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Sanjay Labroo: Mirroring Success

From manufacturing glass for one customer only, AIS has grown into a complete solutions provider in the whole glass value-chain

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Established in the year 1984, Asahi India Glass (AIS) is one of the largest glass companies in India, particularly popular for automobile glass. In fact, its owns a massive 77 per cent share in the Indian automobile glass market. The company was set up as joint venture between the Labroo family, Asahi Glass Co. (AGC), Japan and Maruti Suzuki India (MSIL), as a manufacturer of automotive tempered glass for supply to only MSIL.

Today, the company has grown into a complete solutions provider in the entire glass value-chain. Says AIS managing director and CEO Sanjay Labroo, in the Asahi 32nd Annual Report 2016-17, “AIS posted an all-time high absolute number for consolidated sales and profits. Our sales increased 7.5 per cent, from Rs 2207.37 crore last year to Rs 2372.99 crore this year. EBIDTA improved 11.08 per cent from last year to reach to Rs 441.71 crore. On a relative basis, these numbers do not fully represent AIS’ potential and are therefore not as per internal budgets, but overall, I am satisfied with AIS’ performance in FY 2016-17.”

The strong performance is an indication of the accelerated turnaround that the company has been witnessing over the years. It has further strengthened its technical foundation to develop high performance, energy efficient and highly reliable products with customer requirements at centrestage. Both the main business segments of AIS — auto and architecture — witnessed healthy demand and robust growth.

In January 2018, AIS expanded its existing portfolio in the architectural glass segment with a new shade under its SunShield range of heat reflective glasses, for exterior use. The project is as per schedule and shall start production in Q3FY18. Its advance solar control technology reduces the glare, protects from UV radiation and enhances cooling comfort.

In addition to this, the company announced its fifth auto glass plant in Gujarat, mainly to service the requirements of Maruti Suzuki in Gujarat, equipped with the latest global technologies to manufacture entire range of value-added glass products.

With reference to the future outlook for AIS, as stated in the annual report, Labroo feels, “The auto industry is expected to grow at an average of 8-10 per cent p.a. in India as the aspirations and purchasing power of the young consumer increases. The key remains product quality and features. Today’s youth expects global quality standards and features, but remains fiercely cost conscious. The challenge will be to deliver world quality value added products to young India at Indian prices.”

He also expects the demand for glass to remain healthy. With the introduction of new quality standards for all architectural glass products backed by sensible implementation of new regulations, a steep rise in demand for glass especially value added products and integrated solutions is expected. “The macro environment will continue to shock us from time to time, but if we keep our eyes on the road, our senses alert, the next 30 years should be better than the last 30,” adds Labroo.

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magazine 26 may 2018 Most Valuable CEOs Sanjay Labroo