French glass and building material major Saint-Gobain has chalked out an ambitious growth strategy for India, one of its high-growth markets, with a massive investment outlay of ₹6,000-8,000 crore. The company’s aim is to achieve a total revenue of ₹30,000 crore by 2030, an increase of 2.5 times from the current revenue.
During the first half of this calendar year, Indian operations of Saint-Gobain had the best record of growth. Globally, the Saint-Gobain group grew an impressive 15 per cent during H1 of 2022, but Indian operations grew 40 per cent.
“Between 2009 and now, Indian economy grew by 10 per cent. It came down during Covid, resumed to a normal level and now it is moving up. But, our turnover grew by 60 per cent as compared with 2019 figures. Thus, in H1 of this calendar year, we clocked an average rate of more than ₹12,000 crore per annum as compared with ₹7,500 crore in 2019. Notwithstanding the disruptions caused by Covid, we have grown massively during this period,” B Santhanam, CEO, Asia Pacific & India Region, Saint-Gobain told BusinessLine.
Solid employee engagement, continued investment in expansion and mergers and acquisitions for long-term growth and digital transformation have helped the company sustain strong growth, he added.
“We took care of our employees well during this pandemic phase of two plus years. Our employee engagement has been exceedingly high with an employee net promoter score of close to 65 points. It is a very high number compared to the average score of 35 points in India. Secondly, as the group sees India as a high-growth market, Saint-Gobain has been investing ahead of time and we stayed invested in new capacity and acquisitions. Between 2021 and 2025, we have planned investments in the range of ₹6,000–8,000 crore. A major portion of it will be capex spend for greenfield and brownfield expansions and a small part, about 15%, will be for mergers and acquisitions. Thirdly, like many good strong companies, we accelerated our digital journey during these challenging times,” stated Santhanam.
In its India revenue, glass and glass solutions (including automotive, architectural, solar and others) account for about 50 per cent, gypsum solutions and construction chemicals account for about 25 per cent, ceramics and refractories segment contribute about 10 per cent, abrasives account for 10 per cent and life sciences business contribute about 5 per cent.
Santhanam said while all its businesses were growing well, building material space would provide significant opportunities for growth and the company was aiming at leading in the light construction material segment in India.
“Steel, cement and concrete are heavy construction materials. But we want to be in all other light material space and we already offer a wide range. Clearly, the lightness of the building and the low carbon footprint of the building will come from Saint-Gobain materials, he added.
The life sciences business of the company has also been doing well as Saint-Gobain is an inherent part of manufacturers of vaccine and pharma products. “These companies use our FDA-approved components made at our Bengaluru facility,” he said.
With strong growth momentum across its business segments, Santhanam sees potential for the group to achieve its total India revenue target of ₹30,000 crore earlier than 2030.
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