Leadership Messages

Chairman's Letter

Our purpose statement stands both timeless and fresh against the backdrop of our extensive history.

Dear Shareholders,

The foundation of our group rests upon a philosophy of trusteeship, which imagines corporations as institutions that drive collective prosperity. This philosophy has played an integral role in shaping our actions for generations, guiding us in our quest to enrich lives. Over the years, this purpose, though unstated, has been our unwavering anchor.

In FY 2022-23, we formally put to words our group’s purpose statement. At its heart is the commitment to enrich lives by building dynamic and responsible businesses and institutions that inspire trust. Every day, we strive to honour this commitment through our brands, products, services, solutions, actions, relationships, and institutions.

Our purpose statement stands both timeless and fresh against the backdrop of our extensive history. In a world of increasing opportunity, and also accelerating uncertainty, our purpose statement is meant to act as a talisman and remain at the core of our business decisions.

India’s economic narrative paints a much brighter picture. With a government-led push to infrastructure investments and pragmatic policies such as the production-linked incentives scheme, private capex has seen a surge.

Our purpose offers us a unique lens with which to view the world, to bring perspective to it, and to thrive in it. Guided by this unique perspective, we navigate the evolving global landscape with resilience and foresight. As we turn our attention to the current state of the global economy, it is evident that we are charting a course through a ‘new normal’.

Global Economy: Finding a New Normal.

The global economy continues to pull itself out of the pandemic-triggered shock. It does so amid a complex environment marked by the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, geo-economic fragmentation, soaring interest rates, and looming risks of a banking contagion. Reflecting these concerns, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) expects global economic growth to dip from 3.4% in CY22 to 2.8% in CY23. Developed countries are predicted to experience a more pronounced deceleration, their aggregate growth stumbling to just 1.3% in CY23 - the slowest pace in a decade, excluding the pandemic-impacted CY20.

On the brighter side, China’s economy marches towards normalisation following the lifting of its Covid-related restrictions. Both China and India are set to significantly contribute to global economic growth in CY23, providing a much-needed stimulus as developed economies grapple with challenges.

Meanwhile, global supply chain pressures have largely normalised, helping ease commodity prices and peak inflation levels in most economies. Central banks, led by the US Federal Reserve, appear to be nearing the end of their rate-hiking phase, signaling cautious optimism for the global economy and financial markets. However, vigilance remains crucial in the face of potential risk events in this fragile environment.

India: The Shining Star

India’s economic narrative paints a much brighter picture. With a government-led push to infrastructure investments and pragmatic policies such as the production-linked incentives scheme, private capex has seen a surge. This rise triggers a multi-year boom, providing valuable support to economic growth in the face of softening global demand.

A decadal reshaping of supply chains is underway. As global corporations start to look at countries across Asia as part of their China + 1 strategies, India is well positioned to benefit. Supported by the dynamism of its tech-based ‘new economy’ enterprises and the expanding digitisation across sectors, India’s growth momentum continues to strengthen.

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) projects India’s economy to grow at 6.5% in FY 2023-24, demonstrating the nation’s resilience amidst subdued global economic conditions. Inflation seems to have peaked globally and in India. Easing inflation, robust foreign exchange reserves, and improving bank assets’ quality provide a sizable cushion against potential destabilising events in global markets.

A key component of the rise of any industrial ecosystem is the presence of a confident and skilled workforce. This year, India surpassed China in population, and already has the largest and youngest working age population globally. The lessons learnt from the transformations of other economies through the last few decades point to the importance of this demographic dividend.

In the grand theatre of global economic evolution, India stands not as a mere spectator, but as a charismatic lead.

Aditya Birla Group in Perspective

As India takes center stage in this grand narrative, the Aditya Birla Group finds itself in a unique position to contribute to this monumental journey. Our enduring success amidst global uncertainties stems from our unyielding commitment to purpose, anchored in principles that are much more than just words.

And therefore, the articulation of purpose was just the first step. We cultivated a deep understanding of our Purpose across the depth and breadth of the Group, including the last mile. To transform Purpose from a concept to an embodied experience, approximately 1000 of our senior leaders and managers took the initiative to receive training and facilitate introspective dialogues on Purpose. This facilitated their teams to internalise, personalise, and actualise our Purpose in a manner that was both unique and authentically representative of their roles within our dynamic group.

Driven by purpose, the fiscal year 2022-23 stands testament to the breadth and scope of entrepreneurial ventures we have embarked upon. We are exploring uncharted territories, backing our conviction with capital and talent. Our robust platform serves as a launch pad for new initiatives, allowing us to tap into opportunities across traditional and sunrise sectors.

This year, we’ve emphasised the implementation of our 3-year HR Strategy, guided by our Purpose Principles. This approach has enabled us to build enduring bonds with our stakeholders, including key employee segments, like early professionals, and attract high-quality talent across traditional and digital businesses.

As we continue to expand, our employer brand has empowered us to attract over 11,000 employees in FY 2022-23 - a diverse pool of new skills and capabilities. Furthermore, our commitment to diversity is evident in the increasing representation of women in our workforce. Culture champions have been instrumental in fostering an inclusive and collaborative environment where every employee feels heard, valued, and respected.

Amidst shifting market dynamics, Learning and Leadership Development continues to be a key pillar, helping us equip over 35,000 employees with the skills necessary to drive business outcomes. Over 400 senior leaders, encompassing CEOs, CXOs, and Unit heads, have bolstered their capabilities in fields such as geopolitical analysis, interpretation of complex megatrends, inspirational leadership, and agile leadership methodologies. Our adaptability was made apparent in our diverse learning approaches, both in terms of design and implementation. Beyond the traditional classroom environment, we provided learning in various accessible forms - including bite-sized modules, self-paced curricula, and certification courses - thereby benefiting 87% of our management cadre employees.

With two-thirds of our workforce under 35, our attention is concentrated on equipping early career employees to fulfill their evolving aspirations and needs. Through a unique program titled ‘CareerAbility’, these employees have engaged in a series of self-guided learning bytes, self-assessments, psychometric evaluations, and leadership-led career guidance sessions. This diverse range of resources has been utilised more than 40,000 times.

Our commitment to the identification and cultivation of talent has remained resolute. We have recognised over 900 pivotal roles within our Group for which a robust succession pipeline is firmly in place. An avant-garde journey of learning is presently being undertaken to equip our future C-suite leaders, encompassing roles such as CFOs, CMOs, CIOs, and CHROs, with the skills and insights required for leadership in a rapidly evolving business landscape. This focus has significantly enhanced our internal versus external hiring ratio for leadership positions.

This shift is facilitated by our integrated approach to talent identification, development, and internal mobility. Over the past three years, we have seen 14% of our employees and 27% of our talent pool members transition into new roles, bringing our vision of ‘A World of Opportunities’ to life and fostering enduring bonds within our organisation. This represents our steadfast commitment to talent growth and mobility, crucial for building a resilient and adaptive organisation.

Your Company’s Performance: A Pursuit of Enduring Excellence

CTIL’s enduring legacy, stretching over 125-years, stands as a testament to our unwavering pursuit of excellence and dynamic reinvention. Throughout this journey, we have seamlessly adapted to shifting business dynamics and embraced the sparks of innovation. Our operational and process strategies spanning across diverse sectors—such as real estate, pulp and paper, and textiles— are designed to harmonise economic growth with our environment, social, and governance (ESG) commitments.

Anchored in the robust foundation of ESG principles, your company witnessed a robust performance in FY 2022-23. On a consolidated basis, revenue was up 16% year-on-year at ₹ 4827.17 Crores, while EBIDTA jumped 38% over the previous year to ₹ 687 Crores. Your Company reported a profit after tax of ₹ 264.55 Crores for FY 2022-23.

In our Real Estate division, we have built a total area of 1,63,438 square meters, launching innovative projects that interweave customer-centricity with environmental sustainability. Birla Estates achieved sales of almost 1.2 million sq. ft. worth ₹ 2183 Crores in FY 2022-23. Our flagship project, Birla Niyaara in Mumbai, has received an overwhelming response with sales of ₹ 2360 Crores booking value till FY 2022-23. This 14-acre integrated development in Worli, South Mumbai’s sought-after neighbourhood, has sold over 340 units till FY 2022-23, making it one of the most successful launches in Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) in recent times.

Our Pulp & Paper division capitalised on our production capacity of 4,55,225 tons at an impressive rate of 95%. Our Textiles division also mirrored this success, with a capacity utilisation rate of 90%, producing 33,709,000 meters of fabric and bedsheets. Our commitment to sustainable sourcing is illustrated by the fact that 96% of our pulp & paper sourcing aligns with sustainability standards.

Our focus on environmental performance is unwavering. We’ve made considerable strides in curtailing our emissions, with a 7% year-on-year reduction in Scope 1 emissions, and renewable sources constituting 40% of our total energy consumption. We observed a 6% reduction in water usage.

Our endeavor to encourage sustainable value creation transcends the boundaries of our organisation to leave a positive impact on the lives of the customers we serve. Our real estate segment offers sustainable infrastructural solutions and designs that harmonise environmental consciousness with architectural excellence. By integrating sustainability into our architecture, we aim to build a greener and more sustainable future.

Your company earned recognition within the pulp and paper industry through its growth strategies that embrace advanced technologies, minimise environmental footprint, adopt sustainable forestry practices, engage in responsible sourcing, and promote waste reduction initiatives.

Our textile offerings adeptly cater to the evolving tastes of the younger generation by providing sustainable fashion alternatives, thus championing a more responsible approach within the fashion industry.

CTIL remains steadfast in its commitment to lead with purpose and grow with responsibility. We will continue to leverage our intellectual capital, embrace sustainable practices, and prioritise the well-being of our employees, customers, and communities. We extend our deep appreciation to all our stakeholders for their unwavering support and trust in CTIL.

I hold the conviction that our Purpose broadens our perspective, enabling us to pursue even greater horizons. It serves as the bedrock that propels us towards the future, emboldening us to venture into more significant commitments and pursuits.

As we grow, we expand our capacity to receive. We enhance our absorption of talent, technology, and capital. Indeed, with each stride in growth, we deftly weave in more threads of insights and capabilities, enriching the tapestry of our collective endeavour. This, in turn, enables us to increase our ability to give back, create impact, and enrich lives. This virtuous cycle is at the heart of being a successful purpose-driven organisation.

Your company doesn’t just pride itself on being a purpose-driven entity— it embodies it, living out this ethos in every endeavour, every relationship, and every venture. This commitment to purpose is what continues to steer us towards an even brighter, more impactful future.

Kumar Mangalam Birla,
Century Textiles and Industries Limited