French multinational company Saint-Gobain said it will continue its planned investment of more than ₹2,500 crores in greenfield and brownfield expansion in India in two years. The company is also looking to invest in start-ups and strategically fit acquisitions to capitalize on the growth opportunities.
“We are ahead of the curve on the investment front,” said Santhanam B., chairman, and managing director, Saint-Gobain India Pvt. Ltd. “Based on the long-range plan, as a group, we will be completing investments of ₹2,500 crores in FY22 and FY23. We are creating larger facilities, looking at potential acquisitions, investments in start-ups, accelerating spends on digital transformation, and increasing R&D spend.”
The plan includes two investments of ₹500 crores each in capacity expansion and an investment of ₹1,000 crore in a greenfield plant to manufacture building materials for which the location is yet to be finalized. He said the company had cash of more than ₹2,000 crores in its balance sheet, which would be used for CAPEX. The investments in start-ups and inorganic growth would be over and above the committed investment.
“This second covid wave might push the recovery behind by six months, but we are not deviating from our long-term plans for India in terms of investment or idea,” Mr. Santhanam said, adding that the long-term prospects for business were robust.
“We believe that the long-term story of India both from the point of an economy growing as well as a contribution for exports of advanced manufacturing products, it is ahead of the curve of IT and digital transformation and can play a global role,” he added.
Saint-Gobain India which represents almost all manufacturing ecosystems, be it steel, aluminum, fabrication, infrastructure, auto OEM and components, building, and construction had reported improved performance of 14% growth on top line and growth in profits in the nine months starting July 2020 to March 2021 as it reduced costs, improved manufacturing processes, introduced a new range of products and solutions, and focused on digitalization, he said.