The emergence of a new world order seems palpable with geopolitical shifts in a bid to evaluate lucrative economic alternatives which shall define the coming decades for the global economy.
The pandemic followed by the ongoing war have both been emotional and economic dampeners that have divided the world and contributed to inflationary pressures and rising commodity prices. Imbibing a spirit of resilience, entrepreneurship and agility hence assume a critical role especially in India when the country is currently the fifth largest contributor to world market cap following US, China, Japan and Hong Kong.
In spite of the headwinds, India is well-poised for steady progress and is increasingly making rapid strides with numerous global names considering our nation as a worthy manufacturing contender as opposed to China. India’s recent entry in Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) along with 12 member nations has been a pivotal move pegged to boost our bilateral trade relationships and propel the region as an engine for global economic growth.
Focusing on Fundamentals
FY 21-22 closed on a high note for us with the group recording the highest EBITDA ever and highest Net Profit on a consolidated basis in the last 10 years. Our strategy to focus on the core and recalibrate the fundamental metrics of each business such as revenue, cost and working capital have reaped rich dividends for the Raymond Group. Sustaining our focus on cost optimisation and significant reduction in our operating costs by Rs. 453 Crores as compared to preCOVID levels of FY19 -20, was critical for our business. The profitability and working capital management have helped in generating free cash flows, thereby reducing our debts, drastically.
During the course of the year, there were key affirmative actions taken for our business that have laid a strong foundation in shaping a stronger tomorrow for Raymond.
New Dimensions of Retail
Retailing in the post-pandemic world has thrown open new avenues for consumers to interact and shop. While physical retail will continue to thrive in India, the digital world and social commerce is rapidly surging in India.
This is evident by the fact that our revenues from online marketplaces continue to grow steadily and we are currently deploying Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning capabilities to also create digital fronts for our consumers. Our Brick & Mortar stores are doing well with consumers returning back to the stores to shop for the latest styles in office wear or make a big ticket purchase for weddings. Interestingly, we have had a record number of weddings in the last quarter of FY21-22 wherein we witnessed significant increase in our Average Transaction Values.
Another new emerging opportunity is the ethnic wear space wherein we are making a rapid foray by opening up new stores for our brand Ethnix by Raymond. Our refreshing new take on ethnic wear crafted from the finest quality fabrics are gaining more popularity as we open new doors to take the brand to newer markets.
The consolidation of B2C business by transfer of apparel business from Raymond Apparel Ltd to the parent company Raymond Ltd, which will bring all major apparel brands including Park Avenue, Colorplus, Parx and Ethnix by Raymond into Raymond Ltd.
Primed for Growth
I believe that the contours of the world are altering with power centre making a gradual shift towards Asia. The upheaval caused by the pandemic has been baffling for many nations. However, India continues to allure with a promising talent pool, strong domestic economy, resilient supply chains and the spirit of Atmanirbharta while spreading its wings to achieve the global dream of being an ideal manufacturing destination. At Raymond, we achieved the preferred supplier status for many more of our global clients and it’s a testimony to the India story that holds the beacon for a brighter future. As we approach our centenary year in 2025, the upcoming years will be defining a century-long journey of Raymond that will be a momentous milestone and a telling tale of how a homegrown brand reinforces its relevance in all Indian hearts.