4. Market situations that tested our cement’s strength.
The year 2019 was a challenging year from demand perspective. Even as the Indian economy continued to struggle and the market analysts continued to look for answers, the weather played havoc with unusually high rains and storms, virtually stalling construction activity in large parts of the country.
The pollution levels in north reached a new high and National Green Tribunal banned construction activity in the National Capital Region, just when the weather seemed to ease out.
The GDP growth rate declined to 6.1% from the level of 7.2% in previous year. The Index of Industrial Production growth also slowed down to 3.6% from 4.4% as the secondary effects of RERA, Demonatization and GST kicked in.
Despite the headwinds, Ambuja’s sales volume de-grew by only 0.9% over the entire year with the last quarter registering a healthy growth of 6.6%.
Our product development team has worked extensively on understanding the market dynamics in terms of demand for and supply of certain types of products with specific features. This has helped us develop and launch products in segments and markets where we foresee significant growth potential over the coming years.
As part of our renewed approach towards optimal product-mix, we introduced ‘Ambuja Kawach’, which is a premium water-proof cement along with Dry Mortar segment products including Ready Mix Plaster, Wall Putty, Tile Adhesive and Seelan Seal.
These products will help us increase our consumer wallet share and scale it to 3x of current share and penetrate retail markets. With the aid of green-product launches in 2019, the Company has delivered greater value proposition to end-consumers. Our constant endeavor is to make available high-quality products meeting the requirements and demands of our partners and customer-base and these launches further consolidate our belief.
In addition to cementing the Company’s relationships with existing customers and partners through the retail channel by way of diverse offerings, these products have also enabled the retailers to expand their businesses.
The Company is transitioning from product-based offerings to application-based offerings – Ambuja Wall Solution. This entails bundling products for the same application area and creating a product basket, which can then be taken to the market and offered as a complete package.