French glass and building material major major Saint-Gobain is planning a capital expenditure of Rs 1,800 crore to expand capacities in India in 2023.
This is part of the company’s overall planned investments in the range of Rs 6,000–8,000 crore between 2022 and 2025, with the company setting a goal to achieve a total revenue of Rs 30,000 crore by 2030, an increase of 2.5 times from the current revenue.
B Santhanam, CEO, Asia Pacific and India region, Saint-Gobain and chairman of Saint-Gobain India told FE in an exclusive interaction that the company is planning to accelerate its capital expenditure in 2023 and without taking into account funds for M&As (merger & acquisitions), it will shell out Rs 1,800 crore as capital expenditure, despite the possible slowdown across the globe.
“Besides scaling up capacities, close to Rs 200 crore will be spent on sustainability front out of the Rs 1,800 crore capital expenditure,” he said. The company is expanding all its businesses, including glass, construction chemicals and ceramics. Saint-Gobain will be inaugurating its world’s biggest flat glass factory at Bhiwadi in Rajasthan in the second quarter of 2023, being built at an investment of Rs 1,200 crore.
The company has been ahead of the curve in calendar year 2022, its revenue was higher by 60%, and essentially more in profits, as compared to 2019, a pre-pandemic year. The Indian subsidiary’s ranking, among other outfits across the globe has gone significantly up, in terms of profits. It has presence in 75 countries. “That shows that India is an interesting place for growth and opportunity,” he said.
Speaking about the set target for revenue by 2030, Santhanam said the company is on course to achieve it. “ This year, that is in 2022, we will cross `12,000 crore revenue, which is rougly 60% more than the 2019 revenue,” he said.
According to him, if the company has to move towards the set revenue target, it required to grow at a compounded rate of 13% per annum. “ If India is set to grow by 6 to 7%, our revenue growth target should be double of the same,” he said.
He said that he is reasonably confident of achieving it, even though next year will be challenging period, but after that growth will be reasonably good.
It is scouting for a number of acquisitions and is close to sealing a few deals by January-March 2023. “We are looking at multiple opportunities in construction chemicals and insulations,” he said.
The company is looking to grow is electric mobility solutions business where it provides special materials for insulating the battery pack. It has glazing solutions for all electric vehicles.
Saint-Gobain has 400 engineers working on global solutions for Industry 4.0. Besides, its research centre has 225 people and has so far secured 150 patents. It has a total workforce of over 8,000.
By 2025, around 70% of Saint- Gobain’s electrical energy requirements will be met through solar and wind energy resources. “ We have signed up several partners, we are investing in the company and will rope in some four more companies,” he said. Saint-Gobain is looking at using biomass to generate steam and electricity at its plants.