Growth highlighted in Jindal’s speech to JSW shareholders

JSW’s chairman Sajjan Jindal gave an impassioned speech to shareholders at the company’s recent 25th annual general meeting in Mumbai in which he highlighted growth, increasing capacity and corporate social responsibility.

He told shareholders that their association with the company had been long-lasting and beneficial and described a sustainable and value-creating growth story that started with one plant and a steelmaking capacity of just 1.6Mt/yr in 2002, but is now 18Mt/yr from 10 plants, including one in Europe. 

Over 16 years, JSW experienced a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 15%, a figure almost double that of India’s total installed steelmaking capacity of 8% over the same period.

“Our revenues have grown 26% and EBITDA has grown at 28% respectively over the same period,” he said. “Over these years [2002-2018] we have forayed internationally to leverage upon synergies with our domestic operations as well as capitalise on certain select market opportunities.”

Mr Jindal praised the optimism of JSW’s shareholders, claiming they have proved ‘time after time, year after year’ that the company is ‘each one of yours and we shall stand stronger together’.

While India has embarked upon a journey to become a US$10 trillion economy by 2030, Jindal said that JSW’s value-creating journey had just begun. He said that the company was looking to increase its domestic capacity in India to 45Mt by 2030 ‘with a global capacity footprint of 10Mt over the same period.

During the financial year 2018-19 JSW’s capacity utilisation stood at an all-time high of 93%, driven by improved utilisation levels at the company’s Vijayanager and Salem plants. A capacity upgrading at the former will increase capacity from 12Mt/yr to 13Mt/yr while an expansion project in Dolviwhich (currently underway) will double capacity from 5Mt/yr to 10Mt/yr. On completion of these upgrades, JSW’s steelmaking capacity will soar from 18Mt/yr to 24Mt/yr.

Jindal highlighted JSW’s CSR initiatives, which, he said, ‘go way beyond compliance’. He said that ‘inclusive growth’ was at the company’s core and that an outreach programme had positively impacted the lives and livelihoods of over 1.5 million people. He mentioned the hospital at Vijayanagar that was playing a crucial role in ensuring a healthy community and the mangrove plantations in Dolvi that had helped to regain the lost ecological balance of the area.

JSW, said Jindal, strives to reduce water and energy usage. “The Vijayanager works is poised for even higher operational efficiency in FY2020,” he said, citing the installation of the world’s longest conveyor pipe to ensure zero spillages while transporting raw materials. The 24km pipeline will also lower the company’s carbon footprint by eliminating the use of diesel trucks.

For Jindal there were five important C-words: confidence, courage, commitment and collaboration.