unbiased wonderful Goodness friend authentic
right chord quality mentor Philosopher
humble Sharp sense of humourgratitude
Humilitystraight forwardgesture friendly
J O EPositive HR head
Bandra Boy successful
ASSERTIVE helping leader
oodles of leader responsibility curiosity
vivacity diplomacy skills inspiration energy collaboration
super understanding faith
guidance encouraging ethics
unassuming efficient smiling
empowers Encyclopedia personal touch
conduct constant mentor
god fearing happy warm discipline
Humour Fan S o encouraging perfect balance
Bold cial challenges care
MENTOR Book Lover
memories and stories from family, friends & colleagues
This book is a token of our love and affection for you.
Thank you for being a dependable colleague,
a reliable teammate, an honest friend and the best critic.
You are and will always remain
a source of inspiration and the guiding light
of Grindwell Norton and Saint-Gobain…
A Man with a Midas Touch
A Man with a Midas touch
Yet down to earth and humble
A hawk eyed leader
Who’s roared for decades in the corporate jungle
An unassuming Bandra Boy
With a charismatic personality
A jolly good fellow
With oodles of energy and vivacity
Approach him for anything under the sun
And you are sure to find a solution
A Leader who inspires and brings out the best
One who enlightens, empowers and always gives a direction
The Jack of all Trades and the Master of Many…
You’ve shaped GNO & Saint-Gobain for almost four decades
Synonymous to its ethos, ethics and advancing journey
You’ve led several successes and fought many crusades
With Humor and Humility you’ll always strike the right chord
A father figure to many, you are a demigod
A walking encyclopedia coupled with a sharp memory
You are our GOTO person
For topics ranging from
Finance, History, Wines or even the taste of a perfectly cooked beef steak portion
Kind and Approachable
Always within reach
You are a caring husband and doting dad
Showing by example what words cannot teach
And now that you’ve decided to retire
Take time out for things you most desire
Here’s wishing you a happy retirement
May your life be full of bliss and newfound excitement
Best wishes Joe for an awesome retirement!
Rock of GNO
There are so many things that I admire about you. And of all your wonderful qualities, what
I admire and I appreciate the most are your faith, your warmth, your personal connection
with people, your incredible memory and the fact that you always expressed your thoughts and
views (very strongly, at times) with everyone and, in particular, with me (even when you knew
that my views were very different). I say this because it was these qualities, these strengths of
yours that made me a better person, a better manager, a better leader. This is why we have been
such a great team. And in all that we have achieved over the last 30+ years, you have played
a very large and critical role. You have been the rock on which we have built a foundation for
GNO and for the Saint-Gobain Group in India.
Thank you for everything, Joe, and especially for your immense contribution to the development,
the growth and the success of GNO and its people. Together, you and I have been through every
imaginable situation (and some that we would never have dreamt of) and we, and GNO, have
emerged a little stronger, a little wiser. I have been privileged and very lucky to have had you
by my side in this long journey. I will miss you.
Vera and I wish Cloty and you a wonderful, happy and healthy life after retirement.
he's got the whole server in there!!
An imprint difficult to emulate
Joe - It is hard to imagine what it must be like for you after 39 long, distinguished years in GNO
and Saint-Gobain, to bid goodbye and move into a new phase in your life. You have been much
more than a professional who worked all his career in the Group. You have, during these past
decades seen a small, professionally managed US-India joint venture company that GNO was
in the 70s, metamorphose into a conglomerate which is Saint-Gobain India today. For those of
us who have had the good fortune of knowing you closely during a good part of these past years,
there are many unique aspects to your personality that you will forever be remembered for – a
strong finance professional with a keen business sense, an amazingly good judge of people, their
aspirations, motivations, fears and abilities, incredible memory, the ability to speak your mind,
at all times, to name a few. And above all that, Joe you have been a true people person and in
your last role as the HR head of Saint-Gobain India, you have left an imprint that would indeed
be difficult to emulate.
Outside of your professional role, your multifaceted personality, avid interest in sports, a great
sense of humour, an amazing ability to recall anecdotes of the past, the vivid detail with which
you narrate milestones of GNO and Saint-Gobain’s journey over the years, your ability to connect
with and remain in touch with people from different walks of life are the things about you that
have left many of us spellbound and awestruck.
When one retires, an advice often heard is "Don't retire from something, have something to
retire to". In your case, I am sure the Bandra community, your beloved Church and the many
who still look upto you each day, will be the biggest beneficiaries of this new phase in your life!
I wish Cloty and you good health, peace and prosperity! A. Dinakar
My association with Joe
My association with Joe is for more than 20 years. I have been part of his team throughout,
except for my Saint-Gobain Glass stint.
During 1997, I was assigned the responsibility to setup the IT infrastructure and systems for
the newly announced GNO Nagpur facility. It was a modern plant with a lot of automation
requirements and one of that was to control automatic weighing and preparation of mixing batch.
This called for interfacing with our ERP’s formulation module and the SCADA based controller.
It was the first time I did RS232 communication programming and it called for various rounds
of testing. I was carrying the big desktop; and kept on moving it all the time between the SCADA
cabin and IT room. Mr. H. C. Nagaraja, my superior recommended to Joe that I be given a laptop,
which was an expensive asset during those days. I always thought it was tough to get an approval.
During one of his visits to Mora factory, Joe met me in the corridor and enquired about the
progress of the project. He instantly approved the request for laptop. I still treasure that
Joe will always be remembered within Saint-Gobain world for shaping the culture of GNO and
Ifirst met Joe at the time of my joining, during my training and induction in HO (at that time
in Army and Navy building). As a newcomer, you would always get positive vibes when you
interact with Joe. He was someone who was always approachable, friendly and also at the same
time very strong on values and ethics.
I came to know Joe much more closely once I moved to HO for handling exports. I remember every
time Joe passed by my workstation in HO, he had something to say; a word of encouragement,
challenge you on something or just to check how you are. When I look back, I feel those moments
were really helpful for me to settle in my new role and new location at that time.
Other than that, Joe has always been the center of attraction in all AMG conferences. He has the
tremendous ability to connect to a large cross section of people and promote the GNO culture.
An inspiring mentor
Joe, I feel lucky to have this opportunity to
be mentored by you in the last 22 months.
Surely I must have done something good in my
life that this opportunity came my way. From the
time I met you first, you’ve always “Been There”.
Supporting by observing… sharing from your
immense experience, memories and stories of GNO…
caring and understanding me as a person… and most
of all the trust shown in me …. a belief that I can do
it…. you’ve always stood by me in everything I did,
all my ideas that I experimented and encouraged me
to try new things.
Every interaction with you has been a new learning,
and I look forward to many more such discussions. I have always enjoyed those short stories
that you narrated of the 1980s and 1990s with me and shared examples of dilemmas that we
faced and how to handle them. No book in this world, can replace the wealth of experience and
knowledge that you possess….I really admire your photographic memory! Quoting dates, events
and happenings with astuteness. Wow!
The swiftness to act, the intellect to direct, the humility to engage and the simplicity to manage…..
I admire every quality that you bring with you…
And, along with you, it’s been so wonderful knowing Cloty; and how quickly you both make
anyone who comes in contact with you so very comfortable…. The warmth that you both have
for all people around you is so very soothing and encouraging.
At home, my parents, my daughter Ishita and I were so delighted, beyond words to express when
you came to our place for our Ganesha festival. We felt so blessed...all of us together wish the
very best for you and Cloty as you embark on this wonderful journey ahead. We pray for you and
Cloty for a fulfilling life ahead.
Friend, Coach and Mentor
It had just been a few weeks since I joined GNO and I had just gotten used to Bombay, Ferry
Wharf and Mora. As I sat down in the middle deck of ML Grindwell, a cheerful gentleman
introduced himself and enquired whether I had settled down. Later on, I discovered that Joe was
a topper in IIM Calcutta and for all practical purposes, he and Ganu (Joe’s IIMC classmate) have
been regarded as the Princes of Mora. That is when our three decades long relationship based on
mutual trust and respect began. Since then, Joe has been a friend, coach and a mentor. After two
years I moved to the Army & Navy building where GNO was headquartered and my work-desk was
just outside Joe’s cabin. Every now and then I would pop-in to his room to clarify my thoughts on
issues. Joe brought me up to date on the history of GNO and in particular the men and women
who shaped GNO in the 70’s.
Joe, who was one of the most numerically intelligent persons that I have met, always displayed a
strong command over Accounting, Finance, IT and Management Systems. However, what struck
me the most was his innate ability to judge and assess people very quickly. This trait, later on
helped him to be the HR champion of the Group. His uncanny sense when things go wrong has
been a characteristic which many of us use effectively. When I returned to Bombay from my stint
as Regional Manager in Madras, Joe helped me to settle down in Bandra. We used to take the same
car to office and back. When we were not sleeping (not with each other) in the car, our discussions
were always on sports and global issues. Joe has a prolific knowledge on sports especially cricket
and hockey. Joe was particularly thrilled when I chose St. Stanislaus over Maneckji Cooper when
my son started schooling.
The years '91-'93 were particularly difficult for the Indian economy (the beginning of the liberalisation
process) and as Head of Sales & Marketing, I was going through a challenging time. I used to consult
Joe often, who despite our close friendship was completely and utterly professional when it came
to expressing his views, even when they differed from mine. This strength enabled Joe to gain
credibility amongst the leaders of GNO and Saint-Gobain Group. Joe also has the ability to subtly
nudge everyone to perform to higher levels. While insisting on performance, he has always been a
strong champion in ensuring that the Company rewards employees fairly. I fondly recall the work
that Joe and I did when we developed the first framework for PRISM in GNO, the forerunner of
the employee incentive systems for the Group.
One of the problems I used to face when I was picking up Joe, was that there was always a long
queue of people from St. Andrew's Parish waiting to talk with him. He is widely respected in his
community not just for his professional accomplishments but his dedication to their welfare.
Joe is a devout catholic but has an admirable sense of mutual respect for other faiths. We have
had many discussions on Catholicism, Theology and the Role of God. He never objected to my
agnosticism. This characteristic endeared Joe to many of his friends. I must not forget to mention
Cloty and her contribution in helping Joe fulfil his multiple roles. She has always been a gracious host
whenever I visited their home and has been particularly friendly with my family always enquiring
about my wife, son and mother. Over the last decades, Rajani and I have always had the pleasure
of receiving Pongal greetings from Cloty and Joe.
Joe’s commitment to the Group is legendary. Over the four decades, he has acted as a historian,
been the guardian of the Group’s values, has motivated, shaped and groomed many high potential
youngsters to leadership positions. However, what has stood out indelibly etched in my memory
is the time when Joe came to meet us when my mother was in the terminal stages of her illness.
(My mother liked Joe a lot and was always encouraging me to be friendly to others as he is). There
was complete silence and I could see tears welling in both Joe’s and my mother’s eyes. Joe stood
silently holding my mother’s hand and said a few prayers.
With his retirement, the Saint-Gobain Group in India will lose a person of character and competence,
totally committed to the Group’s ethos and the one who displayed the highest level of professional
Personally, I will miss his compassion and humanism.
Friend in a foreign country
At first, Joe Pereira was, for me, a professional
of Human Resources who had understood the
difference between apply a policy and decline it
according to the culture of the country.
With time, he became a real friend who made me feel
at home in a foreign land.
Joe Pereira is my front door in India, this wonderful
country which I discovered the charm and complexity
of, through discussions that I had with him both in
Mumbai and in Paris.
I love Joe also for the human values which he puts daily
Bosses come and go but at times there are bosses whom we do not want to let go. One such
boss that comes to my mind is Mr. Joe Pereira. He has been one of the most kind-hearted
and helpful persons I have ever met. His commitment to his job is commendable. His humble
nature could always be seen by his ever-willingness to forget any misunderstandings. He has
been a wonderful source of inspiration and has never ever said no to anyone who has approached
him for help. His diligence in his work is something that everyone should take as a lesson for a
lifetime. He is driven by optimism and that is seen in all the work he undertakes and partakes.
He is punctual and leads a disciplined and spiritual life. He is an epitome of success.
My personal association with him began in the year 1984. Ever since I have known him he has
been a cheerful personality who fills the office atmosphere with positive vibes. His resourcefulness
has always been a guiding force for all the young and new staff. This long association with him
will always be a cherishable phase in my working career here at Grindwell Norton.
Now that he has successfully completed his tenure, I wish him good luck in the age of retirement.
I wish him all the very best of God’s choicest blessings and also wish him good health, love and
Finally I would like to conclude my farewell with these words
P-ious---------Have a Fun-filled retired life
full of ideas
He's got a solution for everything under the sun
Thank you Joe
My association with Joe started before joining GNO as an interviewer. I am sure this is
the case for many Managers in Saint-Gobain India.
I had the good fortune to work closely with Joe as a part of the GNO finance team and the
Delegation team. For his team members Joe always gave a lot of space and freedom at the same
time supported them in everything they did. He pushed us in the right direction by quoting
from rich experiences from the past, showing us how to make decisions which are correct at
all times and in all contexts. Any discussion with Joe is always enlightening.
During my career in Saint-Gobain, I relocated many times and Joe was always there to facilitate
each move, ensuring that each and every detail was taken care of. We as a family thank him
for all that he has done for us. I am sure anyone from SG India who has done an International
assignment will reciprocate the same feeling.
Vandana and I wish Joe and Cloty happy new chapter in his life.
Book lover & cricket fan
There are many incidents and experiences with Joe over the years. But the one that I remember
vividly was the period 1999-2003, when I was the Branch Manager – Bangalore in AMG and
Joe used to visit the Bangalore City office, quite often. He used to spend some time with me in
the Branch and also in Lincoln (Lincoln was still part of GNO at that time and was on the same
floor as us). There was this book shop (Premier Book shop) on the ground floor of our building
with a fantastic collection. Joe always used to go there and pick up a few books during all his
visits, a voracious reader that he was.
Joe is an avid cricket fan. We have often exchanged many mails on cricket (between Dinakar,
Joe and myself).
A constant source of support
Joe interviewed me for Mora Works Accounts position. He was particular about testing my
non-finance bandwidth. He asked me about my reading habits and a summary of some of
the latest books that I had read.
Joe was instrumental in helping me to weather the initial hostile phase at Mora. He was very
supportive during my confirmation review with Mr. Bapat and Mr. Bhandare. He encouraged
me when I wanted to pursue an MBA from ISB around 2001. I did not get through and we never
spoke about this again.
Joe always stood by the team and me. His constant support and the words of encouragement
helped me to become a confident and assertive professional – a far cry from being a Public
I personally liked Joe’s simplicity, unassuming nature and personification of the GNO culture
and values. He would always maintain a strong bridge with old employees. And it is people
like Joe who helped cement my bonding with GNO.
Joe would never forget to wish me on Diwali even though I may not have reciprocated with my
wishes to him for Christmas.
Letter from Jean-Pierre Floris
Afew months after joining GNO, I had seriously thought of pursuing my career elsewhere.
However, based on a rejig of my job profile, I decided to stay on…immediately after that
there was a restructuring of the top management of GNO, with Mr.H.C. Patel stepping down
as MD and AYM taking over...DBG, the Business Grouping I was in at that time, was being
'dismantled', as these businesses were becoming kind of independent…
Joe met me at the Bangalore factory during one of his visits and told me about these changes
and gave me the option of being with the SBO Finance team or as PN desired, move into
Coated in a Product Management role. Post a few days of thinking, I opted to take up the
As always, Joe communicated the news of this rather big shift (at least, it was for me, as I
was moving from a finance oriented role to a customer facing role), in so few words, but
still “telling” me in some form that I am still valued by the organization...this is something
which I have been amazed by, to this day...how, in so few words, Joe can communicate such
complex and critical issues and that too very effectively…it is all done in a few minutes… I
will, for sure, miss this…amongst many other positives of Joe...
JAJP is an excellent kind hearted person with a human touch. He is a “mobile computer”,
who once reads, registers as a permanent memory and one can bank anytime to retrieve for
the age old information. His number crunching and analytical abilities are unbeatable. One
must admire his capability to manage work life balance, despite holding highly responsible
position. Hats off to him for his interests beyond profession, viz. sports, world history, and
The speed at which he speaks and responds to any mails/queries, is a rare ability, at the same
time, he is always approachable with ease. GNO has been lucky to have a versatile person like
JAJP and I was fortunate to have worked under him for 25 years and he has always been an
inspiration to do new things and always think positively.
I wish him all the best and pray for good health in his retired life.
M. A . Puranik
Joe has had a successful career. Indeed he has all the qualities to succeed in corporations
like GNO and Saint-Gobain. He is at the same time a strategist, a tactician, a financier, an
HR, gentle, with strong convictions, serious, cheerful, warm, loyal, pertinent, and sharp. He is
always there, present though never taking up too much space. You may have the feeling his mind
is elsewhere, but then suddenly you realize he’s completely in the here and now. The time I felt
closest to him? One evening early July 2010, on the terrasse of Romainville castle.
Joe and I have been colleagues for more than three decades. Therefore, it is difficult to pick
an episode and write about that. Together, we have seen GNO transform and become a big
company that it is today. We have also seen Saint-Gobain arrive and establish its presence in
India. It has been a long, eventful journey for both of us.
We have played very different roles with not much connection, but Joe always had implicit trust
in me in whatever I did. He said so and wrote so, which is very typical of him. Our interactions
at work have been short and conclusive and both of us are made that way.
Joe as a friend is a very warm and caring person. Cloty and Joe make a great couple and are
known for their simplicity and warmth. In the many get togethers, it was always my pleasure
to connect with both of them. Joe never fails to call me on all the important festival days –
Pongal, Deepavali etc., to personally wish Lakshmi & myself.
Joe is a picture of happiness. Nothing can make him unhappy for a long time. He is a very good
example of a perfect balance between personal pursuits and professional challenges. Many
years back, in my bout of jokes, I said the Bangalore Campus should be called as Rishi Bhavan (it
resembles a hermitage and for other reasons!) and the HO as Cushy Bhavan (as Joe sits there!).
I will always cherish my long professional and personal association with Joe. My meetings with
him will reduce, as I live in Bangalore. But, I will carry very fond memories of Joe.
I wish Joe a very happy and healthy retired life!
M. R. Ramarathnam
CALM, FAIR & STABLE, hE MANAGES PERSONAL PURSUITS
& PROFESSIONAL CHALLENGES WITH EQUAL EASE
More than a friend, philosopher and guide
It is hard to believe that Joe is actually retiring from GNO. I learnt a lot from Joe. He has
been instrumental in shaping my career and making a better person out of me. Before
joining GNO, I was like a rolling stone changing jobs very frequently. Today, as I complete
20 successful years in GNO, a large part of the credit for that goes to Joe. To me, Joe is much
more than the popular expression of a friend, philosopher and guide.
Joe is a very caring person, full of curiosity and energy. My family and I fondly cherish the
moments that we have spent together with Joe. Aparna still remembers the way Joe encouraged
us when we decided to move to Paris with our one year old twin boys. Talking about Joe, we
just cannot forget to mention about Cloty. We can never forget all the goodies with the personal
touch that she would send for us through Joe.
Cloty and Joe hold a very special place in our hearts. We will continue to look forward to spend
time with them.
We pray God to bless Joe and Cloty with everything that they desire during their retired life.
The godfather of our teams for Saint-Gobain in India is leaving us now!
What a loss!
But you deserve some time for yourself and your family now.
You remain for us a big “Personality” of Saint-Gobain.
Farewell and All the best!
My interview with Joe
My memory goes back to 2002. This was before I joined Saint-Gobain. I was told that
I have to meet Mr. Joe Pereira. I did not know who he was, but presumed that he is
quite a busy person since we had challenges in getting a convenient date. I understood on
the day I joined that, Joe meets all people who join Saint-Gobain especially at senior levels. I
joined Saint-Gobain on Thursday, 1 Aug 2002. At times I had an impression whether I missed
a significant check post.
Joe was travelling to Chennai and we fixed 12 Aug 2002 for this first meeting. Meeting venue
was scheduled to be either factory or city. If it is city, where will it be, was an unanswered
question in my mind. During the first 10 days in Saint-Gobain I heard from many people about
Joe and especially those who were associated with Grindwell. Besides asking whether I met
Joe, none gave any further input on Joe. My desire to meet Joe was subtly going up after every
such interaction. My meeting was scheduled at Hotel Taj Connemara at 7 pm. Our meeting
was in Joe’s room. He had a company application of Saint-Gobain with him. It looked like
the one I filled up. The setting was like a typical interview session. Opening sentence of Joe
resonates in my mind when he said; I like to stay only at Taj. From his further explanations, I
understood that he was an ardent supporter of Taj hotels. Joe felt very homely at Taj.
Most of his questions appeared to be quite loaded with adequate research done on me. He
gave me a subtle message that he had a fair idea of the company and few senior people with
whom I worked. I responded to all his questions diligently. Progressively from the questions
of Joe, it became quite clear that Joe was interviewing me very seriously. Some questions
put me in a dilemma. My mind was wondering whether Joe knows that I have already
joined the company. I wondered, if he knew, then why such questions? As this thought was
occupying my mind more and more, it came as a pleasant surprise when Joe paused and
mentioned to me that I would be wondering why he is asking all these questions after joining.
He further said that he would like to know more about me in spite of the fact that I have joined,
because Saint-Gobain considers this position as a very important one. How did Joe read my
mind? Did he not articulate exactly what went through my mind? No doubt, my first experience
with Joe was a memorable one. He was also confident to articulate his thought spontaneously,
openly and without any doubt. Thereafter he explained his journey in Grindwell and Saint-
Gobain by naming many of those who had grown in this Group. While many of those names
were unfamiliar at that time, today when I meet many of them for meetings or events, I am able
to relate to them through the words of Joe which I listened when we met at Taj Connemara.
Besides the warmth he provided during this first meeting, Joe underscored one point that my
responsibility is alignment & integration with the Group and Institution building since Saint-
Gobain has long terms plans for India.
I wish Joe & Cloty healthy and happy days ahead in their post retirement engagements.
Is Joe really retiring?
My association with Joe spans over 3 decades. In the early days, Joe used to report to
Mr.M.P. Venkataramani (MPV) the then head of GNO Finance, who was quite a maverick
and Joe had lot of opportunity to practice and perfect his diplomacy skills. In those days, I had
minimal interactions with Joe since he was part of the GWD business and I was with the Coated
Abrasives business in Bangalore. It was during my second decade in GNO that I had more
opportunities to work with Joe. He was the CFO and I was the Head of a ‘problem’ business.
Joe was very assertive in his statements about his views of my business, but then he would also
appreciate that we needed time and a certain space to work on solutions. In the last decade our
relationship grew into a more personal and warm one. He never fails to call me and Leela to wish
us for Diwali even though we have never been as diligent in wishing him for Christmas.
The thing that makes Joe unique is that despite being part of a corporate controlling function, he
remained a natural friendly person to whom you could go with your issues and find a solution.
He was never afraid of speaking his mind without appearing to make any loose or unduly critical
comments. In many ways the “culture” of GNO has evolved around the unique personality of Joe.
That is the reason why most of us kept asking the same question – “Is Joe really retiring?” Joe
will be badly missed by GNO and Saint-Gobain and the informal but super-efficient process is
bound to undergo a significant change in the post Joe era.
I wish him and Cloty a very happy retired life.
A safeguard, a confidante, a partner
I wish you a very happy retirement with your wife.
It has been a great pleasure to work with you along many years, to discuss
about cultures and ways of life, to learn about celebrating Christmas
without snow, and many other great things. It has been great not only
for Anand but also for me in Paris to know you were always there as a
safeguard, a confidante and a partner, checking everything was alright.
We will miss you.
Pierre-André de Chalendar
Man with the great memory
Mr Joe Pereira, a warm, friendly and large-hearted person. Inspite of his busy schedule
he always finds time to meet and talk to people. I admire his general knowledge (he
can speak on any topic) and his strong memory. I will never forget his visits to Paris during my
deputation there. He would always ensure that he found time to meet me. We would go out for
dinner, and sometimes he would also come over to my house and spend time with my family. I
will miss him a lot after he retires.
Genuine care and concern
Iam fortunate enough to have worked with Mr. Joe Pereira on various occasions during his
long stint with Grindwell Norton. He has always been very approachable and has genuine care and
concern towards people. He is always keen to share his knowledge with others for the betterment of
GNO. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Mr. Joe Pereira for all his support. I wish
him a happy and peaceful retired life. Our best wishes are always with him and his family.
A moving encyclopedia
Joe, it has always been a great pleasure working closely with you and I have been privileged
to be associated with you for 15 years in my career. You have always been a Mentor to me
with lots of care and encouragement and made a very positive difference to my career. Working
with you has always been an absolute pleasure – with many memories / anecdotes - starting
from the handholding you have done to the people during the RPG business acquisition by
Saint-Gobain in 1998; opportunities provided to me in Finance and HR areas in various SG
companies; strong support provided to me when managing the Vetrotex business in transition,
(when PN had exited from Vetrotex in mid 2003); personal bonding and relationship developed
during our visit to Stockholm, for International Finance Conference in 2004; being instrumental
in my coming back to Saint-Gobain in 2012; and day to day (and almost every day) guidance /
sharing your thoughts on various functional and management areas during last 2 years.
To me, right from 1998, GNO and Saint-Gobain India symbolize with few names and Joe, you
are one on the top of the list. It is hard for me to imagine without you being in SG Group India
or physically in Leela Business Park; moving around in the office enthusiastically and providing
leadership to the entire team with your all round knowledge, like a moving encyclopedia.
Thank you so much for everything that you did to GNO, Saint-Gobain and every one of us.
I will miss you, Joe. I sincerely wish you a happy retirement and all the best as you enter into a
new phase of your life. May you enjoy the extra time that you’ll be spending with Cloty, family
members and friends. Keep in touch !!!
friendly, humble, always THERE to help
Un grand merci pour ton action
When I was appointed VP Human Resources for HPM in 2004, it was a major change in my
professional life. After 10 years in the Distribution Sector, to deal with so many countries was
a true challenge. And among those countries, was India where HPM was pretty strong.
During all these years and after my move to Construction Products, Joe has been much
more than a colleague: he has been a coach, a mentor and a friend. With him or under his
supervision, I went to Mumbai, Hyderabad, Nagpur, Bangalore, Coimbatore, Palakkad, Mora
and Wada, in order to discover our facilities and also to meet the teams there.
With Joe, every working session was an opportunity to talk about business, organization and
people of course, and also about culture, behavior, across-boundaries topics. Along the years,
we built common trust and mutual respect.
The great connection between Joe and Anand also gave me the chance to spend time with the
General Delegate who provided me with advice through rewarding discussions; under their
guidance, we had great achievements in HPM and now in PPC.
Joe also introduced me to his wife, Clotilda. I indeed enjoyed meeting Joe and his wife
together. And with simplicity, we discussed about family life, belief and faith.
Joe, un grand merci pour ton action! Without you, my role in India and for India would have
been so limited!
I wish you all the best for your future. And I am sure we will meet again.
My closest colleague and friend
Joe and I had a very long and close association, right from the
time I returned from Delhi around the year 1981, where I was
the CMG Head of North Sales, till my retirement in 2004. Come to
think of it, we are quite different in many respects. Despite this, (or
because of it) we got along very fine. I can say without any hesitation
that Joe was my closest colleague and friend.
He is a highly networked person. Joe is truly a “people” person. He was not much for paperwork
or writing long memos. Instead, he spent lots of time with people, in person or on phone.
I cannot help smiling to myself when I remember Joe’s attempt to pronounce some of the south
Indian names, eg. a colleague Namahivayam was to Joe – Namo Shivay! He was dynamic in more
ways than one. He is unlikely to remain in one place for more than a few minutes. Joe is lively,
very fit and seems to defy age. He eats and drinks in moderation. His father died at quite an early
age of heart trouble. Joe seems to have taken this very seriously and makes a conscious effort
to keep himself fit. But more than just physical fitness, he has a certain ‘spiritual and religious’
outlook that seems to give him peace of mind. It is out of this that he has very humane approach
to people around him. Yet, he is not “soft”, as I have seen at first hand on many occasions when
he had to deal with wayward behaviour of employees. Joe’s retirement is perhaps the most
significant separation for GNO in the last many years. Pramod Bapat
Tireless young man
It is difficult to believe that Joe is retiring.
Retiring is what old people do. Not tireless young men like Joe. In all the years that I have
known him, Joe has been just that – a tireless young man. Organizing meetings (and ensuring
attendance), making presentations (and ensuring attention), issuing policy notes (and ensuring
adherence) he was tireless in pushing and prodding the easily distracted senior managers
of the Company to some semblance of orderly behavior. Whatever he did – and he did do a
lot - he brought his special brand of enthusiasm to it. Whether it was lamenting the drinking
habits of Tam Brahms in the Group (while continuing to recruit more), constantly jousting
with Santhanam during meetings, gravitating towards the ‘masahari’ Keralites, Joe’s tireless
enthusiasm for life was evident everywhere.
Joe, retiring ? No chance. Probably they made a mistake. He must be ‘re-tyring’ as in ‘retreading’.
He is just getting ready for another round of tireless running around!
An ocean of goodness
Joe for many of us has been a pillar of support
in GNO. My first interaction with him after
joining Grindwell Norton was on sharing how
we spent the weekend. He made me feel at
ease instantly and established a comfortable
rapport. Only then he got into explaining the
organization and other related matters. That
was a great start with him. I have never hesitated to discuss anything with Joe - work related
or non-work related - many times on religion (have learnt a lot about the evolution of East
Indian Christians from him, similarity between Catholics and Protestants), values, sports and
many more. I have known Joe to be an extremely warm and friendly person, a GOTO person
with whom you can share your thoughts and concerns being very sure that he will not use it
against you. I have had the opportunity to discuss and handle various difficult issues with him
and many a times he has enabled me to think from a different perspective and add a humane
touch. His approachability is unmatchable. The HR team members always look forward to
meet and interact with him. Transparency being an important thread in the fabric of our
culture, Joe’s style encourages it to a large extent. One of his qualities that I, as well as others,
will miss is the feedback he delivers to you during discussions, very candid and straight yet
constructive without making you feel demotivated but would make you think.
Little drops of water make a mighty ocean. That’s Joe - he is an ocean of goodness with
many drops of good qualities, open, simple, supportive, caring, non-intrusive, constructive,
freedom to think, and operate, humane…. I can go on. Yes that’s Joe, a person who gives
importance to small things that matter and that in totality has a great impact. I would say he
is an epitome of simplicity and his gestures go a long way. I recollect having dinner with Joe
along with my spouse and after the dinner he came down to the hotel porch and waited for
us to get into the car before he could get back to his room. It was so personal that we were
very touched and impressed. Mostly my reporting relationship with him has been indirect,
however he is one person whom I will personally miss post his retirement.
Wishing Joy to Joe forever.
The ever smiling Joe
My association with Joe started in June 1987, when I was transferred to the Mumbai
plant. Few things about Joe that we can never forget Joe are: Always smiling, harsh on
a few occssions when necessary, but never lasted too long. Whenever, he was in Mora, he would
always make it a point to walk into my office to say hello even if for a few seconds. He would
always give time whenever you needed, but encouraged you to be short and get to the point.
He always explains his point of view on any topic – formal and informal. He always calls and
wishes on Diwali. He always returns SMSs and calls, if for some reason he could not take your
call. In meetings, his observations were direct, sharp and to the point, never labouring around
what needed to be said. He always puts his hand on your shoulder and talks, makes you feel
comfortable while talking. An incident that I recall, in the days at the beginning of Windows
mobile, I had asked Aju to buy one for me, and send me the same through our mail. Joe, who
happened to visit Aju’s cabin, asked him who it was for and when he came to know that it was
for me, he sent me a mail saying that the company would pay for it, as I was eligible. He acts
in a way that ensures you get what is due to you, even when you did not ask for it.
These are few of my experiences with Joe, over the decades.
Eight years ago...
Ihave known Joe since 2006, 8 years back when I first met him on the day of my interview.
I was a little tensed to meet the Head – HR and this was at Army Navy Office but after I
met him and interacted, I was touched by his simplicity and down to earth nature. We spoke
on various topics including east Indian and Manglorean customs and I was absolutely relaxed
and comfortable to go on for hours. I remember one hilarious topic in particular. It was soccer
season, the World Cup was going on and I remember very clearly how he tested me on the game
rules and then went on to explain it patiently.
Joe can talk about anything, be it cuisine, culture, traditional food, I am yet to figure out the
difference between East Indian pork sausages and Goa sausages. I enjoyed every HR conference
and loved the way he encouraged us for the gala dinner themes and enthusiastically supported
us, not forgetting the “Mascarade Ball Event” where we insisted on a formal dress code. I always
looked forward to play those lovely old numbers where we waltzed and jived.
Cheers to Joe to good health and happiness and for a happy & fun-filled relaxed retired life.
Joseph A J Pereira to me has always been and will remain Joe, as he is to most of us. There
are a number of qualities of Joe that endear us to him – an extremely approachable person,
Joe can be empathetic and also tough if necessary to the extent that the person at the receiving
end would be left wondering whether it is the same Joe that he/she had seen in the softer
demeanor. One skill of Joe that really stands out to me is his “amazing memory”. He could
rattle out the day, time and the circumstances around occurrence of an event with perfection.
We could go on and on to talk about his HR abilities for long….but also hidden inside him is his
passion for sports – Hockey and Cricket in particular. He would take pride to narrate anecdotes
about Indian Hockey players/Olympians, be it Joaquim Carvalho or M.K Kaushik or Edgar
Mascarenhas. He would express his liking to Dilip Vengsarkar for his outspoken views, his
dislike for Sunil Gavaskar (not as a cricket player though) for his “sitting on the fence” attitude
and in the same breath also add some interesting inside stories regarding the IPL auctions.
It’s difficult for anyone to forget the famous T-20 cricket world cup victory in 2007 where
India beat Pakistan in a thrilling last over finish. On that day of the finals in the evening Joe,
Puranik and I were in Germany taking a stroll in a mall and looking out for a restaurant to
have a bite. At about the same time, there was this newbie “Joginder Sharma” bowling the last
over of the match. Joe receives an SMS from Dinakar with a score update of the match – Pak
require 11 runs from 6 deliveries. Joe read this out aloud. As soon as we heard this news, our
hunger vanished and all of us were just glued to Joe’s mobile (it was not any smart phone, at
that time) eagerly waiting for the next message to arrive…after every delivery...there was a new
update from Dinakar and Joe would just read it aloud…each message when read out would
either make us feel elated when we sensed an Indian victory or low as Pakistan would get closer
to the target of 152...in those 10 odd minutes, it was like we were on a roller coaster ride...Joe,
Puranik and I experienced almost the same kind of excitement as the rest of the Indians who had
the privilege of viewing the match on TV. This was just an example of Joe’s sporting passion…
Joe will be missed. I wish him a peaceful and prosperous retired life.
jACK OF ALL TRADES
MASTER OF MANY
4 DECADES. INNUMERABLE ROLES.
Joe's healing touch
Icannot express in words the immense contribution Joe has made to GNO and SG India. An
organization is a living organism which takes birth, grows, changes and transforms over time.
Joe has touched in several ways and several times the organization as well as many hundreds
of individuals in SG India.
In my life, Joe has also provided the healing touch in many ways, particularly in helping me
to deal with my wife’s difficult health condition. I know he prayed for her recovery and he
perhaps does so even now.
In GNO, Joe spent most of his initial years as the Finance Chief, and was very supportive of all
of us in Finance. He completely trusted us and also gave us a lot of space. We could go to Joe
unhesitatingly with any problem (not just Finance related) and over a period of time, people
from all parts of the organization would reach out to Joe. Later as the HR Head for SG India,
Joe has been a great bridge between Paris and India.
For me, it is impossible to imagine SG India without the supportive presence of Joe.