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 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 market. It has a growing global presence with more than 170,000 employees. Globally, it operates in 66 countries, has 945 production sites, and files 400 new patents every year. It ranks #192 in the Fortune 500 Global list (2014) and has been consistently ranked in the top 100 innovative companies (Thomson Reuters) worldwide.
Saint-Gobain’s business can be categorized into three sectors: Innovative Materials, Construction Products, and Building Distribution. Each business is a leader in its respective field in the global market.
Sustainable habitat is at the core of Saint-Gobain’s strategy – from designing, manufacturing, and distributing building materials, which provide innovative solutions to the challenges of energy efficiency, to 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 Conference 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 with 20 manufacturing sites and more than 5000 employees across the country. 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 (Saint-Gobain Gyproc) and industrial mortars and tile adhesives (Saint-Gobain 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 its operations in 2000 with the commissioning of its first float glass plant. Since then, it has rapidly expanded, investing over Rs. 3500 crores and deepening its presence in the Indian flat glass market. Today, Saint-Gobain is considered a strong technology and market leader, shaping the industry with a wide range of advanced products and solutions and a unique pan-India manufacturing footprint with plants in Bhiwadi, Rajasthan (greenfield investment started in March 2014), Jhagadia, Gujarat (acquired in May 2011) and Sriperumbudur, Tamil Nadu (started in May 2000).
Saint-Gobain pioneered several product, marketing, manufacturing, application, and human resources innovations that helped bring about product differentiation, segmentation and knowledge / skill development in what was once considered 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 its inception in 2000, seen a succession of investments to the tune of more than Rs. 2000 crores. These investments have helped the facility grow into an integrated, international-quality, innovative manufacturing site that 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. ft. state-of-the-art eco-friendly mirror and lacquered line
- A 60 million sq. ft. 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 a 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 into one of the best and most integrated glass facilities 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 to not just the Indian sub-continent, but to the entire African, Middle-Eastern, 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 float glass plant: this will be the third float glass plant on this site, 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 global trends in mind, Saint-Gobain will invest 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 Africa, the Middle-East, ASEAN, and the 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.