As the second largest producer of cement in the world, India has a lot of potential for development in the infrastructure and construction sector and the cement sector is expected to benefit immensely from it. The latter is a significant part of its economy, providing employment to more than a million people, directly or indirectly. Since its deregulation in 1982, the Indian cement industry has attracted huge investments, both from Indian as well as foreign investors. One such foreign investor is Vicat Group, a French multinational company, which entered the Indian cement industry in 2008 with a joint venture as a part of its international expansion strategy. For further expanding its footprint in India, Vicat acquired a major stake in Bharathi Cement Corporation Private Limited in 2010.
Anoop Kumar Saxena started spearheading Kalburgi Cement (a 100% subsidiary of Vicat Group) as Director in March’12. Instrumental in setting the first Greenfield project for Vicat in India, Anoop not only made it a huge success but also established a strong market footprint within a short span of time and took Kalburgi Cement to greater heights. He was the one who launched the brand ‘Vicat’ in India. In January’13, he took the responsibilities as Chief Operating Officer of Vicat India operations and since July’17, he has been successfully heading the organisation in the capacity of Chief Executive Officer.
CARRYING FORWARD A LEGACY
The rich history of Vicat group dates back to the nineteenth century when the founding father of Vicat Group, Louis Vicat invented artificial cement in 1817 and his son Joseph Vicat established the first cement factory in 1853. Today, the group has a strong presence in 11 countries namely France, US, Turkey, Senegal, Switzerland, Egypt, Italy, Mali, Kazakhstan, Mauretania and India with more than 30MT cement capacity. The group has 7,700+ team members across the globe striving towards delivering superior quality cement. The last decade saw the group’s rapid growth by commissioning of multiple plants and making ‘Vicat’ a renowned cement brand across continents.
To carry forward a legacy is no child’s play. More so when it is a 199 year old unmatched legacy of an international group with varied interests in many verticals namely cement, ready-mixed concrete, concrete product (Precast) and aggregates with a global turnover of € 2,292B. However, owing to his able leadership skills, Anoop is doing this job with much poise and élan.
A Mechanical Engineer from MITS, Gwalior, Anoop holds a post graduate degree in Industrial Engineering & Process Optimisation from National Institute in Industrial Engineering (NITIE), Powai, Mumbai. He has undergone extensive Leadership Coaching at IMD, Lausanne, Switzerland and at ISB, Hyderabad.
Having started his career with Lohia Starlinger in 1985, he went on to join ACC (a group company of Holcim, Switzerland in India) the following year. In his last tenure with ACC, he was heading a cluster in Karnataka having two integrated cement plants and two split grinding units and led the organisation to an unprecedented growth in plant operations and achieved a significant turnaround of various low profitable units. He has a vast experience in handling large projects and has been instrumental in erecting and commissioning of “World’s Largest Clinker Production line” at ACC Wadi in Gulbarga district of Karnataka.
A PEOPLE PERSON
Anoop’s strength lies in his dynamic leadership ability. He possesses excellent people management skills, decision making ability and team building traits. He is of the view that aligning employees with the company’s vision is the toughest task and the one who is able to accomplish it achieves the best results. He rightly asserts, “I believe that leadership starts with people’s faith towards a person who drives for a cause for the betterment of the company, society and country. Faith develops by influence, with or without authority. I prefer leading the change with support of people and their faith in the cause.”
A versatile person, Anoop is a swift decision maker, who retains this ability even under pressure situations. Being well aware of the fact that execution of ideas is the key to success in today’s competitive world, he ensures that his team performs the assigned tasks with dedication. He elaborates, “I believe in my colleagues and empower them with clear communication, involve them in decision-making and provide them with all necessary support for delivering the objective and achieving the goal.”
He firmly believes that “Employees are key asset of every leader and a good employee can change the fate of an organisation.” His mantra for success is to “engage, inspire and empower your people.” An innate optimist, Anoop stresses that a leader should have a firm belief in himself and his team and should “never be afraid of failures as there is a lot to learn from every failure.” He is of the view that in order to stay competitive always, one should set stretch targets.
GARNERING AWARDS & ACCOLADES
Under Anoop’s quintessential leadership, Vicat in India has been awarded with numerous awards and accolades. He has received “Inspirational Leaders Award 2018” at UK-Asia Business Summit 2018 in London. He also represented India at the “Green Energy Implementation in Cement industry in India” at Yokohama, Japan. The group companies of Vicat in India are progressing day by day towards excellence under his able leadership.
He is a role model for aspiring entrepreneurs. His message to them is, “There is no substitute to hard work. Always make jobs of your employees enjoyable by engaging them in various interesting assignments. In today’s world, continual improvement is not sufficient; we need to have a quantum jump.