“The Customer is King”. Nowhere else has this statement been truer than in the case of Saint-Gobain. Started in 1665, Saint-Gobain’s first customer was Louis XIV, the King of France. And his order? To make glass for the Hall of Mirrors in the Palace at Versailles. Over the next three centuries, through constant innovation in manufacturing technology and introduction of new products, Saint-Gobain has made glass a household item; a building material of choice that, besides satisfying the functional needs, brings immense aesthetic pleasure both to the King and the common man. Since 1665, Saint-Gobain has been synonymous with the future of glass.
Today, Saint-Gobain, headquartered in Paris (2014 sales of 38 billion Euros) is a world leader in the Habitat and Construction markets. It operates in 66 countries, has 945 production sites, with over 170,000 employees and files 400 new patents every year. It is 192 in the Fortune 500 Global list (2014) and has been consistently ranked in the top 100 innovative companies (Thomson Reuters) worldwide.
Saint-Gobain has organized its businesses into three sectors – Innovative Materials, Construction Products, and Building Distribution. Each Business Sector has a strong leadership position in the global market in its area of operation.
Sustainable Habitat is at the core of Saint-Gobain’s strategy – designing, manufacturing and distributing building materials which provide innovative solutions to the challenges of energy efficiency, environmental protection and enhanced comfort for daily living and working. Saint-Gobain is a signatory to the United Nations Global Compact 2003. Saint-Gobain has also shown its commitment to advocacy of sustainability by promoting the Care 4 program as well as the Green Building movements across the globe. Saint-Gobain played an important role in the Paris Climate change talks of 2015 (COP 21) and made a firm commitment to combat climate change by signing the Climate Pledge.
Saint-Gobain in India
Saint-Gobain entered India in 1996, and has achieved strong and profitable growth since then. Today, it is a leader in all its major businesses, has 20 manufacturing sites and more than 5000 employees in India. In 2015, Saint-Gobain registered sales of over Rs.5000 crores. For Saint-Gobain, India and the region present huge opportunities for growth.
Two large entities, Grindwell Norton Limited (GNO), a publicly traded company, and Saint-Gobain India Pvt Ltd (SGI) house Saint-Gobain’s businesses in India, which include: Glass for Architectural, Automotive and Solar applications, Abrasives, Ceramics (including, Silicon Carbide, High Performance and Fused Refractories), Performance Plastics, Crystals, Gypsum Plasterboard and Plasters (Gyproc) and Industrial mortars and tile adhesives (Weber).
Saint-Gobain Glass in India
Saint-Gobain’s Glass business in India, manufactures a wide variety of flat glass products and solutions. It started operations in the year 2000 with the commissioning of its first float glass plant. Since then it has rapidly expanded, invested over Rs 3500 crores and deepened its presence in the Indian Flat Glass Market. Today Saint-Gobain is considered as a strong Technology and Market Leader shaping the industry with wide range of advanced products and solutions with a unique pan-India manufacturing footprint with plants in Bhiwadi, Rajasthan (greenfield investment started in March 2014), Jhagadia, Gujarat (acquisition in May 2011) & Sriperumbudur, Tamil Nadu (started in May 2000).
Saint-Gobain pioneered several Product, Marketing, Manufacturing, Application and Human Resources Innovations that helped in the emergence of product differentiation, segmentation and knowledge / skill development in what was seen as a commodity industry.
The World Glass Complex, Sriperumbudur, Chennai
Saint-Gobain’s glass manufacturing facilities in South India are housed in the World Glass complex at Sriperumbudur, near Chennai. The World Glass Complex has, since inception in the year 2000, seen a succession of investments totaling to over Rs 2000 crores. These investments have helped the facility grow into an integrated, international-quality, innovative manufacturing site which produces end-to-end glass solutions for customers in architectural and automotive segments in India and export markets.
Currently the World Glass Complex houses the following facilities –
Two float glass plants with a cumulative capacity of 1500 tons.
Automotive processing lines for 1.2 Million car sets.
A 50 million Sq Feet State-of-the-art eco-friendly Mirror and Lacquered Line.
A 60 million Sq Feet Magnetron Coater line for High Selective, Energy Efficient Glass
State of the art Glass solutions facility for safety and security needs.
Over the last decade, backed by strong and consistent Tamil Nadu Government, focused bureaucracy that met all the MoU commitments and the excellent human resources of Tamil Nadu, the World Glass Complex has evolved to be amongst the best and most integrated glass facilities anywhere in the world.
New Investments in the World Glass Complex, Sriperumbudur
In line with the Prime Minister’s call for Make in India (Saint-Gobain Glass makes in India more that 95% of what it sells in India) combined with the opportunities for sustainable glass solutions in the overseas market, Saint-Gobain has dedicated the World Glass Complex not just to the Indian sub-continent, but to the entire Africa, Middle-East and ASEAN markets.
To meet the growing demand of these markets, Saint-Gobain is expanding the World Glass Complex with an additional investment of Rs. 1000 Crores over the next two years taking the cumulative investment in Sriperumbudur to over Rs. 3000 Crores. These investments will add significant manufacturing capacity and capabilities to the World Glass Complex –
A new floatglass plant: the third floatglass plant on this site which will be the largest in India and the Region, and will be equipped to manufacture a wide range of complex products that cater to the needs of sustainable habitat and affordable luxury. It will be an automated, energy efficient, scalable and flexible, state-of-the-art integrated glass facility. The plant will feature several innovative processes that are being deployed for the first time in India and the Region. In line with Saint-Gobain’s commitment to sustainable development, the facility will incorporate several innovations contributing to sustainability and will be a benchmark for green manufacturing practices
A new magnetron coater plant: keeping in mind the global trends, Saint-Gobain will be investing in a second magnetron coater facility. With this, the World Glass Complex will have the capacity to manufacture 144 million sq ft of High-Performance, High-Selective, Energy-Efficient Glass catering to entire Africa, Middle-East, ASEAN, Oceania region. It will accelerate Saint-Gobain’s vision to develop the World Glass Complex at Sriperumbudur as a regional resource for catering to the needs of international clients.
These investments will accelerate Saint-Gobain’s momentum in realizing its Vision of being the Clear Choice for Glass Solutions in India and the region.
Mr. Anand Y Mahajan
General Delegate, South Asia
Chairman – Saint-Gobain India Pvt Ltd
Mr. B Santhanam
President & MD – Flat Glass (South Asia, Malaysia & Egypt)