Harsh Gupta: Every company has the responsibility to remain profitable in order to grow

As per a representation by a printer body, there’s a 25% hike in the cost of input materials. Since January 2018, the cost of US dollar has risen to Rs 68.

In conversation with Harsh Gupta, director, HB Fuller, we find out what print desires under the rising dollar

23 Jun 2018 | By Noel D'Cunha

Harsh Gupta, HB Fuller

You represent a business which is dependent on crude oil volatility and the currency price fluctuation. Will the dynamics be altered in the short-term? 
Crude oil volatility, though a leading indicator, is not the single most important factor to determine pricing strategy. As an industry dependent upon global trade, the most important impact comes from global supply and demand circumstances, which in the last year, have also been affected by various force majeure actions across the world.

We do foresee raw materials getting dearer, and currency situation to get more volatile, which is bound to have an impact on short-term dynamics.

Do you think your company (and the industry) absorb this price increase? 
Companies are accountable towards their shareholders, employees, and the market. Every company has the responsibility to remain profitable in order to grow and sustain increasing investments for the sake of the market, community, and society.

No company, including ours, can absorb steadily increased costs or sustained currency fluctuation and remain sustainable for future investments. To maintain balance in the market, every product’s price must reflect its value, which includes a company’s cost to produce and ship.

Will this 25% industry-wide raw material inflation temper your company’s outlook for this year? What is the percentage you are looking at? 
As a publicly traded company, we do not provide guidance on our outlook.

From an export point of view, a strong dollar will boost turnover. Your comments? 
Since almost all our raw materials are imported, any benefits arising from a strong dollar get offset. So, we do not consider this factor in our go-to-market strategy.

When the top-level delegation met the GoI representatives, they were asked what is the revenue the print and packaging industry contributes to the Exchequer? Can you hazard a guess?
We are a supplier of adhesives to this industry, and therefore, we neither develop nor report on its revenue.