Innovating for the VUCA World

'Powering the Future' - the theme of Dow Innovation Day created a perfect setting for discussions around Dow innovations across key end user industries. The conference witnessed a strong presence of over 200 experts from diversified industries, researchers and scientists from multiple end user verticals.

Vipul Shah, President CEO and Chairman Dow India, kicked off the Innovation Day with the welcome address and briefed the guests about the achievements of company in the last two decades. Dow's business in India has grown from a USD 10 million and a strong team of ten people in 1992 to close to USD 1 billion revenue employing over 900 people. "Dow India is in the process of transforming into a high-performance science and technology company by providing customised local solutions for the Indian market," Shah said.

The presentations were an eclectic blend depicting out of the box innovations developed by Dow. Dr A N Sreeram, Corporate Vice President - R & D, The Dow Chemical Co USA, in his key note address touched upon innovations across Agrosciences, Packaging, Energy, Infrastructure and Transportation and Water. "We have a pan-India presence which includes four manufacturing plants, two established Centers of Excellence, three application development centers and three commercial offices. Staying close to customers helps us understand the market trends and study their needs more diligently, which works as a win-win situation for both Dow and customers," he added.

Dr David Bem, Vice President - R & D, Dow Advanced Materials, Dr Bob Maughon , Global R & D Director, Dow Performance Plastics and Feedstocks and Dr Nilesh Shah, Senior R & D Director, Dow Consumer and Industrial Solutions from the international team shared insights into the latest innovations that Dow scientists were working for the future technologies.

Dow also showcased diverse portfolio of innovative chemistry-based solutions across the key electronics and functional materials, coatings and infrastructure, agrosciences, performance materials, performance plastics and feedstock and energy that complemented the technical presentations.

Dr Vilas Sinkar, Vice President - R & D, Unilever, shared the concept of VUCA world and discussed the macro trends – digitisation, living differently , demographic shifts and environmental stress that were impacting the FMCG companies. He went on to share that customer centric companies like the FMCG sector were under immense pressure to develop the product pipelines and get the new products to the market at a faster rate to get faster returns on investments. Rahul Gautam, Managing Director, Sheela Foams, Mahesh Gupta, Founder & Chairman, Kent RO Systems Ltd and Marzban Thanevala, Vice President-Marketing Innovations and Business Development, HUHTAMAKI -PPL further shared insights into various innovative ways their companies have adopted to meet the ever changing customer demand.

The day ended with the panel discussion on ‘Managing Innovations in Dynamic Environment' with Dow experts and the experts from other companies on the way research teams worked on building the culture of innovations taking failures in stride as a part of learning process. Shah moderated the panel discussion among Ralf Brinkman, President and CEO, Dow Europe GmbH, Larry Ryan, Business President, Energy and Water Solutions at The Dow Chemical Company, Raja Krishnamurthy, R & D Head, 3M Ltd, KBS Anand, Asian Paints and Dr Anil Biswas, Executive Vice President, Dr Reddy's Lab.