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BW @Davos: Benoit Bazin On Saint-Gobain's Rs 55 Bn India Investment Plans

In conversation with Pranjal Sharma, Benoit Bazin, the chief executive officer of Saint-Gobain, talks about the company's massive investment plans over the next four years

Photo Credit :

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We have a plan to invest more than Rs 55 billion in the next 4 years in India. India is not only important for Saint-Gobain in India but also for South East Asia and the rest of the world, said Benoit Bazin. 

Edited Excerpts:

After being in India for so many years, how important is India to you for your growth in the next 5 years from the global perspective?

India is extremely important for Saint-Gobain, even the CFO of our company is from India. Not just five years, but almost after 10 years, we have a plan to go 1-2.5 billion in sales in 2030. India is among one of the ten countries in the world and we'll continue to even increase our share as per plan.

We have a plan to invest more than Rs 55 billion in the next 4 years in India. India is not only important for Saint-Gobain in India but also for South East Asia and the rest of the world.

Is construction for new houses/offices, renovation, and mobility the three segments you are focussing on within the Indian market?

Yes of course. Even "new-built" is more important in India than renovation. With light and sustainable construction, we are organised by country. Indian company is extremely powerful with all of its sovereignty. We've turned around completely the organisation of Saint-Gobain by country.

Do you think India can play a role in the new technologies you're building for St Gobain in the development centre?

Yes, it is possible as India can play a role as a manufacturing-based export. We have so much to do with domestic marketing. In the re-organisation of the geopolitics of the world, India will play a more important role. We have very strong talent in India. We are already exporting some ceramic out of India and also investing in various other materials. I think for us India can be very important to grow in South East Asia.

Are you looking for any innovation to be created in India?

I am very keen on solar technology in India as it is a very important source of energy. We have some technologies and very clear transparent diamond glass that could be helpful for solar panels. So India can be a critical country for solar energy. Now we are also investing in our sustainability agenda to make progress on reducing the carbon footprint for manufacturing in our latest plan in Vizag by using biomass.

What Have been your learning and achievements after years of doing business in India?

I think there has been an extremely positive story for Saint-Gobain. The talent pool in India is amazing in terms of education, engineers, and digital. The country has a lot of progress in infrastructure that used to be 10-15 years ago. India has become more of a business friendly investment destination.


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