Investor Center MD's Message
MD's Message
VIPUL SHAH

CEO & Managing Director

Fiscal 2018 had its fair share of challenges in the form of continuing headwinds, particularly in the operating context. And yet, amidst these challenges, we can see encouraging signs of positivity and optimism.

The year saw the rollout of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Act.  This is by far the most important and impactful indirect taxes reforms in the last many decades, and creates for the first time, a unified market with one-nation, one-tax principle. Whilst there were initial issues in its implementation, by the end of the fiscal year, most of these were ironed out.  GST has immense long-term benefits as it brings unorganised sectors into the manifold organised stream, and unlocks the true potential of Indian entrepreneurship.

The Indian gems and jewellery business was adversely affected in the last quarter by an unfortunate development that made national headlines. In the aftermath of this, most banks started squeezing credit which affected the working capital management and regular operations. However, I would like to take this opportunity to emphasise the fact that by and large, the gems and jewellery industry operates on strong compliance and adherence to rules. A few outliers cannot and should never be representative of the entire industry.

Amidst this backdrop, the gems and jewellery industry performed well. While global demand for natural diamonds continues to grow at low-to-single digit, the economic growth in the US, improving consumer sentiments and investor confidence are indicative of better days. 

It was a good year for Indian gems and jewellery as exports of cut and polished diamonds - the largest segment of the gems and jewellery sector with 58% share,  surged to USD 23.7 billion compared to USD 22.8 billon in the previous year, as per Gems and Jewellery Promotion Council (GJEPC). Exports of gold jewellery for the year were USD 9.7 billion, registering an increase of over almost 11% over last year. 

For Asian Star, the year saw the Company deliver consistent performance against a challenging operational context. The Consolidated Turnover for the year was Rs. 3,905.03 crore compared to Rs. 3,493.86 crore last year, an increase of 11.8%. The high point of the year was the remarkable improvement in PAT, which rose to Rs. 109.12 crore against Rs. 66.13 crore in the previous year. This significant 65% rise was driven by a combination of better price realisations and outstanding operating efficiencies.

While these are indeed excellent numbers, at Asian Star, we have always emphasised on values. Since our inception and first steps, we have always been focussed on values, integrity and ethics.

From ethical sourcing to manufacturing, from lasting relationships with top mining companies to a steadfast client base, from strict fiscal prudence to legal compliances and from people policies to credit ratings, every step in the growth journey has been taken ensuring trust, faith and responsibility. It is this focus, that has made us among the Top 500 Companies in India. We are in the top ranking of Dun & Bradstreet as well as Fortune India with 227 and 391 rank, respectively. This year, we have renewed our rough supply contracts with top mining companies and have also become authorised manufacturers for the Forevermark diamonds by De Beers. 

As I look forward to an optimistic and exciting year, I would like to express my gratitude to all our stakeholders who continue to support us with their confidence and trust.