"On the other hand," he continued, "the so-called troubled markets like Europe are where Apollo has enjoyed its best profitability for the last few years. The United States is in a phase of resurgence, with growth coming back after the last few years of fiscal corrections."
Referring specifically to the U.S., Mr. Kanwar called the expanding shale oil and gas exploration industry a "huge boon" to U.S. manufacturing, which should help drive strong economic growth. The recent spate of tire company investments in U.S. manufacturing is testament to the economic potential.
"To quote only one example, even 1-percent growth in the U.S. tire market calls for the addition of a new manufacturing plant every year to meet the increased demands," he noted.
Addressing shareholders's concerns about Apollo's direction, Mr. Kanwar said:
"Challenges will keep coming our way, but I want to assure you that we have the skills, the knowledge, the attitudes and above all the resolve to take on any challenge and overcome it.
"Commodity prices will fluctuate, as will demand. However, the initiatives that we have been putting in place will ride out these short-term issues. We have invested in brands, in technologies and in markets to ensure that Apollo becomes stronger by the day, and able to take on bigger and bigger challenges."
Mr. Kanwar opened his presentation at the general meeting with a quote from American entrepreneur and motivational speaker Jim Rohn—"If you are not willing to risk the usual, you will have to settle for the ordinary" —and told shareholders Apollo "has always lived by this maxim.
"We have always strived to create new paths, and once these paths become widely trod upon we set out on newer ones yet again."