Wednesday, February 18, 2015


From L to R: Mr. Venkat Subramanian, Mr. Anand Mahajan and Mr. B. Santhanam kickstart the 350th anniversary celebrations  

Saint-Gobain’s 350th Anniversary is a historic event, an extraordinary milestone in the life of the Company and its people. But even as it celebrates its unique history, Saint-Gobain has its sights set firmly on the future and, in particular, in India, in Shaping the Future.
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, has 20 manufacturing sites and about 4900 employees in India. In 2014, Saint-Gobain registered sales of about Rs.4800 crores. For Saint-Gobain, India presents a huge opportunity for growth. Two large entities, Grindwell Norton Limited (GNO), a publicly traded company, and Saint-Gobain India Pvt Ltd (SGI) and a few smaller entities house Saint-Gobain’s businesses in India.

“India has been  an important market and investment destination for Saint-Gobain and, going forward, will be even more so.  Saint-Gobain believes that it can play an important role in shaping the future by designing, manufacturing and distributing building and high-performance materials, which provide innovative solutions to meet the challenges of growth, energy efficiency and environmental protection. This is the core of Saint-Gobain’s strategy. On Saint-Gobain’s 350th anniversary, we aim to strengthen this commitment even further by becoming the reference for sustainable habitat in India and doubling our business in the country in the next few years.” says Mr. Anand Mahajan, General Delegate for India, Sri Lanka & Bangladesh, Saint-Gobain


Saint-Gobain’s has two ambitions for its businesses in India:

1)    To shape the future of and to become the Reference for Sustainable Habitat in India.
2)    Strong and profitable growth of all its businesses: more specifically, to more than double its business in India and to exceed sales of Rs.10,000 crores by 2019.

Saint-Gobain believes that it can play an important role in shaping the future by designing, manufacturing and distributing building and high-performance materials, which provide innovative solutions to meet the challenges of growth, energy efficiency and environmental protection. This is the core of Saint-Gobain’s strategy. Specifically for India, we will focus on three strategic priorities: 

1.    Sustainable Habitat: There are three important parts to this strategy:
·         Sustainable Buildings: inventing products, solutions and systems for the buildings of the future.
·         Sustainable Manufacturing: reducing the environmental impact of its industrial processes and supply chain (elements: energy efficiency, life cycle cost analysis of its products, water conservation, efficient and green logistics, Suppliers’ charter etc.)
·         Sustainable Construction: Contributing to the development of skills and techniques for modern, efficient construction, manufacturing and logistics.
2.    Innovation: Saint-Gobain is one of the world’s 100 most innovative companies. Innovation is embedded in its history and its identity. In 2013, Saint-Gobain invested 430 Million Euro in R&D. In December 2013, Saint-Gobain inaugurated its seventh, transversal Research Centre - Saint-Gobain Research India (SGRI) - in close collaboration with IIT Madras. Located in Chennai, SGRI will work for all of Saint-Gobain’s businesses and will drive initiatives to develop innovative and sustainable products and solutions for the region.
3.    Local Manufacturing: Saint-Gobain has invested in building state-of-the-art, world-class manufacturing plants in India and will continue to do so. Saint-Gobain has pursued a “Make in India” strategy from the very beginning. More recently, investments have been made in new facilities to serve global markets. This trend will continue.


The India businesses are:
a)    SGI - Glass and Glass Solutions business: Manufactures and markets clear, tinted and solar control glass, fire resistant glass and other types of glasses from its plants located in Tamil Nadu, Gujarat and Rajasthan.
b)    SGI and Saint-Gobain Sekurit India Ltd - Automotive Glass business: Manufactures and markets automotive glazing and modular components for the vehicle manufacturing segment and the replacement market from its plants located in Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu.

c)    GNO and its subsidiary, Saint-Gobain Ceramic Materials Bhutan - Abrasives (Bonded, Coated, Non-Woven, Superabrasives and Thin Wheels), Silicon Carbide, High Performance Refractories and Performance Plastics businesses: Manufactures and markets products from its plants located in Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh and Bhutan.
d)    Saint-Gobain Crystals & Detectors Ltd - Manufactures and markets radiation detection and measurement products in Bangalore.
e)    SEPR Refractories India Pvt Ltd - Manufactures and markets fused-cast refractories from its plant in Kerala.

f)     SGI - Gyproc business: Manufactures and markets an extensive range of gypsum plasterboards, gypsum plasters, acoustic ceiling  tiles for false ceilings, dry wall partitions and wall lining systems from its plants located in Haryana, Maharashtra and Karnataka.
g)    SGI - Weber business: Manufactures and markets products and solutions for tile and stone fixing, joint fillers (or grouts), masonary mortars, water-proofing chemicals and admixtures.


In 1665, Louis XIV, prompted by his Finance Minister Colbert, created the Manufacture Royale des Glaces de Miroirs. Its first order was to make Glass for the Hall of Mirrors in the ‘Palais de Versailles’. Some years later, this Company set up a manufacturing plant in the village of Saint-Gobain in the north-east of France and eventually took its name. Over the centuries since then, Saint-Gobain, the oldest Company in the CAC 40, has weathered many a storm – the French Revolution, two World Wars, two industrial and technological revolutions, major economic crises, nationalization and privatization – and has emerged stronger. Its longevity is based on its values, which have been forged over 350 years and have been passed down through the generations, its ability to anticipate and to adapt and to innovate and, hence, to stay one step ahead and its early belief in progress throughinternationalization. These have been the constants. 

The latter part of the 20th Century and beginning of the 21st Century have witnessed a transformation of the Group. Key acquisitions during this period, including Norton Company (a world leader in Abrasives, Ceramics and Performance Plastics) in 1990, Poliet (which was the holding company of Point P, Lapeyre and Weber & Broutin and which marked Saint-Gobain’s entry into the Building Materials Distribution business) in 1996 and BPB (the world leader in Gypsum Plasterboard and Plasters) in 2005, led to the Group’s strengthening its High Performance Materials businesses and its global footprint and also its strategic focus on sustainable habitat. 


  • Today, Saint-Gobain has a presence in 64 countries and has nearly 190000 employees worldwide. In 2013, Saint-Gobain registered net sales of €42.0 billion and was ranked 180th in the Global Fortune 500 list.

  • Today, Saint-Gobain is a diversified group that creates and delivers innovative and high-performance solutions to enhance our habitat and our daily life.

·         Research and Innovation are at the heart of Saint-Gobain’s strategy. The Group’s research focuses both on breakthrough innovations and on continuously improving its products, processes and services.  Today, Saint-Gobain has 7 transversal research centres located across the globe and files nearly 400 patents every year.
  • Besides innovation, Saint-Gobain believes that the emerging and fast-growing countries will be the drivers of growth for the future.

  • Saint-Gobain has evolved to be a decentralized community of entrepreneurs who are focused on meeting the ever-changing needs of their customers.

While different events celebrating 350 years and involving all its stakeholders have been planned in different parts of the world, the global initiatives include:

1)    Futuristic travelling pavilions in four cities (Shanghai, Sao Paolo, Philadelphia and Paris) offering a unique sensory experience to the public at large.
2)    A virtual exhibition of the Group’s history
3)    An anniversary book
4)    The World 350 game on the mobile platform
5)    Anniversary day celebrations on 15th October 2015 (it was in October, 1665, that King Louis XIV signed the letters authorizing the creation of the Manufacture Royale des Glaces de Miroirs)


In 2015, Saint-Gobain is celebrating its 350th anniversary. Backed by its experience and its capacity to continuously innovate, Saint-Gobain, the world leader in the habitat and construction market, designs, manufactures and distributes high-performance and building materials providing innovative solutions to the challenges of growth, energy efficiency and environmental protection. With 2013 sales of €42 billion, Saint-Gobain operates in 64 countries and has nearly 190,000 employees. For more information about Saint-Gobain, visit

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