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Saint-Gobain is hiring in India

Post Time:Apr 02,2009Classify:Company NewsView:280

The Indian economy is set to rebound at a faster pace than its global peers, thanks to optimism and crisis management techniques adopted by select industry magnates. Notable among them is B. Santhanam, President (Flat Glass – South Asia) and founder Managing Director of Saint-Gobain Glass India.

The IIT-Madras alumni, who was instrumental in setting up the world-class float glass facility for Saint-Gobain at Sriperumbudur near Chennai, seems to have mastered the art of turning a crisis into an opportunity.

“It’s a misconception that everything has come to a standstill due to slowdown,” says Santhanam. “Hiring plans of Saint-Gobain are intact and we are aggressively employing people in marketing, process development and sales departments across the country,” he adds.

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To a query on how Saint-Gobain is tackling the current slowdown, Santhanam replies with a smile: “Fortunately, for the glass industry, there’s no slowdown in the medium-size segment. Only iconic announcements of big-ticket companies have taken a beating. We are still catering to the requirements of buildings ranging between 50,000 sq ft and one-lakh sq ft. There’s a lot of growth in the mid-size segment.”

“Thanks to the slowdown, we have time to focus on projects in a more economical manner and our project costs have come down by over 10 per cent,” says the IIM-Ahmedabad graduate.

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Admitting that it’s an extremely tough time for any company to do business, Santhanam says Saint-Gobain is better placed than its competitors – with a slew of niche products in the market. The company recently launched SGG Priva-lite, an "intelligent glass" which offers privacy at the flick of a switch.

“We have moved into the energy, green and safety space, and that has really helped us tide over the current crisis,” he says, adding that Saint-Gobain will launch more India-specific products.

Declaring that research & development is the backbone of Saint-Gobain, Santhanam says nearly 3-4 per cent of total revenues are allotted to technology-related activities in India.

Delighted about being one of the vendors for the world’s cheapest car, Tata Nano, Santhanam avows that the experience has taught the glass major to offer products in a cost-effective manner. This has helped Saint-Gobain to maintain the growth trajectory despite slowdown in the auto industry, he adds.

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With a view to integrating the student community, architects and the glass industry, Saint Gobain conducts an annual event called Transparence. “It is a recognition that there is a revolution in the world of design and the accent is on youth,” he beams.

Source: sify.comAuthor: shangyi

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