 3% in 2024. Advanced economies are expected to see an especially pronounced growth slowdown from 2.7% in 2022 to 1.3% in 2023. However, the global headline inflation is set to fall from 8.7% in 2022 to 7% in 2023 on the back of lower commodity prices but underlying core inflation is proving to be stickier.

Indian economy overview

Over the course of the last two years, up to FY23, the Indian economy has shown impressive fortitude in the face of a worsening external economic situation, growing at a rate that outstrips all the other emerging economies.

According to the second advance estimates released by the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation, the Indian GDP is expected to have grown by 7% in FY23, supported by increased public investment in infrastructure and a pickup in private investment. Economic activity in India strengthened in the first half of FY23 despite challenging global growth conditions caused by slowing growth in major trade partners (such as the US, UK and China), the Russia-Ukraine war and persistent global supply disruptions (caused by the global shortage of shipping containers and supply bottlenecks). This resilience can be attributed to large domestic markets, coupled with consistent efforts on the part of the Government to strengthen the supply side through reforms like PLI schemes, national logistic reforms, and fostering ease of doing business through digitization, among others.

Strong economic growth in the first half of FY23 helped India overcome the UK to become the fifth-largest economy after it recovered from repeated waves of COVID-19 pandemic shock. Given the release of pent-up demand and the widespread vaccination coverage, the contact-intensive services sector emerged as one of the key drivers of growth in FY23. Rising employment and substantially increasing private consumption, supported by rising consumer sentiment, will support GDP growth in the coming months.

In FY23, the Indian Government has introduced several measures to support economic growth, including increased spending on infrastructure, tax incentives for businesses, and reforms to attract foreign investment. These initiatives may contribute to boosting economic growth in the years ahead. However, structural issues such as high levels of non-performing loans in the banking sector, a complex tax system, and limited access to credit for small and medium-sized enterprises have emerged as the new set of challenges to sustained economic growth in India.

India has emerged as the fastest-growing major economy in the world and is expected to be one of the top three economic powers in the world over the next 10-15 years, backed by its robust democracy and strong partnerships.

In the first nine months of FY23, the FDI inflow, which includes equity inflows, re-invested earnings and other capital, declined to USD 55.27 billion during this period as against USD 60.4 billion in the year-ago period. As per the data published by GOI, the total Foreign direct investment (FDI) into India declined by 15% to USD 36.75 billion for the first nine months of FY23. The FDI inflows stood at USD 43.17 billion during the corresponding period of the previous year.

Indian MSME sector

Today, the Indian MSME sector contributes ~33% to the Indian GDP and accounts for around 120 million jobs across industries and regions. The MSMEs sector is a major contributor to the socio-economic development of the country and has emerged as a highly vibrant and dynamic sector of the Indian economy over the last five decades. In India, the sector has gained significant importance because of its contribution to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the country and exports. The sector has also contributed immensely regarding entrepreneurship development, especially in semi-urban and rural areas of India.

The introduction of micro, small, and medium enterprise (MSME) financing in India has recently been a catalyst for the expansion of the MSME sector, supported by the growth of neobanks and digital payment channels. MSMEs have benefited greatly from digitalization, including a larger client base, less need for staff, production efficiency during an economic downturn, ease of facilitating transactions between buyers and sellers, and many other things since the Government has been consciously advancing initiatives to support the growth of MSMEs in India. Indias MSMEs sector is rapidly moving from offline mode to online as far as conducting business is concerned. They are adopting technology to improve their operations and increase efficiency while providing timely services to their customers and clients.

Stating that the MSME sector is a "growth engine", and amongst the biggest employers in India, the Government in its recently concluded budget has announced to allocate a record C22,138 crore on the MSME sector.

Here are a few key budget allocations:

i) The Government plans to infuse C9,000 crore into the Credit

Guarantee Fund Trust for Micro and Small Enterprises Credit Guarantee Scheme. Further, the Government is expected to provide additional collateral-free credit of C2 lakh crore to MSMEs, while reducing the credit cost by 1%.

ii) The Government has also announced the expansion of the turnover limit for micro units for presumptive taxation from C2 crores in the last fiscal year to C3 crore. Additionally, the Government stated that under presumptive taxation, individuals and businesses are no longer required to maintain account books or get their account audited.

iii) To help the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) sector become more resilient, competitive, and efficient, the Government announced the Raising and Accelerating MSME Performance (RAMP) program will be rolled out with an initial outlay of C6,000 crores spread over five years.

iv) The Government has earmarked C10,000 crore for the creation of the Urban Infrastructure Development Fund (UIDF), which is expected to empower small cities to set up the infrastructure necessary for maintaining adequate sanitation and hygiene. The Government aims to make these cities more sustainable and cleaner through this move.

v) To enable traditional artisans to improve the scale, quality and reach of products and integrate them with the value chain of MSME, the Government has announced an assistance packaged named ‘PM Vishwakarma Kaushal Samman. Stating that the products created by the art and handicraft industry represents the "true spirit of Atmanirbhar Bharat", the Government, through this scheme is expected to provide financial support along with advanced skill training, efficient green technologies, and knowledge of modern digital techniques designed to benefit artisans from economically weaker sections.

vi) MSMEs are often burdened with compliance regulations that are too complicated relative to their scale. The Government plans to simplify these regulations and make it easier and cost-efficient for MSMEs to comply. As part of this change, the Government in the recent budget introduced one specific recommendation wherein a single registration process for MSMEs across the country, which can be done online, similar to the Udyam Registration launched by the Government of India in 2020.

vii) With an aim to have last mile connectivity, the Government, in its recently concluded budget announced the initiation of about 100 transport infrastructure projects to boost Indias MSME sector.

viii) The Budget 2023 provided relief to startups by giving the benefit of carry forward of losses on a change of shareholding of startups from seven years to ten years. The condition of continuity of a minimum of 51% shareholding to set off of carried-forward losses is relaxed for eligible startups if all company shareholders continue to hold those shares.

Export scenario

Indias overall exports (including merchandise and services) is expected to have increased by 13.84% to a record $770.18 billion in 2022-23, while overall imports are expected to have surged 17.38% to $892.18 billion over the previous year. A strong trade performance on the services front helped boost the overall export numbers in 2022-23, even as the impact of a global economic slowdown was visibly felt in the case of merchandise trade. Services exports are estimated to have grown by 26.79%, as compared to merchandise exports at just over 6% during the fiscal.

During FY23, oil imports rose 29.5% to $209.57 billion, reflecting the impact of high crude oil prices in the aftermath of the Russia-Ukraine war. Among countries, while Chinas share in Indias import basket declined to 13.79% from 15.43% in the previous year, it continued to be at first place in the top 10 import sources, with imports at $98.51 billion in 2022-23.

Outlook

Despite the global slowdown, Indias economic growth rate is stronger than in many peer economies and reflects relatively robust domestic consumption and lesser dependence on global demand. The Government of Indias strong infrastructure push under the Prime Ministers Gati Shakti (National Master Plan for Multimodal Connectivity) initiative, logistics development, and industrial corridor development is expected to contribute significantly to raising industrial competitiveness and boosting future growth.

Improving labour market conditions and growing consumer confidence is expected to drive growth in private consumption. The Central Governments commitment to significantly increase capital expenditure in the years ahead is also expected to spur demand. Helped by recovery in tourism and other contact services, the services sector will grow strongly in the years ahead as the impact of COVID-19 wanes. However, manufacturing growth is expected to be tamped down by a weak global demand, but it will probably improve in FY24. Recent announcements to boost agricultural productivity, such as setting up digital services for crop planning and support for agriculture startups, will be important in sustaining agriculture growth in the medium term.

Indian paint and coating industry

The Indian paint industry is one of the fastest-growing and most dynamic industries in the country. It has witnessed a remarkable growth in the past few years and is expected to continue to do so in the coming years. The paint industry in India has two major segments - decorative and industrial. The decorative segment includes household paints, while the industrial segment includes paints for automobiles, industrial machinery, and marine applications.

The Indian paint industry has undergone a major transformation in the last decade. The introduction of new technologies and innovative products has revolutionized the Indian paint industry. The market is dominated by major players such as Asian Paints, Berger Paints, Kansai Nerolac and AkzoNobel. These companies have a significant market share and are constantly investing in research and development to produce high-quality, eco-friendly paints.

The decorative segment is the largest and the most rapidly growing segment in the Indian paint industry. It accounts for almost 75% of the total paint market and the demand for decorative paints is driven by the growing construction industry, which includes residential, commercial, and infrastructure projects. The growth of the middle class and an increase in disposable income have also contributed to the growth of the decorative paint segment. Further, this has boosted the demand in the industrial segment, with the growing demand for automotive products and consumer goods.

The industrial segment is relatively smaller than the decorative segment but has great potential for growth. The industrial segment includes automotive coatings, powder coatings, marine coatings, and protective coatings. The automotive coatings segment is the largest in the industrial segment and is driven by the growing automobile industry in India.

The Indian paint industry has been witnessing a gradual shift in the preferences of people from the traditional whitewash to high-quality paints, like emulsions and enamel paints, which are providing the basic stability for the growth of the Indian paint industry. Besides, it is creating a strong competitive market, where players are utilizing different strategies to tap the growing demand in the market for a larger share. Moreover, rise in disposable income of the average middle class coupled with increasing investment on education; urbanization; development of the rural market; and various launches of many innovative products, like friendly, odour free, and dust & water-resistant paints, are major drivers that are propelling the growth of the paint market in India.

Valued at around 62,000 crores, the Indian paint and coatings industry is expected to grow to 1 lakh crore over the next five years, backed by consistent double-digit CAGR growth observed over the last few years. According to the industry experts, positive correlation between the industry and the economy is expected to drive growth.

Key drivers of the Indian paint industry

The Indian construction industry is expected to receive a significant boost in 2023, which will be supported by a sharp increase in capital expenditure and pent-up real estate demand. The Government increased its total expenditure by 7.5%, from an estimated expenditure of 41.9 trillion (US$522.2 billion) in the FY23 to 45 trillion (US$561.6 billion) in FY24

Population and economic growth have accelerated urbanization across the country, and there are now significantly more metropolitan villages and cities.

The residential real estate market in India witnessed astounding progress in 2022, setting new sales records of 68% YoY, further demonstrating the industrys prominence as one of Indias fastest-growing industries.

Indias real estate market is expected to exhibit a growth rate (CAGR) of 9.2% during 2023-2028 backed by the lower housing loan rates, rising income and growing demand for urbanization.

Moreover, rise in disposable income of the average middle class coupled with increasing investment on education; urbanization; development of the rural market; and various launches of many innovative products, like friendly, odor free, and dust & water-resistant paints, are major drivers that are propelling the growth of the paint market in India.

The Indian paint industry has been witnessing an increasing shift in upgradation/premiumization for more than a decade now. Increased focus on aesthetics and enhanced availability of quality resources has led to growth in demand for upgradation and premiumization.

New trends

Over the past few years, demand from smaller towns and rural areas for paint has grown more quickly than demand compared to larger cities.

Major players in the paint industry have been taking proactive steps to increase their presence in smaller cities, towns, and rural areas.

With a greater emphasis on innovation and value-addition, organised players in the paint industry have developed features such as water-resistance and improved luminosity.

Outlook

Strong pricing power, good volume growth in the economy products segment and a well-entrenched distribution network is expected to be the key for the organised players in the industry. Despite the positives, there are a few challenges for the Indian paint industry, such as the rising cost of raw materials and intensified competition from unstructured and up-and-coming participants. Furthermore, the industry is also expected to face the pressure to produce eco-friendly products owing to the growing awareness of the environment. Moving ahead, the industry is expected to keep a keen eye on these factors to continue on its growth path.

In conclusion, the Indian paint industry is a rapidly growing and dynamic industry that is set to continue growing in the coming years. The decorative segment is the largest and is driven by the construction industry and the growth of the middle class. The industrial segment has great potential for growth and is driven by the automotive industry. The industry is facing challenges, but with the introduction of new technologies and innovative products, the industry is poised for growth in the future. Further impetus is expected to be provided by the fact low per capita consumption of paint in India compared to its global peers.

Indian plastics industry

Plastics is one of the core and leading sectors of the Indian economy. Established in 1957 with the production of polystyrene, the Indian plastics industry has expanded expressively over the years. Today, the plastics industry in India has now developed to become one of the prominent sectors in the nations economy, containing of over 30,000 companies and employs more than 4 million people and has also emerged as one of the worlds leading exporters of plastics products.

The industry today produces a wide range of products such as plastics and linoleum, houseware products, cordage, fishnets, floor coverings, medical items, packaging items, plastic films, pipes and raw material, among others. Over the years, the Indian plastics industry witnessed phenomenal advancements and has helped boost the Indian small and medium enterprises industry (SME). Thanks to the technological advancement undertaken by the industry in the last decade have made it easier for plastic processors to increase their capacity to serve both the domestic and international markets. Currently, the Indian plastic processing industry uses technologies such as injection moulding, blow moulding, extrusion, and calendaring to create a wide range of products. This has helped enhance the quality of products, thereby, enabling plastic material becoming increasingly important across various industries, and help per capita consumption increase at a faster pace. Traditional materials are being quickly replaced by plastic technology, processing equipment, expertise, and cost-effective manufacturing. This has enabled the industry to serve international markets along with the growing domestic market. Backed by the Government initiatives, the Indian plastics industry is expected to grow to 10 lakh crores (US$126 billion) over the next 4 to 5 years from its current level of 3 lakh crores (US$37.8 billion) as of December 2022.

Over the past three decades, the production and consumption of plastics in India has increased immensely thanks to the rising population and growing middle class. For example, from a consumption of 0.9 million MT of plastics in 1990, India is expected to have consumed nearly 22 MT of plastics in FY23. In terms of exports, India today exports plastic products to over 200 countries and the total plastics exports between April 2022 -March 2023 stood at US$ 11,965 as compared to US$ 13,352 in the last year, registering a decline of 10.4%.

Government initiatives for the Indian plastics industry

The Union Ministry of Commerce and Industry of India has set a goal to raise the total plastic exports from India to US$ 25 billion by 2025. To accomplish this, the Government has started several projects, such as the phased establishment of plastic parks across the nation which will assist in increasing the plastic output produced by the country. Under the plastic park schemes, the Government aims to fund of up to 50% of the project costs or a ceiling cost of 40 crore (US$ 5 million) per project.

Government initiatives like "Digital India", "Make in India", and "Skill India" is also expected to further boost Indias Plastic industry. For instance, under the "Digital India" program, the Government aims to reduce the import dependence of products from other countries, which will lift the local plastic part manufacturers.

The Government also launched a program for building Centres of Excellence (CoEs) to develop the existing petrochemical technology and promote the research environment pertaining to the sector in the country. This will aid in promoting and developing new applications of polymers and plastics in the country. Furthermore, about 23 Central Institute of Plastics Engineering & Technology (CIPET) have been approved to accelerate financial and technological collaboration for promoting skills in chemicals and petrochemicals sector.

Outlook

The Indian plastics industry has grown consistently over the last decade, not just in terms of quantity but also in terms of quality. With the Governments focus on helping India emerge as the manufacturing hub of the world, this is expected to provide the Indian plastics industry with the required impetus for the near future to reach a target of USD 25 billion by 2025.

Further boost to the industry is expected to be driven by the plastics recycling industry, which is slowly maturing thanks to the different favourable Government policies along with new EPR guidelines. The contemporary structure of the economy is configured to enhance plastic production, linking the use of plastics with necessity, development and convenience in popular culture, even as environmentalists capture the extent of inundation of plastics and its worrying impacts on climate, environment and health throughout its lifecycle.

But a cumulative approach towards a sustainable use of plastics and effective recycling of plastics is expected to a sustainable growth for the industry. Over the last couple of years, several small and regional unorganised players in the plastics sector have been severely affected by unprecedented volatility in raw material prices and working capital constraints. This has created an opportunity for sectoral consolidation. Hence, large organised manufacturers with country-wide facilities are expected to take full advantage of this consolidation and grow their market share over the next couple of years.

Indian chemicals industry

The Indian chemical industry has emerged to become one of the most important components of the economy today and contributes around 7% to the nations Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Amidst the global pandemic, the chemical industry has been one of the only few sectors to have not only survived it but also grown by leaps and bounds. Over the years, India has evolved to emerge as the 6th largest producer of chemicals in the world and the 3rd largest in Asia.

The Indian chemical industry today directly employs more than 2 million people and finds application in kore than 80,000 products. The Indian chemical industry is broadly classified into bulk chemicals, specialty chemicals, agrochemicals, petrochemicals, polymers and fertilizers, among others. Indias chemicals industry has been a global outperformer in demand growth and shareholder wealth creation for a decade now. Based on the current market situation, the Indian chemicals industry is expected to grow by 11% to 12% during 2021-27 and by 7% to 10% during 2027-40, thereby tripling its global market share by 2040. Indian chemical industry is expected to become a US$ 850 – US$1000 billion chemicals market by 2040, taking 10-12% share of the global chemicals market.

The overall world dynamics have encouraged major multinational companies to turn their sights towards downstream chemical opportunities, thus leading to an increase in the focus on petrochemicals and specialty chemicals in India to boost self-sufficiency. Exhibiting great awareness, several Indian companies have embedded sustainability as the centrepiece of their ethos, this has further helped the Indian companies grow their presence in the global market.

Two major initiatives by the Government, ‘Make in India and ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat, are aptly designed for the nations chemical industry and is expected to further boost the growth of the industry. Indias attractiveness as a manufacturing destination has been rising because of competitive labour costs, its ability to build manufacturing units at less cost than in the developed world, and recent changes to corporate tax rates that have shaped a more supportive ecosystem. Many Indian specialty chemical players have developed distinctive capabilities and established supply relationships with global networks.

Rising domestic consumption: India is expected to account for more than 20% of incremental global consumption of chemicals over the next two decades. Analysts project that domestic demand will rise from $170 billion to $180 billion in 2021 to $850 billion to $1,000 billion by 2040.

Changing consumer preferences: The increasing call for eco-friendly products around the world could be beneficial for India, since it is one of the major manufacturers of the chemicals utilized in such products.

Shifting supply chains: The changing geopolitical landscape and the drive to diversify from the existing core manufacturing sectors have caused companies to seek to make their supply chains more resilient. With its strong value proposition, India could be a preferred destination.

Favourable labour and utilities: India have abundant low-cost labour and competitive water & electricity costs. India has the worlds highest labour availability after China, with over 470 million. Among its six peers, its labour costs are also one of the lowest, at less than $2 per hour. Indias industrial-grid electricity and water costs are also globally competitive, at $0.1 per KWH and $0.6-0.8 per m, respectively.

Competitive capital costs: Indias infrastructure costs, across construction, material, and machinery, are up to 70% lower than other global chemicals manufacturing hubs. Similarly, Indias material costs are multiple times lower compared other key chemical manufacturing hubs such as Germany and Saudi Arabia, among others. At 25%, Indias corporate tax rate is highly competitive, and its average real interest rate is similar to that of global peers.

Favourable regulatory environment: Over the last decade, India has made substantial improvements in its policy and regulatory environment, making it much easier for enterprises to establish themselves and flourish. These improvements have included the introduction of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC) in 2016; a revamped universal tax regime in the form of the Goods and Services Tax (GST); and simplification, digitization, or discontinuation of large numbers of compliance requirements. As a result of these developments, Indias Ease of Doing Business Ranking jumped from 143 in 2015 to 63 in 2020.

Key budget allocations for the Indian chemical industry

Proposals in budget Impact on chemical industry and its subsegments
Capital investment outlay is being increased by 33% to 10 lakh crores.
A capital outlay of 2.40 lakh crore has also been provided for railways. Further, the newly established Infrastructure Finance Secretariat will provide a boost to private investment in infrastructure, including railways, roads, urban infrastructure and power. This capital investment is expected to positively impact varied specialty chemicals, including construction chemicals
100 critical transport infrastructure projects for last and first mile connectivity for ports, coal, steel, fertilizer, and food grains sectors have been identified. They are proposed to be taken up on priority with investment of 75,000 crore, including 15,000 crore from private sources. It is likely to help address the logistic issues faced by the chemical and fertilizer sector
Research & Development grant provided to one of the IITs for 5 years to encourage indigenous production of Lab Grown Diamonds Positive impact for the chemicals and gases used in the Chemical Vapor Deposition process undertaken for producing Lab grown diamonds
Focus on green growth and announcement of green credit programme for incentivising environmentally sustainable and responsive actions by companies, individuals and local bodies This is expected to boost green chemistry products and also aid ESG initiatives undertaken by various chemical companies
Boost to research & development to promote innovation in pharmaceutical sector This is expected to boost the R&D infrastructure for laboratory chemicals, including reagents

Government initiatives to boost the chemical industry

The Government has allocated USD 27 million under the union budget 2022-23 to the department of chemicals and petrochemicals To improve domestic production, reduce imports and attract investments, the Government has set up a 2034 vision to propel the growth of the chemicals and petrochemicals sector.

To encourage production of agrochemicals, the Government introduced PLI scheme with 10-20% output incentives for the agrochemical sector To promote bulk drug parks, the Government has announced PLI schemes worth 1,630 crores The Government allowed 100% FDI under the automatic route in the chemical manufacturing industry

Indian speciality chemicals industry

Constituting nearly 20% of the Indian chemical industry in terms of value, the specialty chemical industry has grown exponentially over the last decade and is projected to reach USD 64 billion by 2025, growing at a CAGR of ~12%. The emergence of the Indian specialty chemicals market has been driven by the countrys strong process engineering capabilities, low-cost manufacturing capabilities, and abundant manpower. Further,Government initiatives such as the petroleum, chemicals, and petrochemicals investment region (PCPIR) policy and production-linked incentive (PLI) schemes have strengthened the confidence of manufacturers to invest within the country.

Additionally, both domestic and multinational manufacturers have numerous opportunities due to high demand from user sectors like food, car, property, apparel, cosmetics, and more. This is likely to continue to boost the industrys growth in India and subsequently outpace the rest of the world in the coming years.

Enablers for growth of the Indian chemicals industry

Increasing focus on innovation cycle and invest in research and development High entry barrier safeguards the interest of the existing players To drive further growth in the overall specialty chemicals market, introduction of collaborative platforms/schemes by the Government can drive innovation With an increased focus on sustainability and environmental protection initiatives, the Indian companies are expected garner higher acceptability Global manufacturers are considering alternatives, and Indias favourable ecosystem is positioning itself well as a viable option, poising the Indian specialty chemicals market for substantial and rapid growth

Road ahead

A consistent value creator, Indias chemical sector remains an attractive hub of opportunities. The sector has been growing consistently backed by growing in popularity sub-segment such as specialty companies and agrichemicals, which are rising manifold. Robust demand across end-user industries led by rising domestic consumption, strong export growth, and rising import substitutions are expected to be primary growth drivers for the chemical sector.

Growing strong domestic demand and increased exports will continue to fuel the growth of the Indian specialty chemicals industry. The robust performance of the sector is prompting specialty chemical manufacturers to ramp up their production capacity to meet the growing demand for its products. Furthermore, anti-pollution measures in China will also create opportunities for the Indian chemical industry in specific segments.

The chemical industry is further anticipated to be augmented and developed through the implementation of fiscal incentives, including tax reductions and exclusive incentives through PCPIRs or SEZs, as additional support. The dedicated integrated manufacturing hubs under the Petroleum, Chemicals and Petrochemicals Investment Regions (PCPIR) policy would also attract an estimated investment of 20 lakh crore (US$ 276.46 billion) by 2035. To put it all together, the speedy growth of the Indian Chemical industry is foreseeable and its trajectory will witness a transition to specialty materials as user industries consistently evolve. The specialty chemicals industry is expected to transform the future of Indias economic scene through a revised strategy towards its products and services, and if Indias requirements and mega-trends become a reality, the specialty chemicals sector will need to be ready even further, and maybe faster than we had anticipated.

Indian ceramics industry

Accounting for nearly 7% of the global production, the Indian ceramic tiles industry today is the second-largest producer and also the second-largest consumer of ceramic tiles after China. At the end of 2022, Indias ceramic consumption stood at estimated 750 msm, accounting for ~6% of the world.

The India ceramic tiles market size reached 1,126.5 million sq. metres in 2022 and is expected to reach 1,451.9 million sq. metres by 2028, exhibiting a CAGR growth rate of 4.1% during 2023-2028. India is one of the fastest-growing ceramic tile marketplaces at the global level. Some of the major factors augmenting the growth of the ceramic tiles demand in India are the growing real estate sector, coupled with Government policies fuelling strong growth in the housing sector. In addition, the shifting consumer preference toward modern residential spaces and rising consumer expenditure power are some of the key factors boosting the market growth in the country. In terms of value, the Indian ceramics industry is projected to grow to US$ 7,144.7 million by 2027 growing by a CAGR of 8.6%.

Additionally, the Government of India (GoI) introduced several favorable initiatives, such as the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana, to provide affordable housing to eligible families in urban and rural areas, which, in turn, is creating a positive outlook for the ceramics industry. In line with this, key market players actively introduced innovative product lines such as scratch-free, germ-free, and anti-skid ceramic tiles to boost consumer confidence and accelerate the market growth. Other factors, such as rapid urbanization, increasing investments in infrastructural development, rising migration towards urban areas, and the burgeoning real estate sector, are providing an impetus to market growth.

Additionally, both domestic and multinational manufacturers have numerous opportunities due to high demand from user sectors like food, car, property, apparel, cosmetics, and more. This is likely to continue to boost the industrys growth in India and subsequently outpace the rest of the world in the coming years.

Indian rubber industry

Rubber industry of India has been one of the important sectors of the Indian economy. Over the years, India has emerged as the sixth largest producer and the second largest consumer of natural rubber in the world. Rubber today is used for diverse purposes ranging from erasing pencil marks to manufacturing tyres, tubes and a wide array of industrial products. India is one of the largest producers and consumers of natural rubber in the world, with the industry being primarily concentrated in the states of Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, and Tripura. Among the states, Kerala is the largest producer of natural rubber in India followed by Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Tripura, Assam, Andaman and Nicobar, and Goa.

Natural rubber is preferred over synthetic rubber due to its high tensile strength and vibration dampening properties, along with tear resistance. This makes it important for the construction and automobile industries. The demand for natural rubber received an impetus because of the growing automobile industry and the rising demand for latex products.

The Indian Rubber Industry is approximately 6,000 units in size, with 30 big scale, 300 middle scales, and over 5600 small scale and tiny sector units. Such units produce over 35,000 rubber goods, employ 400 thousand people, including 22,000 technically competent support employees, and provide 40 billion to the national exchequer through taxes, customs, and other levies.

The Indian Rubber Industry is important to the Indian economy since the rubber plantation industry in India generates about 630 thousand tonnes of natural rubber per year, with a predicted production of more than one million tonnes in the near future.

India witnessed a rubber production of 839,000 tonnes in 2022-23, an increase of 8.3% over the output of 775,000 tonnes a year earlier. In terms of consumption, rubber consumption in India has grown 9% to 1.35 million tonnes for the year.

There are as many as 6,711 manufacturing units operating in the non-tyre manufacturing sector in the country. These include tread rubber products, footwear products, foam products, moulded goods, adhesives, gloves, tyre tube and flaps, dipped goods, beltings, auto and cycle parts, among others. Auto tyres and tubes consume the largest share of rubber in the country at 61% which is followed by cycle types and tubes at 10%. The availability of basic raw materials and testing equipment are a boon to the Indian rubber industry.

Company Overview

20 Microns is one of Indias leading and fastest-growing micronized industrial minerals and speciality chemical manufacturing companies. Incorporated in 1987, 20ML today is Indias largest producer of white minerals offering a wide range innovative products which finds application across different industry such as paint, powder, coating, plastic, textiles, rubber, paper, textiles and sealants industry, among others. Backed by seven mines (five captive and two leased), nine state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities and two R&D centres, the companys white minerals help the Company cater to a cross section of industry across the globe. With the best manufacturing practices and ultra-modern R&D centers the international business forms one-fourth of the companys business with a firm presence in more than 65 countries across Europe, Africa, Australia, South America and Asia Pacific.

Key strategic priorities for the Company

Our core strengths

Research – Insights and expertise into complex mineralogy and continued focus on research & development.

Market leadership – The Company is a market leader in the industry segments it operates and enjoys domestic leadership in key segments such as Paint, Coating and Plastic among others.

Product portfolio – The product portfolio comprises niche products assuring integration and synergy in operating facilities.

Strong collaborations – The Company has well-founded technical partnerships with renowned global players.

Synergies – The Company lays great emphasis on synergies, which has augmented its quest for global leadership and helps to keep its competitive advantage.

Our operational excellence

We have integrated operations with processes ranging from manufacturing micro sized to nano-sized industrial mineral and speciality chemicals to niche and complex ones. This allows us flexibility to focus on manufacturing products that enjoy encouraging demand and offer better price. We leveraged this advantage to run our manufacturing units at optimum capacity utilisation to cater to the rising demand.

We undertake initiatives like improving process efficiencies and dedicated research and development on an ongoing basis to drive operational excellence. Our manufacturing is supported by robust inbound and outbound logistics and distribution network that ensure supply reliability. Further, we are focused on enhanced usage of data and analytics to take real-time and focused decisions.

Business segment review

Segment I

Paints and Coatings

One of the core focus sectors for the Company, paints and coating contribution is 51% to the overall revenue mix. The Company is one of the leading suppliers of industrial minerals of different particle sizes from coarser to fine to ultra-fine sizes. Today, the Company is one of the Level1 supplier of micronized industrial minerals to all the leading paint and coating manufacturing companies. We introduced 61 new products introduced during the year, to further bolster our presence in the segment.

Core products

Engineered Kaolin / Calcium Carbonate / Opacifiers / Matting Agent / Inorganic Rheological Modifiers / Coloured Quartz / Wax & Wax Emulsion / Mica / Talc / Silica / Barytes

Industries served

Paint / Ink / Pigments

Segmental growth drivers

Rapid urbanization in India, along with increasing investments in infrastructure projects such as residential buildings, commercial complexes, and transportation networks, drives the demand for paints and coatings The booming real estate sector, including residential, commercial, and industrial construction, is a significant demand driver for paints in India.

Rising income levels, changing lifestyles, and Government initiatives like affordable housing schemes contribute to the increased demand for paints in the housing sector The steady growth in disposable income among the middle class in India has led to higher spending on home improvement, renovation, and decoration The growth of the industrial and automotive sectors in India generates demand for industrial coatings and automotive paints The increasing demand for Indian paints in international markets contributes to the growth of the industry and provides additional opportunities for manufacturers

Segment II

Polymers / Paper & Rubber

The second most important sector, after the paint and coatings industry, and contributes nearly 25% to the overall revenue mix. In FY23, the Company continued to cement its market position in India in the polymer, paper and rubber segment. The growth strategy was driven by the introduction of innovative and value-added products, expansion of our product footprint in new geographies, and an increase in the base of OEM clients.

Core products

Uncoated Calcium Carbonate / Coated Calcium Carbonate / Talc / Mica / Engineered Kaolin / Micronized Waxes / Opacifiers / Calcium Oxides / Barium Sulfates / Fumed Silica / Feldspar / Diatomaceous Earth / ATH

Industries Served

Polymers / Rubber / Cosmetics / Paper

Segmental growth drivers

Indias polymer industry is highly dependent on the packaging industry. With the growth of organized retail, e-commerce, and food processing sectors, there is an increasing need for various types of packaging materials, including polymer-based films, sheets, containers, and bottles

Polymers are widely used in pipes, fittings, cables, insulation materials, roofing, flooring, and adhesives in the construction industry. The Governments focus on affordable housing and infrastructure development further boosts the demand for polymer-based products

Polymers and rubber products are used in various automotive components, including interior trims, dashboards, seating, bumpers, exterior body parts, and electrical connectors. As the Indian automotive industry continues to grow, the demand for lightweight, durable, and cost-effective polymer materials increases

The education sector plays a crucial role in driving the demand for paper products. With a large population and a focus on improving literacy rates and educational infrastructure, the demand for paper in the education sector remains strong

With the growth of e-commerce, organized retail, and FMCG sectors, there is an increasing demand for paper-based packaging materials as consumers become more and more conscious on the usage of plastics

Segment III

Allied Division

The third largest division amongst 20MLs revenue mix, the division caters to different industries such as Ceramic, Adhesive and Sealants, Agro Chemicals, Hydrocarbon, Foundry Construction and other verticals.

The key strategy of the division is to continuously offer new products to make our customers products more competitive in terms of quality and also to offer competitive products against global mineral players.

We are focused upon manufacturing new and innovative products for Ceramics and Refractory industry at our dedicated ceramics application centre. Commercial trials for the multi-functional mineral products for selective ceramics sub applications have been completed and we have also launched a new range of products in the market for which have received positive feedback from our customers and achieving commercialization. Having established dedicated processing platforms of scalable volume for the various grades, we are looking forward to higher sales volume in the foreseeable future in this segment.

Core products

High Plastic Kaolin / Calcined Kaolin / Ball Clay / Bentonite

/ Carbonates / Quartz / Talc / Inorganic Thickener / Performance Additives

Key application industry

Ceramics and Refractories /Glass / Agro Chemicals / Adhesive and Sealants / Construction / Hydrocarbon / Steel / Foundry / Animal Feed

Segmental growth drivers

India is the second largest producer of Ceramic products following China. Because of the recent geopolitical scenario, the industry witnessed a quick upturn. Hence, the demand for Indian ceramic products has increased drastically, which has resulted in generating higher revenue for us during the year.

India is a bright spot in the rising crop protection industry. Despite the pandemic, in the last couple of year, the industry witnessed a steady growth in sales in line with the expectations.

Expanding population and scarcity of natural resources and arable land are expected to create a stronger demand for Agro-chemical products. This is likely to create a demand for sustainable solutions to extract more out of the land with less use of water, energy, chemicals, leading to lower carbon footprint and food wastage.

Indian agriculture industry has been on a growth trajectory and investments in the agrochemicals sector for developing new molecules have grown here as more Indian companies have increased their expenditures in research and innovation. Favourable Government policies, the Indian fertilizer and agro chemicals industry is expected witness vigorous growth in the years ahead.

Indian real estate industry is on a rise thanks rising number of nuclear families and rising working population.

The Government announced different key initiatives and schemes which have helped in the steady growth of home ownership in India. These schemes are likely to provide the required impetus for growth for the nations affordable housing segment.

Record low home loan interest rates, coupled with income tax incentives and concessional stamp duty rates, are expected to bolster the demand for affordable housing, especially among first-time homeowners. As a result, the demand for construction chemicals, ceramic tiles, Sanitary ware is expected to increase, which will help boost our sales. In other industry segments, like Adhesive and Sealant, Animal Feed, Hydrocarbon, Detergent and Foundry among others, we have been working to enhance the product portfolios to enhance our offerings and services and to add more value-added products. Value-added products are likely to help 20ML to increase our Domestic and global market share through deeper penetration and to strengthen the presence in existing markets.

USP of our agriculture and organic farming products

Our thoughtfully designed product and solutions portfolio addresses the evolving needs of farmers that help the farmers increase the productivity by 14% to 18%. Use of natural mineral-based products helps restore the fertility of the land over the long-term.

Helps reduce the usage of synthetic fertilisers and pesticides, making the products healthy Our products are natural which encourages organic farming

Segment IV

Construction Chemicals

One of our growing divisions, the construction chemical segment has grown considerably over the years. Today we are one of Indias fastest growing construction chemical company with a stable and growing portfolio.

The key strategy of the division is to periodically offer new products to emerge as a solution provider. We have been able to achieve competitive strength in a hard-fought market thanks to our products which are top-notch in terms of quality and applicability. With our innovative product-line, we preserve the integrity of concrete, mortar, plaster and other architectural supports used to construct a buildings foundation. We are the specialists available around-the-clock for all construction needs.

Key function of construction chemicals

Construction chemicals are nothing but chemical compounds that play a crucial role in strengthening building structures. Its primary use is to speed up the workflow in the formations of various construction sites that may be underdeveloped or already developed. Furthermore, they are blended up with various structure materials to enhance productivity, add strength, durability, boost functionality and act as a protective shield for the other materials.

Core products

Cracksil / Tigersil / Nanosil / Metakrete / Micronsil 30C Plus / Micronsil 30C /

Key application industry

Real estate / Housing industry

Finance review

FY23 was marked by another year of commendable performance across different geographies and product categories, with market share gains and improvement in operating margins, as compared to FY22. The year started on a weak note with a subdued demand from our end-customers thanks to the geopolitical tensions and the fear of recession. But, the second half of the year, the performance rebounded strongly thanks to the different strategies adopted by the company during the year. For FY23, we witnessed a revenue growth of 16%, while net profit growth stood at 17%.

During the year, we continued to focus on our customers through focused production innovation and brand building initiatives. Further, new customer addition across different product segments was another focus area for the Company.

In FY23, the Company delivered a remarkable overall performance. This progress was aided by growth across the Companys strategic business units (SBUs). Revenue from operations, including other income, stood at 604.42 crores, higher by 16% compared to the previous year. EBITDA(Excl. other income) stood at 68.65 crores. EBITDA margins came in at 11.5%, lower by 130 bps compare to the previous year .

The Company undertook several enhancements in the product mix, improved realisations, and cost-reduction efforts that helped deliver better margins. Profit before Tax (PBT) came in at 48.64 crores, up by 16% from last year. Profit after Tax (PAT) stood at 36.15 crores, delivering a growth of 17% compared to the previous financial year.

Revenue contribution from the domestic market stood at 86% while 14% came in from exports. The Company witnessed robust demand from key end-user industries. Steady demand in key export geographies resulted in higher export revenues. Domestic Revenues for FY23 stood at 511.51 crores, compared to 434.55 crores in FY22. Revenue contribution from exports stood at 86.30 crores, up by 5% compared to 82.57 crores in the previous financial year. The Company was swift to target key export geographies that were on the path of quick post-pandemic recovery. Steady revival in economic activity, combined with cost excellence initiatives undertaken by the Company, helped increase market share in the domestic markets.

16% 14%

FY22 FY23

84% 86%

Domestic revenue (as % of total revenue) Exports revenue (as % of total revenue)

Resilient realization gains and healthy volume growth aided the financial performance. During the year, the Companys efforts to add innovative products to its portfolio complemented its growth trajectory. End-user demand remained strong, and 20ML capitalized on this opportunity by demonstrating agility throughout its operations.

Total borrowings of 20ML as of March 31, 2023 stood at 80.95 crore vis-?-vis 104.26 crore as on March 31, 2022. The reduction in borrowings was largely because of the regular repayment of long-term & short term borrowing. This strategy of the Company helped 20ML to reduce its interest cost by 17% during the year from 18.00 crore in FY22 to 15.00 crore in FY23.

Financial performance summary
FY23 FY22 % Change
Revenue form operation 597.80 517.13 16%
Total opex 529.15 451.07 15%
EBIDTA (Excl. Other income) 68.65 66.06 4%
Depreciation 11.63 11.81 -
EBIT ( Excl. Other Income) 57.02 54.25 5%
Finance cost 15.00 18.00 -17%
Profit before Tax (PBT) 48.64 42.07 16%
Profit after Tax (PAT) 36.15 30.87 17%
Financial performance summary
FY23 FY22
Equity and liabilities
Equity share capital 17.64 17.64
Other equity 251.95 215.88
Non-current liabilities 43.61 53.56
Current liabilities 147.16 169.71
Total 460.37 456.80
Assets
Non-current assets 49.08 51.91
Fixed assets 197.29 189.12
Current assets 214.00 215.77
Total 460.37 456.80
Key ratios
FY23 FY22
EBITDA Margin 11.48% 12.77%
EBIT Margin 9.54% 10.49%
Profit Before Tax Margin 8.14% 8.14%
Profit After Tax Margin 6.05% 5.97%
Inventory turnover 7.55 6.94
Current ratio 1.46 1.27
Net debt-to-equity ratio 0.30 0.45
Return on Equity (RoE) 14.37% 14.27%
Return of Capital Employed (RoCE) 16.97% 17.15%

As on March 31, 2023, the Companys Net worth stood at 269.60 crores compared to 233.53 crores as of March 31, 2022. This is because of 17% increase in reserves and surplus during the year.

The Companys trade payable was of 70.86 crores as on March 31, 2023, as against 80.40 crores as at March 31, 2022.

The Companys net fixed assets stood at 197.29 crores as at March 31, 2023, as against 189.12 crore as at March 31, 2022.

The Companys trade receivable was of 89.57 crores as on March 31, 2023, as against 95.45 crores as at March 31, 2022.

Risk management

A thorough risk-management framework allows us to pre-emptively monitor risks emanating from the internal and external environment. As a result, we have been able to consistently create value for all our stakeholders, despite industry cycles and economic headwinds.

Our risk management process

Our risk mitigation plan

The Board takes the following steps as a part of its risk management and mitigation plan:

Defines the roles and responsibilities of the Key Management Personnel participating in the risk management team

Participates in major decisions affecting the organisations risk profile

Integrates risk-management reporting with the Boards overall reporting framework

The Company functions under a well-defined organization structure. Flow of information is well defined to avoid any conflict or communication gap between two or more departments. Second-level positions are created in each department to continue the work without any interruption in case of nonavailability of functional heads. Proper policies are followed in relation to maintenance of inventories of raw materials, consumables, key spares and tools to ensure their availability for planned production programmes. Effective steps are being taken to reduce the cost of production on a continuing basis, taking various changing scenarios in the market.

Internal control system and adequacy

The Company has in place strong internal control procedures commensurate with its size and operations. The Company believes that safeguarding of assets and business efficiency can be prolonged by exercising adequate internal controls and standardizing operational processes. The internal control and risk management system is structured and applied in accordance with the principles and criteria established in the corporate governance code of the organisation. It is an integral part of the general organizational structure of the Company and Group and involves a range of personnel who act in a coordinated manner while executing their respective responsibilities. The Board of Directors offers its guidance and strategic supervision to the Executive Directors and management, monitoring and support committees.

Human resource

Our intellectual capital is the foremost asset of our business and the satisfaction of workers within the organisation is a major factor in its prosperity. 20 Microns think that the Company is governed by its people resources and our success is directly dependent on the success and growth of our people. Our commitment is to create an environment where personal growth is encouraged and supported in an inviting and secure atmosphere. In addition, the Company has often emphasized the importance of having a diverse team on board and cherishes each individuals input. Our aptitude for recognising, enrolling, and preserving skill has propelled our expansion significantly. Our human capital is our greatest tool for shaping the future of the Company and is also critical for our smooth functioning.

The groups strength resides in working and growing as a team. Training and skill development are critical for contributing to the overall growth of personnel and the organisation. The Company organises training and development sessions for its workforce, motivating and empowering them to unleash their full potential. Further, we focus on following a flat communication structure to make it a lucid one when it comes to the employees sharing their view with the management. Such initiatives aid in the recruitment and retention of top talent across the sector and hiss helped the Company enjoy the support of committed and well satisfied human capital. The Company has implemented important HR initiatives and people management practices effectively. As of 31st March 2023, the total workforce of 20ML is well over 700+ employees.

Health and safety measures

Ensuring the safety of our personnel is of the highest importance. The factory heads take the lead on our safety focus, carrying out regular reviews across the factory regarding health, safety, and the environment (HSE). Through their invaluable help, we have taken multiple steps to increase the health and safety of our personnel. In addition, we have organized small teams at every one of our manufacturing sites to rapidly detect and effectively manage safety matters. Our Company maintains an extensive range of health and safety protocols that must be strictly adhered to at all sites and by all personnel.

The focus on health and safety protocols was further stepped up during the year in response to the pandemic. Apart from following the Government guidelines, we carried out regular sanitization and ensured adequate physical distancing. We also swiftly introduced measures to periodically test employees and regulated entry through the oximeter and thermal screening. We also launched wellness programmes for employees and their families to help build resilience, manage change, and enhance their wellbeing during this challenging period.

Cautionary statement

The statements made in the Management Discussion and Analysis describing the Companys objectives, projections, estimates, expectations may be "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of applicable securities laws & regulations. Actual results could differ from those expressed or implied. Important factors that could make a difference to the Companys operations include economic conditions affecting demand-supply and price conditions in the domestic & overseas markets in which the Company operates, changes in the Government regulations, tax laws & other statutes & other incidental factors.