Saint-Gobain opens hi-tech research centre at IIT-Madras

by Autocar Pro News Desk , 01 Feb 2016

L-R: Anand Mahajan, general delegate, Saint-Gobain - India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh; Pierre-André De Chalendar, Chairman and CEO, Saint-Gobain; and Anand Tanikella, director, Saint-Gobain Research In

On January 29, Saint-Gobain inaugurated its all-new Research Centre at IIT-Madras, Chennai. The company has invested Rs 200 crore in the world-class R&D facility which is spread across 120,000 square feet. According to the company, the facility will focus on developing innovative and sustainable solutions for Saint-Gobain’s existing businesses (the major product lines include: abrasives, glass for architecture, glass for automotive, gypsum plasterboard and plasters, high performance ceramics and plastics etc) and will enable the Group to accelerate its growth in the region.

Saint-Gobain Research India’s (SGRI) new, cross-functional Research Centre was inaugurated by the chief minister of Tamil Nadu, J Jayalalithaa, in the presence of Pierre-André de Chalendar, chairman and CEO of the Saint-Gobain Group.

In line with Saint-Gobain’s strategic focus on sustainability, in general, and sustainable habitat, in particular, SGRI is committed to finding innovative solutions to the challenges of energy efficiency, environmental protection and enhanced comfort for daily living.

Speaking on the occasion, Pierre-André De Chalendar, said, “India is an important market and investment destination for Saint-Gobain. Over the past 20 years, we have made significant investments in developing new sites and new markets, in building world-class plants, in technology and in people. All these investments have enabled the Group to establish its presence across India and to grow rapidly. In line with the government of India’s ‘Make in India’ initiative, today, more than 95 precent of our local sales are of products manufactured in India. SGRI represents a key step towards further strengthening our global R&D network and towards serving our customers in the region by developing innovative and sustainable products and solutions to meet their needs. I am impressed with our outstanding team of scientists and engineers and with this truly world-class Research Centre.”

Anand Mahajan, general delegate, Saint-Gobain - India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, said, “Since its inception three years ago, SGRI has led the way in developing products and solutions that have exceeded the expectations of our customers. The inauguration of our permanent home is a milestone event for Saint-Gobain as it steps into its 351st year. We are confident that SGRI’s growing pool of carefully chosen scientific and engineering talent will contribute a great deal to the development of the Saint-Gobain Group in India and worldwide in terms of new products and processes, of advancement in science and technology and of intellectual property. Today, SGRI has about 100 scientists and engineers who have come from various parts of India and the world and have brought with them expertise and experience in different areas. Eventually, this Research Centre will be home to more than 250 scientists and engineers.” 

Anand Tanikella, director, Saint-Gobain Research India, said, “The brightest Indian minds from across the world (with PhDs from reputed institutes such as MIT, USA; Ecole Polytechnique, France; University of Tokyo, Japan, in addition to top class institutes in India) are currently working at SGRI. We will continue to strengthen what is already a diverse talent pool. We aspire to develop cost-competitive solutions for our customers through co-development and ‘Innovate in India’ to develop solutions beyond India. In doing all this, we will continue to partner with IIT-Madras and other premier academic institutions.”