B. Santhanam

CEO – Asia Pacific & India Region
Chairman, Saint-Gobain India

B. Santhanam obtained his B.Tech in Civil Engineering (1978) from Indian Institute of Technology, Madras and Post-Graduation in Management (1980) from Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad.

Santhanam started his career as a Management Trainee in May 1980 at Grindwell Norton, a Saint-Gobain Group Company and served in various functions such as Information Technology, Operations, Product Development, Sales and Marketing, ending up as a Member of Management Board.

In 1996, Santhanam worked closely with the Saint-Gobain Group to develop strategic blueprint for investments in India. Over more than two decades Santhanam was instrumental in the Group’s investment of over € 750 Million in Flat Glass to create a pan-India manufacturing footprint. Saint-Gobain India has achieved Quality, Technical and Market leadership position in India and has won numerous Regional and National Awards in Innovation, Brand Building, EHS, Water Management, HR Excellence, Corporate Social Responsibility, etc.

Since July 1, 2021, Santhanam is CEO of Saint-Gobain APAC and India Region and Member of Global Executive Committee of Saint-Gobain, France.

Santhanam is an elected Member of the National Council of CII (India’s Premier Industry Association with 9,100 Members) during 2006-2019. He was the Chairman of the CII Southern Region (2013-14).

Santhanam has helped create and develop the “Indian Women Network” (IWN) under CII. He is playing an active role in shaping India’s policies in Human Resources, Skill Development, Sustainability, Manufacturing and Digitalization.

He has been a Member of IGBC (Indian Green Building Council) Executive Committee since 2009. Santhanam was elected as President of Employers’ Federation of India (EFI) during 2009-10.

Academic Engagement:

Since 2013 Santhanam is a Member on the Board of Governors of Indian Institute of Information Technology, Design and Manufacturing (IIIT D&M) nominated by Government of India to represent Industry.

Santhanam is a Director at IIT Madras Research Park since December 2009.

He is Board Member on the Board of Centre for Urbanization, Buildings and Environment (CUBE), Chennai since 2017.

Board Membership:

  • Independent Director on the Board of Titan Company Limited from May 2018 onwards.
  • Independent Director on the Board of Wheels India Limited from September 2014 to August 2019.

Awards & Recognitions:

  • In 2004, Santhanam was selected as a “Distinguished Alumnus” of IIT Madras.
  • In 2005, Santhanam was awarded “les Arches de la Croissance” (Arches of Growth) for Innovation and Growth.
  • In 2008, Santhanam was selected as “CEO of the Year”, a biannual award by National Human Resource Development Network (NHRDN).
  • In 2013, Santhanam was awarded Doctor of Literature (Honoris Causa) conferred by Hindustan University.
  • In 2014, Santhanam was awarded “V.C. Padmanaban Memorial Award” in the category of “Business Excellence leading to Development of Society at large” by Manappuram Finance Limited.
  • In 2015, Santhanam was conferred “Champion of Humanity Award” by Hindustan Chamber of Commerce.
  • Awarded by Pragati Leadership in 2022 the “Exemplary Award” for Inspiring and Successful Leadership.

Santhanam’s hobbies are non-fiction reading (Economics, Behavioural & Cognitive Sciences, Management, Philosophy of Science), debating and influencing public policy.

Santhanam is completely aligned with Saint-Gobain’s purpose of Making the World a better Home and is focused on leveraging the Group’s human resources in APAC and India Region to make Saint-Gobain competitive, innovative and sustainable.