Guillaume Dourdin, CEO - Veolia India Private Limited (VIPL)


1. Introduction: self and company

I am Guillaume Dourdin and I am the CEO of Veolia India Private Limited (VIPL). VIPL is a subsidiary of Veolia, operating in India for over 20 years. Under this role, I am in charge of the business development of all Veolia services and the management of Veolia activities in the Indian subcontinent.

After handling various operational assignments in France from 1996 – 2006, I joined the international division as the CEO & Representative Director for Veolia Water Korea in September 2006. During this role, I was also the Chairman of the Environment and Energy Committee for EU – Korea Chamber of Commerce, a member of the Foreign Investment Advisory Committee to the Seoul City Mayor, and a Member of the French Foreign Trade Advisors Committee in Korea.

In 2011, I was appointed the CEO of North- West China Region under Veolia Water China, and in 2013 nominated as the Senior Vice President for Industrial Water Services and for Oil and Gas of Veolia China. With more than a decade of experience in the Asian water sector, I have a deep understanding of the business landscape within this zone. Additionally, I have profound expertise in both municipal and industrial water services.

We at VIPL offer an entire range of water and waste solutions tailored to meet the specific needs of municipalities and industries across India, including engineering and construction services, operations and maintenance services, performance contracts and significant maintenance and refurbishment.

We have partnered with various local authorities in New Delhi, Maharashtra, Karnataka, and Greater Mohali, to provide a 24X7 water supply through a water distribution system. We are also leading the way in hazardous waste management for industries in Gujarat and work hand-in-hand with them to develop innovative solutions and meet their specific waste, water, and energy needs.

Each and every day, we at Veolia provide solutions for creating new “secondary” resources that will gradually offset the increasing scarcity of natural “primary” resources, generating new opportunities for social and economic development that protect the environment.

Veolia is committed to ensuring that everyone has access to quality services by developing locally appropriate solutions for which we need to constantly innovate. Our ambition to resource the world translates into 9 sustainable development commitments.

2. What are the business and investment opportunities you see between India and France?

 Acting and committing to ecological transformation drives the way we develop our business and supports the long-term sustainable development of our company and our projects. Our mission of “Resourcing the world” means not only developing highly efficient technologies and systems but also constantly innovating to find solutions for a sustainable future. We believe in a circular economy, where nothing, ultimately, will be wasted, and where “waste” is a resource.

India and France share a special strategic and global partnership. The two countries are successfully cooperating in the areas of smart cities and renewable energy. France is one of India's main scientific partners, with more than 25 French R&D centers, 15 Indo-French joint research laboratories, and 500 collaborative projects in the country. It is also partnering with India to develop Chandigarh, Puducherry, and Nagpur as smart cities, with a commitment of over $2.2 billion for this project.

France has also become India's trusted partner in defense and strategy. We see great potential in India. India has been at the forefront of driving global action on climate change. It has used indigenous technology to optimize its resources and promoted green energy to reduce carbon emissions. India’s pledge to reach net-zero emissions by 2070 was one of the most important announcements at COP26.

In India, we established Veolia Carbon Clean, a joint venture between Carbon Clean and Veolia which is committed to reducing industrial carbon dioxide emissions and helping India achieve its climate goals through the development of a series of carbon capture and compressed biogas (CBG) projects.

We aim to build a model that will support industrial partners to accelerate their transition to a low-carbon economy and also help India on its journey towards net zero emissions. Veolia Carbon Clean will enable industries to reach net zero, leverage decarbonization incentives and join the global circular carbon economy.

Whether in energy efficiency, efficient management of heating and cooling networks, or green energy production, we have unique expertise for a sustainable world.

Veolia is the world leader in ecological transformation. We believe, act, and are committed to resourcing the world. Veolia designs and implements solutions aimed at improving access to resources while at the same time protecting and renewing those resources.

To support our sustainable development commitments and in order to create an inclusive business model of tomorrow for and with our stakeholders, in 2018, Veolia India Pvt. Ltd. (VIPL) launched an open innovation program called - Pop Up India. The objective of this program is to build an innovative collaboration between Veolia and promising startups that can contribute to addressing social and environmental challenges.

In India, the start-up culture has a lot to offer. The young talent of the country is driving the economy and creating opportunities for collaboration. India has a broad pool of talent working with innovative technologies in the ecological sector.

We at Veolia are always looking forward to encouraging upcoming start-ups which are addressing environmental challenges.

3. How can businesses tap the huge potential that exists between the two countries for developing business ties and for creating more jobs?

What is impressive is the dynamism of the Indo-French business community. We have both French and Indian companies with world-class know-how and support systems which are working together to boost the relationship between the two nations. India and France's major strategic partnership that is marking its 25th anniversary this year. This partnership covers all aspects of bilateral cooperation which involve a strategic component. It is based on close cooperation in the sectors of defense, civil nuclear energy, space, and security (cyber security, counter-terrorism, intelligence) sectors.

French companies are very well-positioned to support Indian businesses in ecological and digital transitions. India and France are also cooperating in the field of renewable energy with a view to developing technological know-how and thus contributing to the achievement of the ambitious target of 450 GW of installed renewable energy capacity by 2030. In short, there lies a huge potential within the community for well-collaborated growth and synergies. We at Veolia encourage that. The key is to tap into the synergies that the community has to offer. Working together on innovative solutions will not only generate employment opportunities but also create an ecosystem of sharing expertise with each other.  

4. How has IFCCI added value to your organization in India? Would you recommend other companies to join as a member?

Of course, I would recommend the chambers to other companies as well! IFCCI has done a tremendous job in building sustainable relationships in the Indo-French community. The chambers have launched many committees over a period of time to encourage sharing of knowledge, and leadership and give a structured approach to strengthen Indo-French trade corridors.

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