Genesis of the Brand
Saint-Gobain's genesis goes back to the year 1665 when Louis XIV, the King of France, commissioned it to make glass for the Hall of Mirrors at the Palace of Versailles. Since then, 355 years and still counting, there has been no looking back for what is today, one of the world's largest manufacturers of glass, among several lines of businesses. Saint-Gobain's presence in 68 countries with over 171000 employees worldwide has consistently made it among the top employers of the world.
India Entry and Trajectory
Saint-Gobain's journey into India started in the year 1996 and continues to this day, gaining leadership position in all its major businesses. The group operates mainly through its two major companies Grindwell Norton Limited and Saint-Gobain India Pvt. Ltd. with businesses comprising Glass and Glass Solutions, Gyproc Plasterboard and Plasters, and Weber (Industrial mortars) and Global Businesses (which are part of the High Performance Solutions Division since Jan 2019): Abrasives, Sekurit (automotive glazing), Ceramic Materials (Silicon Carbide, Performance Ceramics and Refractories, SEFPRO, Crystals) and Performance Plastics. Across 22 manufacturing sites (most of which are ISO 14000 and OHSAS 18000 certified) and over 6500 employees, with investments in excess of INR 7500 crores and sales of over INR 7000 crores in 2018, the group has succeeded in creating a strong foothold pan-India.
Saint-Gobain's glass operations were initiated in India in 2000, with the commissioning of its first float glass plant in Sriperumbudur, Chennai. Housed in a 177-acre campus, the World Glass Complex is one of the biggest investments by the group in a single location. Along with its other plants in Jhagadia- Gujarat and Bhiwadi- Rajasthan, the glass business has made Saint-Gobain a market leader in its industry, pioneering several innovations across Product, Marketing, Manufacturing, Application and Human Resources that make glass a value-addition and more than just a commodity.
Over and above business, Saint-Gobain is significantly invested in R&D with the Saint- Gobain Research India (SGRI) located at the IIT-M Research Park in Chennai being the group’s 7th Transversal Global Research & Development Centre.
Current Manufacturing Capabilities
The World Glass Complex at Sriperumbudur, Chennai, houses state-of-the-art facilities to manufacture glass. It comprises 3 float glass lines, 2 advanced Magnetron Coater Lines delivering high performance, energy-efficient glass to the building industry and automotive processing lines y. The Solar Control Reflective Glass manufacturing facility produces online coated glass for the residential markets. Mirror Processing Line is capable of making copper-free and lead-free mirrors and lacquered glass for interior applications. There is also a Glass Solutions Facility for Safety Glass that includes Fire Safety, Bullet Proof, Glass Proof, advanced marine applications, insulated and laminated glazing.
Saint-Gobain uses a multi-pronged approach to feed its Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives. Besides rising to the occasion in the event of any contingency, Saint-Gobain is committed to focussing on priority areas like Inventing and Promoting Sustainable Buildings, Limiting Environmental Impacts, Encourage Employees' Professional Growth, Supporting Community Development and Education of Underprivileged Children through the Saint-Gobain India Foundation (SGIF).