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India’s growth picture is as clear as glass for Saint Gobain

Purva Marwaha - 15-févr.-2018 11:23:20
Saint Gobain, the French maker of plasterboard and glass, is betting big on the Indian market and is aiming to triple revenues in the next ten years to ₹20,000 crore, its chairman said. “India is one of the fastest growing countries for Saint Gobain. India is the number one country for us — even more than China,” Pierre-Andre De Chalendar , chairman of the Saint-Gobain Group, told ET in an interview recently. About €130 million, or 10% of Saint Gobain’s investment capex, find their way into India that contributes only 2% of its sales. The share of India in total manufacturing is around 4%, he added. The last three years have seen the French company plough back all the profits it made in India to grow its business here. Chalendar is encouraged by the proactive reforms undertaken by the Indian government. “There has been a progressive reduction in bureaucracy. The tax reforms of last summer have been good. So, I am positive about the economic climate in India. It’s improving and I am confident that it will continue to improve.” Saint Gobain was set up in France in 1665, and made glass for the French King Louis XIV. It is present in India through three entities. “…at the moment in terms of growth capex, India is the number one country for us, even more than China,” Chalendar said.   Recommended By Colombia The company has grown by 19% since 1996 when it started operations in India through its listed company Grindwell Norton BSE 0.78 % (GNO). Over the years, capital expenditure for growth in the country has been the highest in all the countries that it has businesses in, amounting to around $100 million in the last few years. “Most of our investments in India have been funded by our existing company in India. It is a sign of the strength of our Indian business. So, we plough back all our profits in India. We haven’t sent money out of India for the last few years now. The cash that we generate, we invest back,” Chalendar added. In India, its biggest investment is in the glass business. It is the market leader in making glass for buildings, automotive windshields etc, and value-added glass like coated glass. The other business is gypsum plasterboard which is in the materials space and abrasives, refractories, high-performance plastics etc. “It is a sign of the strength of our Indian business,” Anand Mahajan, chairman of Saint Gobain Group in India, told ET in the same interview. Mahajan has been steering the group since its inception in India and leads a wholly Indian team in a French company, a fact that Chalendar takes pride in while talking about the glassmaker’s key successes in India. What gives Chalendar the confidence to bet on India is the rising demand that the company is seeing from its glassmaking segment. It makes flat glass that is used as windshields in automobiles and in buildings, where demand for green alternatives is pushing the sales up for its coated glass.        Source:  Economic Times,  http://bit.ly/2o1vtoj
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Sophie Clavelier, Country Head   Welcome to the French Trade Commission Business France in India!     Our key mission is to promote trade relations between France and India. We assist French- based companies seeking potential partners and new markets in India, while helping Indian businesses to identify potential French suppliers, commercial and technical partners.   In India, our 4 offices are located in business hubs, New Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru and Chennai. We have a dedicated multicultural team of 38 experts in the following growing sectors: Agrofood Industry Industry and Cleantech Lifestyle and Healthcare Tech & Services Our Trade Commission also has a Press office in charge of helping French companies to communicate in India as well as a Market Access Department enabling them to better understand and adjust to the Indian regulatory and fiscal framework. In

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