Dear Shareholders,

Greetings and thank you for your support during this part year.

India’s software industry continues to sustain its healthy growth during the year and so have we as a company. This growth is predicted to continue into the future and the immense of e-trade bolsters this upswing further.
This year just gone by has been a landmark year for your company, as it graduated into one that is publicly – held. The transition from being a privately-held company to one whose ownership is spread among the investing public marks the crossing of the threshold - a coming of age. Therefore it is especially gratifying that the initial public offering (IPO) was oversubscribed more than 20 times.

We asked for Rs.91.68 crore, but we got Rs.1,1885 crore. We wish we did not have to disappoint any of those who applied for the IPO to be a part of our growth! We would like to believe that so many applying to be a part of the future of Polaris is a vote of confidence in the ability and the prospects the company has.

The company now has critical mass and the processes that position it for strong growth in the longer term. Then, there is the redeeming factor of the presence of not only a large number, but also of well-skilled software engineers in this country – a happy coincidence of circumstances that come together to add to the strengthening of our intent by adding to it a treasure of resources.

As you may know, our canvas is the global one. We are therefore, girding ourselves to run against the formidable forces of global competition, and it is with this in mind that we are laying the anchor. This we are doing by expanding our overseas operations and also by striking intelligent, alliances with the select best. The strategic nature of these alliances will enable the company achieve exponential learning, not to speak of larger market access.

The proof of our work in the past has been continues revenue and profit growth, and we have not swerved from that road during 1999-2000 either. Here, as an example of how focused we are on addressing our market segments I would like to mention that we did not take on Year 2000 conversion projects, and despite that, have posted just as good growth in revenues.

Our revenues in 1999-2000 were Rs.160.28 crore and profits after tax were Rs.37.21 crore compared to Rs.60.54 crore and Rs.14.64 crore respectively in 1998-1999. A 164 per cent growth in revenue and 154 percent growth in net profit.

This is another body of evidence, as the oversubscriptions of our IPO was, that Polaris is not successful merely because it is in the right industry at the right time. We have said so in the past- that it is in the creation of value for our customers that results in the creation of wealth for our shareholders – and we are elated that our principle for being in business is justified by our financial growth and with a much larger number of shareholders.

At the same time Polarites have worked harder to increase the average revenue they bring to the company, enabling us ascend the value chain. While we have a nourishing workplace atmosphere and personal respect for each one of them, beginning with treating them as business associates and not merely as people who write code or bear responsibility for logistics or marketing, we intend to skill them further by having our own formal training institutions to imbue them with whatever it is that they must learn.

This is expression enough of the seriousness with which we review our responsibility and the clarity that accompanies it. And while we are at it, we believe that the larger society must also draw some degree of utility from our existence as a business organization.

Beginning with our fun@work programme which is about easing the routine of our associates; the Ullas Trust formed to encourage the economically disadvantaged in their education; The PoleStar awards to acknowledge excellence in journalism (about the computer industry as we believe that information technology is not just about running a software business but realizing that a profession that helps push the frontiers of understanding the industry we are in must not go unrecognized); to the Lakshya programme that encourages bottom-up thinking and the grooming of leaders through the institution of Konarks – all these read together with the growth of the company means that we know what we are doing and we are doing that well.

This is not to say there is no room to improve, rather, it is to bring our story to you in its entirety. All that I have stated here will reveal to you not just the heart of how we run the business you have to put your faith in, but our belief that the purpose of Polaris – while it is about creating value for our customers which in turn helps us grow – is also about doing good while we go about our daily business.

Thank You,
Arun Jain
Chairman and Managing Director

Place: Chennai
Date : 19.04.2000