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Trade Talk | November 2017

Dow banks on innovation to propel growth in India

Dow India held the second edition of its marquee event, India Innovation Day 2017, in Mumbai recently. The event witnessed global and local leaders of the organisation coming together with over 300 key customers and stakeholders in India. With a focus on ‘Creating the Future Together’, the event aimed to discuss innovation, sustainability and material science solutions that can contribute to the changing manufacturing and industry landscape of India’s growing economy.

Over the last 60 years of its business in the country, Dow India has been driving innovations at the intersection of material sciences to address challenges such as need for sustainable infrastructure, recyclable packaging, need for clean water, clean energy generation and conservation, and increasing agricultural productivity. The event was a step forward in this collaborative growth journey, with its customers in the country. The event saw leaders from industries like infrastructure, agriculture, consumer goods, personal care and pharmaceuticals ideate and brainstorm on the ways of making India the innovation hub of the world.

The keynote address was delivered by Rajeev Kapoor, Secretary, Department of Chemicals and Petrochemicals, Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers, Government of India. In his address, Kapoor highlighted importance of innovation in an era of disruptions and the need for pushing the growth levers of manufacturing in India to the next level. He said, “The Indian chemical industry needs to create an ecosystem that promotes R&D. We as a country have unique challenges – and addressing these will require local effort, resources and investments. One of the most important areas of focus should be reducing import dependence for feedstock.”

Kapoor called out to Dow India and its peers present in the audience and encouraged them to bring their technological expertise into the country. “It is important that the Government and industry collaborate to outline the sector priorities and work with each other in addressing oncoming challenges.”

Over 300 eminent CXO-level leaders from top manufacturing companies in the country were joined by the top brass of leadership of the company. The event included three panel discussions on themes of Circular Economy, Breakthrough Innovations: Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid, and Innovation Ecosystem of India. The panel discussions alternated with Dow global leaders sharing best-practices from across the world in their area of expertise.

Asserting his optimism for the country, Heinz Haller, Executive Vice President and President, Dow Europe, Middle East, Africa and India (EMEAI), said “From clean water to safe food-packaging, renewable sources of energy, digital communication, efficient transport, energy saving insulation and agriculture – chemistry is one of the centrepieces of any economic activity. India being the bright-spot of global economy will need continued inflow of feedstock. Our joint-venture with Saudi Aramco – Sadara, will provide an outstanding opportunity for India to drive competitive and sustainable growth in the sector.”

Dr AN Sreeram, Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer, outlined the key areas of focus for innovation and showcased how the company keeps pace with evolving formulation needs across various businesses. He shared examples from various sectors that showcased how circular economy will be the underlying trend in creating a sustainable future.

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