ANNUAL REPORT 1999-2000
WIDIA (INDIA) LIMITED BANGALORE
Speech delivered by Mr. Autar Krishna, Chairman at the 36th Annual General
Meeting held at Bangalore on 13th June, 2001.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I thank you very much for your presence here today and it is with great
pleasure that I extend a warm welcome to you all.
OPERATIONS AND PROSPECTS
You already have the Annual Report of the Company with you, which would
have provided you with sufficient information about the Company`s working
for the year 2000. Last year in my speech. I mentioned that the recovery
was seen in the second half of the year 1999. Unfortunately, it was not
sustaining. The market became sluggish in the latter part of the year 2000.
The Company had to contend with this sluggish market and increased
competition. This challening environment has been tHe driving force for the
Company`s Management to bring in commensurate measures to counter the
situation. The Company looked into various operations very intensively to
deliver to customers more value added services.
The Company also trimmed most of the activities which did not add any value
to customers. The product range of the Company was widened to serve the
customers better. All in a e Company did maintain its leadership position
land achieve a good growth despite the unexpected development in the market
and increasing, competition.
On the Export front it is heartening that the Company could achieve a
growth of around 20%.What is more satisfying, has been the unravelling, of
the possibilities that exist in overseas market to perform even better with
our Quality products, particularly in developed economies. I would reckon
this as a very positive development for the Company in the context of
stagnant home market scenario. The Company`s round work to boost exports
would certainly give us very good results in the long term. It is hoped
that the domestic market situation would improve, for the Company to row in
line with its plan.
I am lad to inform the Members that our Company participated in the Indian
Machine Tool Exhibition - IMTEX 2001 held at New Delhi from 15th January,
2001 to 22 January, 2001 and bagged the following awards for is
a) CMTI-PMT award for best design of 5 Axes CNC Tool and Cutter Grinder
b) Certificate of Merit instituted by The Machinist magazine, for the
best and most innovative display in the entire exhibition.
c) FIE Foundation award for innovative and indigenously developed coated
carbide grades like TN2000.
Among the distinguished visitors to our stall were the then Union Defence
Minister Mr. George Fernandes, the Leader of the Opposition in Parliament
Mrs. Sonia Gandhi, high profile industrialists, important officials of the
Government and our valued Customers.
HUMAN RESOURCES MANAGEMENT AND INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS
If the measures of the Company to increase the value added services to the
customers were to succeed, the whole-hearted involvement and support of the
employees of the Company would be a pre-requisite. To achieve this
objective, various programmes have been put in place to ensure that
necessary inputs are given to employees to discharge their functions with
Industrial Relations have been cordial throughout the year. Various issues
involved with the employees have been discussed across the table and
solutions found amicably.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Dr. Michael Mueller, who retires by rotation has not sought re-election. He
has been associated with the Company since 1992. I would like to place on
record my deep appreciation for the valuable services rendered by Dr.
Mueller during his tenure as Director.
Mr. Jeffrey Barrett, presently the Chairman of the Managing Board. Widia
GmbH. Germany, is being appointed in place of Dr. Michael Mueller and a
resolution is being proposed in this regard at this Annual General Meeting.
Mr. R. Rajagopalan. our present Managing Director-Commercial would be
retiring and leaving the active services in the Company in,September this
year. He will continue as a Member of the Board. Mr. Rajagopalan joined the
Company in September, 1968 as Chief Accountant-cum-Secretary and became a
Member of the Board in June, 1984. He has devoted his entire energies
towards the development and betterment of the Company and the great finance
stability of the Company and the reputation it enjoys in the finance and
business world is largely due to his efforts. I shall like to place on
record my deep appreciation and the appreciation of all of us for the
contribution made by Mr. Rajagopalan towards our Company.
I acknowledge the valuable help and guidance the Company had from the
foreign Principals and thank them for that. I also acknowledge the untiring
efforts put in by my colleagues on the Board. I would like to thank our
employees at all levels for their unstinted support, which contributed to
the good performance of the Company. I would like to place on record my
appreciation for various strong measures brought out by the Management Team
of the Company under the leadership of Mr. Gerd Wagner, the Managing
Director 8 CEO to perform better and to retain the leadership position in
My thanks are due to the Company`s Bankers and Financial Institutions for
their timely help and support. I would sincerely thank the Central
Government and State Governments of both Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh for
their valuable assistance to the Company.
Last, but not the least, I would like to extend our thanks to the
Shareholders, Fixed Deposit holders and to our valued customers and
suppliers for the excellent support extended to the Company contributing to
the success and smooth functioning of the Company in a difficult year.