Message to shareholders

The past 12 – 15 months have certainly been among the most challenging of times we as a human race have encountered in a long time. The pandemic, in some form or manner, has affected every one of us, directly or indirectly.

While there remains uncertainty in the context of a third or even a fourth wave, our commitment of reimagining a healthier future for our people, the communities we serve, and our planet has only strengthened.

Our priority to put people first is reflective of our culture and core values. Our multifold approach to alleviating the challenges faced by people across the nation was reflected in our contributions towards relief initiatives across the nation. Our response was swift, meaningful and looked to address the immediate and longer-term needs of our nation and its people—from providing 50 lakh plus meals, food rations and hygiene kits to adversely impacted families to working with different state governments by providing critical health infrastructure solutions in the form of oxygen cylinders, concentrators, ICU beds, and medical supplies.

While our people-first approach continued, our resilience was only heightened as we made sure we had business continuity across the entire supply chain, including our front-line operations.

Despite all the challenges around us, the resilience of our team was at its best as we made sure our operations delivered seamlessly across the entire supply chain.

I am pleased to share that your Company has emerged stronger, as reflected in the strong financial results we delivered. Net sales grew 7.2%, while NPAT grew 26.8% with EBITDA at 31.4%. We also delivered outstanding gross margins at 67.8%. I am pleased to announce our highest-ever dividend at `38 per share.

Beyond the strong financial performance, we continued our strategic focus on strengthening our brands, leading innovation, strengthening our go-to-market execution while giving back to the community, and building our capabilities as an organization.

We continued to strengthen the love our consumers have for the brand with our efforts around our brand purpose of ‘Everyone deserves a future they can smile about’. As a brand that champions optimism, we were able to bring our philosophy to life with real stories from across the country. Be it Sujit Chattopadhyay, a retired schoolteacher who opened the doors of his home to teach underprivileged students, or Deepika Mhatre who overcame her humble beginnings to become a stand-up comic, every one of these achievements inspires us further.

The trust and faith consumers put in our brand every single day is something we remain tremendously grateful about. We are truly humbled and honored to be India’s #1 most penetrated brand.

We were also pleased to become the official Smile Partner for 6 IPL teams reflecting the broad reach and presence of our brand, Colgate.

The year saw some truly category-defining innovation from us. In Oral Care, we launched Colgate Special Toothpaste for Diabetics, a clinically proven toothpaste that helps reduce gum problems for diabetics (who are unfortunately more prone to gum issues given their condition). We also launched Colgate Visible White Instant—with a unique formula that helps whiten your teeth from the very first brushing.

Our toothbrush portfolio saw some exciting additions. Beginning with the launch of our new Gentle line of brushes—a range of toothbrushes designed to deliver a gentle yet thorough clean. We also relaunched our flagship variant, Colgate Zig Zag, with new anti-bacterial bristles. Additionally, we also launched a series of new ‘natural’ brushes like Super Flexi Salt and Zig Zag Turmeric.

In our continued efforts to lead category development and oral health in our country, we also launched new categories like Colgate Vedshakti Mouth Protect Spray. This pocket-sized spray provides germ protection with are freshing minty saunf flavor. The Vedshakti franchise also saw the addition of Colgate Vedshakti Oil Pulling—an age-old Ayurvedic practice, coupled with Colgate’s oral health expertise to give you a truly healthy mouth.

To make brushing a lot more fun, we also launched Colgate Magik, the first augmented reality toothbrush that makes brushing not only a healthy but enjoyable experience, but also one that kids will look forward to.

Our Palmolive portfolio saw some exciting additions as well—from the launch of the new Charcoal and Mint Body Wash to arange of refill packs in our liquid hand wash business, making hygiene more affordable and broad reaching.

Our execution focus remained relentless as we continued to make sure our products and services were available to all our consumers when they needed them. Be it in e-commerce, where we continue to drive partnerships across different platforms to drive category penetration to initiatives like our Muskaan store program, which continues to amplify our rural distribution and coverage.

Our digital transformation agenda continues to bring new and unique approaches to serving our partners and consumers. Our Dentists for Me app, a first of its kind, was instrumental in making sure that consumers were able to reach out to dentists, even during the lockdown, so their oral health was never neglected.

We remain steadfast in our commitment to raising the bar on the sustainability front. Most recently, we launched the country’s first 100% recyclable toothpaste tube. Our factories around the country continue to lead renewable energy efforts. Recently, our facility in Sri City (Andhra Pradesh) won the 2020 US EPA’s ENERGY STAR challenge for its accomplishments in energy efficiency.

Water conservation remains a key priority for us. We continue to partner with NGOs like Seva Mandir and Water for People to provide availability of drinking water in states like Maharashtra, Bihar, West Bengal and Rajasthan.

This past year, we also launched a new initiative aimed at effecting behavioral change among people with our #EveryCupCounts initiative. A simple effort where every person can contribute towards water conservation every day, with the simple task of using just one cup of water to brush their teeth.

As I reflect on the past year, I would like to offer my profound thanks and appreciation to our employees and their families. Despite the personal challenges, each and every one of them remained unwavering in their commitment towards our Company and our mission of reimagining a healthier future for us all. My deepest appreciation and sincere gratitude.

I would also like to thank all our partners, distributors, our Board of Directors, and of course, you, our shareholders for your continued faith and support.

On behalf of the Colgate Family, I would like to extend our sincere gratitude to the ‘Corona Warriors’ especially doctors, paramedical personnel, government officials, and health and hygiene workers who continue to fight tirelessly to keep us safe and healthy.

Best wishes,

Ram Raghavan

Managing Director

Colgate-Palmolive (India) Limited

DIN: 08511606