HBL Power System Management Discussions


THE HBL STORY l Most technical startups are based on the promoters prior work experience or a technical collaboration. In HBLs case it was neither. The promoter had not worked in any industry and there was no collaboration. His background in management of R&D led to his conviction that India has enough talent for developing appropriate technology for many products l The idea was to create a manufacturing business by investing on, and managing R&D in India, with the focus on engineering intensive products to sell, B2G and B2B. The first product chosen, in 1977 happened to be batteries for aircraft of the Indian Air Force.

Technology was then also developed for a number of types of specialized batteries for defense and industry; this work continues even today. But HBL never saw itself as only a " battery business" l After 2002, technology development was begun in the Industrial Electronics and Railway Signalling domains. Development of the "Kavach" Train Collision Avoidance System was begun in 2007 and demonstrated on the tracks on 27 October 2012.

Kavach became a commercial business only in 2022

BUSINESS MODEL & PORTFOLIO l The product range of HBL puzzles all those who become aware of it. However, this range is the result of a logical business model which was consistently applied. A single product is too big a risk. So, a portfolio was developed with related products (in both technology and market extensions) l Product market choice was, and is, based on these criteria: n Enter only Niche markets, which are (at that time) too small for big companies and too difficult for small companies n Avoid capital intensive products and B2C businesses. Search for Engineering Intensive businesses to invest n Technology should be the basis of sustained competitive advantage; avoid products where technology is easily available n Develop the technology needed, appropriate to the size of the Indian market, by R&D in-house n The goal is to be #1 or #2 in a market of reasonable size; or #3 in a large market. If this is not possible, do not enter, or exit l This business model has proved to be successful; HBLs market position in India is #1 or #2 in all its products, except telecom tower batteries where it initially was #2, then #1, and currently #3 l The business model is scalable; opportunities are constantly emerging, simply because India has a long way to go in industrial product manufacturing. In fact, HBLs business model should be easier to sustain profitable growth, than conventional business models, where competition will be difficult to cope with

FINANCIAL OVERVIEW l Much of the R&D cost has been expensed. This is one reason why the profitability has been low in the past, and why it will be higher in future. Physical infrastructure, human resources and infrastructure already in place to support rapid growth for the next three years l For the next few years, R&D expenditure would be lower than in the last ten years, and working capital needs would increase l Credit Rating by CARE Edge: Long Term A (Positive); Short Term A1 l All bank obligations have been met since inception without any rescheduling l Dividends have been paid for twenty years without a break. Policy is to increase dividend every year battery division is its primary BLs revenue earner and growth driver Hcontributing about 70% to the Companys topline. The Companys expertise in deploying diverse technologies to develop batteries suited for multiple applications differentiates it from others in the battery business.

While the lead-acid and Nickel Cadmium batteries (meant for stationary and rolling stock applications) are the major contributors to the divisions prominence, the Company also develops batteries using other niche technologies. The divisions batteries basket comprises a wide range of industrial batteries that cater to a wide array of user sectors, namely Telecom, UPS, Railways, Solar, Oil & Gas and Power sectors.

FY23 was a good year for the battery division as it recorded a 22% topline growth in revenue.

LEAD-ACID BATTERIES

HBL is one of the prominent suppliers of batteries to the telecom sector. In recent years adversities in the telecom segment and heightened competition have dulled the business space. HBL has judiciously chosen to participate in profitable opportunities arising in this space.

In FY23, the telecom business registered stellar growth driven by strong demand from the telecom sector due to 5G rollouts.

The Company also secured a large order from BSNL for use in their tower network after a considerable period of time. Moreover, demand from other private telecom companies remained strong. The strong demand from the telecom sector continues in the current year.

HBL received sizeable orders for the supply of 2V VRLA batteries for the Indian Army Data Center under the NFS project.

During the year, HBL also commenced supplies of 12V-VRLA batteries to small cell sites (low-powered cellular radio access nodes). The Company increased the sale volume of its 12V VRLA (UPS battery), which improved its share of business with UPS OEMs and doubled business through the channels. In addition, the Company executed large orders for the supply of 12V-VRLA batteries for Wi-Fi connectivity network as a part of the Bharat Net project. The untiring efforts of the entire team resulted in a very satisfying growth of about 22% in FY23.

NICKEL CADMIUM BATTERIES HBL witnessed the highest-ever Nickel Cadmium Pocket Plate (NCPP) sales in FY23, backed by higher demand, product preference, market penetration efforts and adequate supply-related resource deployment. The Company clocked a 30%+ growth in the domestic business. While it registered the highest revenue in the domestic market, the export business remained stable throughout the year. Despite volatile metal prices (Nickel and Lithium Hydroxide), HBL earned decent margins backed by scale, efforts to partially pass on the cost burden to the customers and efficiencies.

The Company witnessed strong demand from Oil & Gas and Railways (Indian Railway and Metro Rail) sectors - Oil & Gas pipeline projects, Indian Railways electrification efforts and Metro Rail projects. HBL bagged its single largest order for Ni-Cd batteries from IGGL (Indradhanush Gas Grid Limited) pipeline project in the Northeast, which is under execution. Additionally, it successfully converted lead acid battery demand to NCPP batteries in several Power sector and Metro Rail applications.

On the export front, HBL secured healthy orders to supply its Nickel Cadmium Fibre Plate (NCFP) batteries for railway applications for customers in the US and Canada.

HBL started the current year (FY24) with a good order book position which augurs higher business volumes in the domestic market and exports.

The Company is working to position its NCFP batteries as a reliable and cost-effective solution for rail rolling stock application. Additionally, HBL is putting in concerted efforts to position NCFP batteries as the preferred option in Indian Metros backed by performance referrals from outside India.

In the export market for NCPP batteries, HBL is working towards enhancing its share of business with various OEMs while expanding its reach and deepening its engagement with end users and EPC(s).

PURE LEAD THIN PLATE BATTERIES (PLT) The Companys PLT batteries gained considerable ground as the Company successfully positioned PLT batteries as the most suitable one for Data Centre applications aided by its high-rate discharge capability, attractive total cost of ownership, reliable performance & safety. It completed 84 MW of installations during the year. Recently, the Company concluded a rate contract with a large data center entity to supply PLT batteries over the next 30 months.

The Company worked closely with key consultants in the Data Center space for incorporating PLT batteries as the preferred source for power back-up. HBL added several new customers in the Data Center space, which has widened its opportunities.

HBL received the approvals from the Indian Army for the deployment of its PLT batteries in battle tanks and heavy trucks to address challenges faced in high-temperature and very low-temperature regions of the country. This was the highlight of the year. Also, Defence Research & Development Laboratory (DRDL) approved the Companys PLT batteries for application in Akash and other missile launchers as a reliable power backup.

Further, demand for HBLs PLT batteries for battle tank applications continued to grow in Middle East and South-East Asian countries.

MEDIUM-TERM OPPORTUNITIES

India opportunity: The Indian Lead acid battery is expected to register a CAGR of more than 9% during 2023-28. COVID-19 moderately impacted the market size in 2020, and currently, the market has reached pre-pandemic levels. The growing demand from telecommunication and data centres coupled with the increasing applications in industries such as railways are expected to drive business volumes during the forecast period. Meanwhile, alternate technologies, mainly lithium-ion, are expected to make in-roads into the market, and the progress will be gradual.

Alongside new chemistries, new advancements in lead-acid are expected to create increased opportunities for the lead-acid battery market.

Telecom: The rollout of the fifth-generation (5G) telecom service in India, which started in October 2022, has been the fastest in the world, with the rollout of 2.70 lakh 5G sites within nine months. The sector is expected to add another 4.5 Lakh towers to improve latency and quality of 5G coverage. Moreover, a 5G site consumes significantly more power than a 4G site, and hence connected battery capacity will be higher for a given backup requirement. As a result, replacement demand is expected to remain robust over the coming years.

UPS & Data Centres: The increasing adoption of cloud computing, the growth of big data, the rise of the Internet of Things (IoT), and the proliferation of smart mobile devices & 5G services have contributed to the increasing demand for data centres.

By 2025 Indias data centre capacity will have doubled to 1,700 -1,800 MW, as predicted by CRISIL. Over the long term, India is expected to augment additional data centre capacity of over 4,000 MW in the next five to six years. The domestic UPS battery market is very large and growing consistently.

HBLs current share is meagre, which offers a significant opportunity for the Company over the coming years. HBL will approach this business segment with calibrated investment around capacity and channel building. It aspires to be a reliable third player in this segment.

Railways: The ubiquitous Metro trains running along the landscape of Indian cities are steadily emerging as one of the best solutions for urban transportation. A "metro revolution" is happening in the country, with the number of cities having a transport network rising to twenty from five in 2014. And the number is rising even faster, with the Centre generously funding metro projects in metros and Tier 1 cities. Further, a revolution in the Indian Railways segment will be witnessed with the launch of ‘Vande Metro by the end of 2023, which will run over short distances, along with the Vande Bharat Express. The Government envisions providing comfortable, affordable and safe commute opportunities to all. The Railways have planned to fully electrify its network, opening an array of opportunities for NCPP & NCFP batteries.
Oil & Gas pipelines: India is among the top five developers of oil pipelines, which are under construction and proposed, according to an analysis by Global Energy Monitor, a non- profit that tracks energy projects. Their analysis highlighted that the country is constructing 1,630 km long oil transmission pipelines, ranking second globally in the pipelines under construction category. With 1,194 km long proposed pipelines, India secured the 10th spot in the global pecking order. Gas Pipeline infrastructure is an economical and safe mode of transporting natural gas from its source to the consuming markets. In India, about 22,335 km of natural gas pipeline is operational and close to 12,995 km of the gas pipeline is under construction as of December2022. The country aims to increase the pipeline coverage by

54% to 34,500 km by 2024-25 and to connect all the states with the trunk natural gas pipeline network by 2027.

Flue Gas Desulphurisation (FGD): The FGD technology eliminates sulphur dioxide from exhaust _ue gases of fossil-fuel power plants. UPS control. While India had initially set a deadline of 2017 for installing FGD units in all thermal power plants located near a million plus population, numerous challenges faced by power generating companies. It promises healthy demand for Ni-Cd batteries over the coming years.
The Ni-Cd battery is preferred in this system to provide backup power and the advent of new-age sophisticated automated WITH weapons, and electronic warfare where even mechanical devices are using electronic sensors, it is crucial for any defence establishment to invest in a reliable energy storage system. it was extended up to 2022 and further extended to 2025 owing to Over the years, the Company has made considerable headway in creating a vast array of specialised batteries for diverse critical applications such as submarines, torpedoes, battle tanks, missiles, fuses, _ghter aircraft, etc. In doing so, HBL is consistently making a defining contribution to Atmanirbhar Bharats defence capabilities. The Company deploys niche technologies and chemistries to manufacture batteries for diverse applications. It has compartmentalised its operations according to these technologies for efficient business management.
NICKEL CADMIUM SINTERED PLATE BATTERIES HBL has a long history of making specialised batteries. About three decades ago, it initiated its operations by developing aircraft batteries. Currently, HBLs specialised batteries find application in Military & Civil aircraft and helicopters and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs). The division caters to the requirement of the entire Indian Airforce covering various makes of aircraft and helicopters. In FY23, the Company made further inroads into establishing its capabilities with the Indian Defence agencies. It was awarded the Approval of the Firm and its Quality Management Systems certificate by the Ministry of Defence, Government of India, for supplies with self- inspection. This quality mark promises to open new vistas of growth. The Company also received the clearance certificate for its product induction in PILATUS, P8-I and V5 aircraft. It plans to commence commercial production of the batteries in the current year. During the year, the Company continued to export batteries to Bombardier for use in Global 7500 aircraft and to Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) for use in UAVs.
SILVER BATTERIES Silver batteries are primarily used by the Indian Navy. HBL is recognised and respected for its indigenous design and development capabilities, making its products extremely reliable despite unfavourable operating conditions. The Companys product portfolio comprises Primary and Secondary Silver Oxide Zinc batteries, and primary Silver Chloride Magnesium batteries for torpedoes and guided missiles. More recently, these batteries are gaining wider acceptance beyond the Indian Navy, which should generate steady growth in business volumes. The Companys performance in FY23 under this segment was muted as its defence customer deferred the ofitake of batteries for its torpedo applications. Notwithstanding this shortcoming, the Company enhanced its plate- making capacity with minimal investment. This strategic initiative will shorten the lead time, thereby supporting higher volumes. The Companys efforts in developing batteries for Light Weight and Heavy Weight torpedo applications moved closer to completion.
THERMAL BATTERIES These are lithium-based batteries that are used in explosive applications. These batteries provide the highest capacity per unit of volume with a substantial power density, making them suitable for a wide range of environments. SUBMARINE BATTERIES These are customised batteries for vital submarine applications. Over the years, HBL has designed and developed these batteries indigenously and invested in developing manufacturing capabilities for these highly specialised batteries. FY23 was a period of heightened activity as the Company received high demand from Government agencies. HBL successfully developed and delivered batteries for Indias strategic missile programs. Upon approval, these should lead to a steady uptick in business over the medium term. Having completed battery supplies for the Kilo Class and Scorpene (Kalvari) Class Indian submarines in the previous year, HBL achieved the type approval process for Type-II batteries meant for use in HDW German (Shishumar) class submarines securing manufacturing clearance. The Company sharpened its focus on lean initiatives; process automation and quality enhancement yielded the desired results. Further, the development of lithium- ion phosphate batteries for submarine application, as per technology shared by NSTL, is progressing satisfactorily. HBL is confident of completing the obligations under the development order by the end of March 2024.

MEDIUM TERM OPPORTUNITIES India has one of the largest armed forces and the 3rd largest defence budget in the world. Historically, India imported the majority of its defence needs from advanced nations.

Growing concerns about national security due to territorial disputes with neighbouring counties have necessitated the Government to further strengthen its defence capabilities thus bringing defence indigenisation into the limelight. The Governments clarion call for an ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat, especially in the defence sector, has provided the much-needed thrust to partner with the private sector to develop in-house capabilities.

Interestingly, the drive has transformed India from an importer of defence equipment to an exporter of defence capabilities. In FY23, defence exports reached an all-time high of approximately H16,000 crore, recording a 10-fold increase since 2016-17.

The Ministry of Defence has set an ambitious goal of reaching a turnover of H1.75 lakh crore in aerospace and defence manufacturing by 2025, which includes exports of H35,000 crore.

Funds worth US$ 72.2 billion (H5,93,537.64 crore), which is13.18% of the total defence budget, have been allocated to the Ministry of Defence (for FY24) to expand the R&D ecosystem and establish indigenous manufacturing infrastructure.

Aiming to ensure transparency, predictability, and ease of doing business in the domestic defence industry, the Government is creating a robust ecosystem and putting in place supportive policies.

The Ministry of Defence has made three comprehensive ‘Positive Indigenisation lists comprising 310 defence equipment to be manufactured domestically. To encourage R&D in Defence & Aerospace ecosystem, government schemes such as iDEX (Innovations for Defence Excellence) and DTIS (Defence Testing Infrastructure Scheme) have come into existence.

Torganisation, with the promise to enhance its business returns and organisational standing. The company patiently persevered for over a decade, and succeeded in developing electronic solutions for critical applications. Having received regulatory approvals for some of its electronic solutions, this segment is poised to emerge as an important business and profitability driver over the coming years.

This business segment is organized into two divisions, namely Railway Electronics and Electric Mobility, to ensure a focused effort to grow both segments.

RAILWAY SIGNALING ELECTRONICS

Indias extensive railway network is underutilised due to legacy signaling and safety solutions, which have outlived their useful life. Hence, even as the number of trains crisscrossing the Indian landmass increases, the operating ratio of Indian Railways is reported to be very low. Moreover, the number of accidents has increased considerably. Case in point: In 2022- 23, 48 train accidents were reported, including 36 derailments, six collisions, and four fire accidents. This marks a significant increase compared to the previous fiscal years 34 accidents. The need for contemporary solutions in signaling and train management has become the topmost priority for the Indian Railways.

Mindful of this pressing need, HBL developed electronic solutions for both issues. Its TCAS (Train Collision Avoidance System), called as Kavach by Indian Railways, addresses the safety issue, and TMS (Train Management System)is designed for efficient track utilisation.

TCAS: Having successfully deployed its TCAS solution in some sections of the massive Indian Railway network, TCAS is now being sought after by multiple zones of the Indian Railways. In FY23, the Company received a sizeable volume of orders for its TCAS solution.

HBL as the lead member of a consortium with Siemens, signed the first contract under the Governments Mission Raftar project with the Eastern Railway to deploy its TCAS solution over 260 km of track and 120 locomotives from Howrah to Pradhankhanta. As a lead member of the consortium with Shivakriti International, HBL also received two contracts from West Central Railway and Western Railway for deploying Kavach over 547 km and 96 km respectively. The WCR project also involves Installation of Kavach on 87 locomotives. Further, the Company has also received an order from Ashoka Buildcon for supplying Kavach systems for installation in East Central Railway over 417 km and 60 locomotives.

The Company also received an order from Integral Coach Factory to install TCAS solutions in the prestigious Vande Bharat train sets manufactured at their facilities.

These large orders will be completed in the next 18-24 months.

HBL has significantly revamped and expanded its electronics systems manufacturing capacity. The Company has adopted a Lean Manufacturing strategy in its manufacturing operations, including Electronics, to improve man-machine productivity. These efforts would go a long way in efficiently and profitably delivering its solutions within the committed time.

TMS: One of the bottle-necks in operation of trains on the Indian Railways network is congestion on the available track Infrastructure. Legacy systems for signaling and operations management are not able to keep pace with the need for running more trains. This, together with delays in running of trains, affects the countrys economic progress. Addressing this problem has become a compelling need for Indian Railways.

HBLs Train Management System (TMS), together with automatic signaling, addresses this problem squarely and facilitates better train management and seamless train movement.

A TMS is a central control centre, from where the operations of running trains in a large section of the railway network can be controlled centrally, avoiding delays in signaling. TMS, with its centralised traffic control capability and faster emergency response time, increases track capacity utilization. The Company had deployed this solution in the Eastern Dedicated Freight Corridor. TMS installation in the Sealdah Division of Eastern Railway is in progress and will be completed in the current year.

DEFENCE ELECTRONICS - ELECTRONIC FUZES FOR AMMUNITION l Electronic Fuzes are essential for reliability and safety. HBL is the only Indian supplier for the Electronic Fuzes, and can also supply to other firms making the rest of the grenades l Grenades fuzes made by HBL have been approved by the Ministry of Home Affairs for use by the paramilitary forces under a "Development cum Production Partner" contract with ARDE/ DRDO. Sales to MHA are expected to begin FY 24 and increase rapidly l Approval of the Army for their needs of Grenades is expected during FY 24 l HBL has facilities and licenses for handling explosive materials

INDUSTRIAL ELECTRONICS

The Company has developed Electric Drive Train (EDT) kits for retrofitting light commercial vehicles and passenger buses. HBL has secured approval from ICAT for one rating; the rest will be offered for testing by ICAT.

During the year, the Company conducted road trials of its EDT solution on a 7.5T truck. The trials demonstrated encouraging results with our solutions performance and energy efficiency. This reinforced the Companys belief that the solution is commercially viable without financial subsidy by the Government for commercial truck operators. The team continues to develop solutions for larger trucks.

MEDIUM-TERM OPPORTUNITIES As India scales its vision of Atmanirbhar Bharat, the Union Budget 2022-23 has earmarked funds for speedy implementation of the Kavach System on a 2,000 km track and sanctioned implementation on 34,000 track of Golden Diagonal & Golden Quadrilateral rail route, which will be accomplished by 2027-28.

In the Union Budget 2023-24, an allocation of H2.40 lakh crore has been provided to the railway sector for accelerating the growth of the Indian Railways by improving infrastructure and introducing high-speed trains, which would call for increased Kavach deployment. The Railway minister informed that tenders will soon be awarded to install the Kavach system across various railway zones in Jharkhand, West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Bihar, Haryana, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and Maharashtra.

HBL, its team is an invaluable OR resource that drives its zeal for Ftechnology innovation and accelerates its growth. Their spirit and passion for excellence is the critical differentiator behind the Companys success. The HBL team comprises of 1,700+members, a majority of whom are engineers specialised in diverse disciplines. The diverse team that brings in varied expertise, experiences and perspectives, enriching the organisation. Some common attributes of its members are deep knowledge base, expertise and diverse experience.

HBLs people development practices help strengthen the capabilities of our people to contribute to its growth. The Company believes in nurturing new talents, up-skilling its team and inculcating a culture of self-learning to allow them to broaden their professional horizon.

Besides being scientifically advanced and rich in technological developments the Company maintains a safe, healthy and friendly work environment that is conducive to mutual bonding and building team spirit that aids the personal growth of the team members which eventually reflects in their work.

b QUALITY MANAGEMENT

has been our forte. QEnsuring quality is critical for maintaining daily operations UALITY of industries such as defense, and railways, among others, that need reliable and uninterrupted power supply for long-term success. At HBL, we are passionate about quality and this passion has been crucial in establishing us as a forerunner in the industry. Our uncompromising quality practices in both battery solutions and services for every critical instrument in this industry that is being reinvented every now and then with the latest technological advancements has been essential for carving out a space for ourselves. Our reputation often precedes us.
Quality infrastructure: The Shamirpet campus, our central test facility, is probably the best proof of our commitment towards quality. Being the only NABL-accredited laboratory in India (as per ISO 17025) with the facility and capability of testing all the applicable tests of IEC 60623: 2017, IEC 62259: 2003, IEC 60896:2004 and IEC 61427:2013, we additionally test our products outside with our third- party partner agencies like Dekra India Limited and Intertek EU periodically.
Process approval: Several highly substantial global approvals including ISO 9001-2015, ISO14001-2015, ISO 45001-2018, and ISO 22163-2017 - IRIS- Rev 3 (Railway business) and AS 9100D (Aviation, Space and Defence Organisations) have been received by the business processes of the Company.
Global tools: Several globally acknowledged quality management tools like Quality Circles, 5S and Six Sigma is used by the Company. With training and active participation from our team members, these tools help the Company identify the problem areas in our quality management procedures and solve them directly on a regular basis. Our team members are consistently utilising these tools to locate and resolve problems in our quality management procedures. The Company further seeks the support of consultants to embed lean practices in all business segments.
Approval by global aviation giants: We are an FAA (Federal Aviation Administration), USA-approved supplier of onboard nickel-cadmium batteries for Boeing aircraft. We are also an approved OEM supplier of comparable batteries for the aircraft manufactured by IAI (Israel Aerospace Industries), and Bombardier.
Other stringent clients: Being an approved supplier to the Indian Defence establishment and Indian Railways, the quality protocols of our products are pretty strict. Data Center customers are also one of our key audiences where quality is of utmost importance. Delivering high quality products to these corporate giants, we are hopeful that all our segments will experience an uptick in orders in the near future.

c FINANCIAL RATIOS

IN accordance with the amendments notified in Regulation 17 of the SEBI (LODR) Regulations, 2015 on May 9, 2018, the details of significant changes (i.e. change of 25% or more as compared to the immediately previous financial year) in the key financial ratios as compared to the immediately previous financial year are reported hereunder:

Particulars March 31, 2023 March 31, 2022 Change Reason for change
Debtors turnover 4.28 4.20 1.79%
Inventory turnover 4.27 4.18 2.17%
Interest coverage ratio 21.07 15.77 33.61% Increased profitability and lower interest cost.
Current ratio 3.09 3.55 -12.93%
Debt equity ratio 0.09 0.07 22.60%
Operating profit margin (%) 8.40 8.22 2.19%
Net profit margin (%) 7.02 7.25 -3.12%
Return on net worth (%) 9.92 10.16 -2.27%

d INTERNAL CONTROL AND ITS ADEQUACY

Maintains a system of well-established practices and procedures for effective internal control of operations and hblother allied activities.

The internal audit function is strengthened, from time to time, in consultation with statutory auditors and the Audit Committee for monitoring compliances and operational aspects. The Company has appointed an independent agency as internal auditors. The prime objective of this audit is to test the adequacy and effectiveness of all internal control systems and suggest improvements.

The Company is diligent in adhering to various QMS standards and standard operating practices in its manufacturing and operating activities.

e HEALTH, SAFETY & ENVIRONMENT l HBL was conferred with the prestigious "Outstanding Contribution Award" for conserving Greenery in the unit of the Vishakhapatnam SEZ Authorities on the occasion of the 32nd ‘Zone Formation Day Celebrations l HBL was also nominated and issued an appreciation certificate for adopting best practices in environmental protection by the Telangana State Pollution Control Board on the eve of "75 Years of Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav"

Health: As a progressive and forward-thinking organisation, HBL prioritises the overall health of all its team members above everything else. To identify and resolve the health issues of all the team members, regular health check-ups are performed by a group of medical professionals.

Safety: Along with health, workplace safety is of paramount importance to the Company. HBL ensures that all team members work in a safe environment, irrespective of their position. We encourage the team members to adopt safe practices, use safety equipment, and participate in periodic safety drills. Case in point, we are already an ISO 45001:2008 certified company.

Environment: HBL prioritises sustainability and conservation in its business model. While we work to reduce our carbon footprint, we also support green initiatives through different community initiatives. Regarding our production processes, we dont think linearly but cyclically. As a manufacturing company and an environmentally conscious entity, we practice the well-regarded 3R approach – reduce, reuse, and recycle in all our facilities. All our production facilities have maintained a zero-liquid discharge status for the last two decades. HBL supports a_orestation in all the vacant lands surrounding the facilities. Moreover, the Company also encourages its vendors to adopt the Environment and Social Responsibility Code of Conduct.

f CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY

we identify ourselves as a socially conscious and socially accountable business venture, we always strive for all Astakeholders inclusive growth and development. This includes the people surrounding our operational units or Sthe general public at the regional and national levels. In short, we are committed to the overall upliftment of the communities that we belong to. However, the core thematic areas that remain the focus of our CSR philosophy are education, healthcare, sanitation, drinking water, and the communitys overall well-being.

Healthcare: Child health is foundational to adult health and well-being. When childrens health is nurtured and supported, it sets the stage for healthy adulthood. But children cannot achieve their optimal health alone. They depend on the adults in their families and the community to provide them with an environment where they can learn and grow successfully. We aim to make that dependence more secure. Align with this philosophy; HBL supports over 100 Anganwadi centres that work for children between the ages of 3-6. During the year, the Company continued to identify and develop Anganwadi centres. Thumkunta factory location, near Hyderabad has been focused among others, during the reporting year by providing necessary resources and utilities needed for training and education of the children. The Company also considering certain requests received from the villages for CSR support.

Education: Education broadens the mind of young children and prepares them to face lifes challenges with courage and optimism It helps instil values, knowledge, intelligence, and confidence. But not all children can benefit from education primarily because of their financial backgrounds, and it is more challenging for the young girl child. Because, in a financially weak situation worsened by patriarchal prejudices,a girl childs education is sacri_ced much more often than a boy.

HBL actively works in this sphere to remove those obstacles so that a girl from a less privileged background can go to school and continue her studies. The Company runs several scholarship programs to support the cause. The Company also supports and encourages girl students in their aim for higher education.

Moreover, the Company supports pre-primary and primary education by providing innovative learning aids, and digital education kits as reinforcements towards creating a happy learning environment for the children. The Company also organises competitions and annual day celebrations to showcase the talents of young children.

Sanitation: Sanitation is an essential element in environmental sustainability. To maintain a clean neighbourhood, the Company organises regular community sanitation programs involving local communities where concepts like cleanliness, hygiene, and sanitation are discussed and stressed, creating awareness both at an individual and a community level.

Well-being: HBL partners with prominent NGOs like Akshaya Patra Foundation, Anuraag, NICE (Needy Illiterate Children Education), and Jyothi Ashram (an orphan home) and works for the upliftment of underprivileged children and kids with special needs.