GCCA India elects chair and co-chair

Mahendra Singhi, managing director & CEO – Dalmia Cement (Bharat), and Nilesh Narwekar, CEO – JSW Cement, have been elected as the chair and co-chair respectively of the Global Cement & Concrete Association India (GCCA India).
February 10, 2020
By Guy Woodford
Mahendra Singhi
Nilesh Narwekar
Nilesh Narwekar

Serving an initial two-year term, the pair will provide strategic direction and drive ongoing sustainability across Indian cement sector.

Based in Mumbai, GCCA India took over the work of the Cement Sustainable Initiative (CSI) India (which formerly served as the sector’s sustainability alliance) with its launch last year in July 2019. It focuses on driving forward the key sustainability work underway within the Indian cement sector, in the second-largest cement producing industry in the world.

Speaking at the GCCA India CEO meeting of the member companies in Mumbai, Benjamin Sporton, GCCA chief executive officer, said: “I’m delighted to have overseen the first CEO meeting of the GCCA India member companies. It is important for the Indian cement sector to continue to work collaboratively on sustainability and innovation work.

“We now have eight major Indian cement companies contributing to the GCCA India work program. India is a significant market in terms of cement producing capacity and, with population growth, the growing demand and need for affordable houses and infrastructure, cement and concrete are going to play an important role in the future development of the country. It’s very much the aim of GCCA India to help ensure that this is undertaken sustainably.”

Members of the Indian cement industry have been working together to achieve Low Carbon growth for the Indian cement sector with GCCA India committed to taking this work forward. Sporton recognised the efforts of UltraTech Cement and Heidelberg India in helping to establish GCCA India.

Sharing his thoughts, new chair, Mahendra Singhi, MD & CEO, Dalmia Cement (Bharat), said: “It is a matter of great pride and honor to take the lead and promote sustainability in the world’s second largest cement producing country. This position provides a great opportunity to give back to society by endorsing and encouraging better management and techniques to drive efficiencies and minimise the impact of cement production. The first step towards achieving this bottom-line aim is to define what sustainable development means for the cement industry and then chart our actionable steps for faster adoption of the sustainability charter. I look forward to a lasting and fruitful association and making a meaningful contribution for a green cement industry."

Nikesh Narwekar, co-chair, added: “I am pleased to be given this opportunity to contribute in a meaningful way, especially in regards to our GCCA India program, driving the sustainability and innovation agenda for the Indian Cement and Concrete sector. I do look forward to working closely with other seniors from the Indian cement Industry.”

Indian cement manufacturers are well aware of the issues around sustainable development. GCCA India will help ensure that in terms of the sector commitments to sustainability, innovations in technology and manufacture, and collaboration across the wider built environment, the Indian cement sector can help lead the world.

GCCA India has developed a work program that will focus on the GCCA priorities but with practical application across the Indian built environment.

The association's priorities include fostering good health & safety practices in the cement and concrete industry; providing thought leadership for cement and concrete; outreach to more cement companies to make a positive contribution to sustainable development; positioning concrete as the sustainable building material of choice; fostering innovation in the cement and concrete sector; sharing of best practices and benchmarking cement manufacturing processes; and promoting the principles of a circular economy across the value chain.