Issue 10

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Dr. Deepak Parikh

Region Head – India, Clariant

Dr. Deepak Parikh is the Region Head – India for Clariant, a world leader in specialty chemicals. He is the Vice Chairman & Managing Director of Clariant Chemicals (India) Limited. He is also on the Board of four other Clariant entities in India.

A dynamic strategist, an energizer - Dr. Parikh joins Clariant from Lion Copolymer (USA), where he held dual roles as the Chief Vice President of Asia Pacific Business and Chief Technology Officer. Prior to this, he worked with Dow Chemical and DuPont in USA and Asia for almost 20 years where he held various global and regional leadership roles in commercial, R&D and business development functions. Dr. Parikh is a US citizen, with over 25 years of experience in general administration, M&A, divesture, creating new platforms, driving change management and delivering business growth in emerging markets in the chemicals and plastics industry. He is a chemical engineer from Bombay University (UICT) and is the youngest person to obtain a PhD from University of Tennessee’s Engineering Department. He is the holder of 40 US patents.

His Team describes Dr. Parikh as an easily approachable and affable person; who believes in an open door policy. A team person - he believes that every employee is an asset to the company and each one of them has the innate ability to perform and deliver in their respective realm of activity. A strong believer in people – he feels it is they who make the difference and not just the strategies. He believes that reducing bureaucracy and raising efficiency is the hallmark of any effective organization.

Dr. Parikh’s family includes his wife - Ani, who has been an IT Director for 15 years with Dow and DuPont and is currently engaged in Volunteer services for the cause of children’s education; his daughter Esha is studying to qualify as an anesthesiologist while his son Amish is in college and aspires to qualify as a cardiologist.

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1. How has the market evolved in the last few years?

The chemical sector in recent years has given rise to many MNCs and large conglomerates in India. According to the report by Tata Strategic Management Group, Indian chemical industry is likely to touch $ 190 billion by 2017-18. The specialty chemicals market, which is currently valued at approximately $ 23 billion, is estimated to reach $ 60-70 billion by 2020..

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2. What are the key challenges your organization is facing currently? And what are the steps you are taking?

For succeeding globally,one requires to develop a global view, while using local knowledge to understand particular challenges in markets around the world. Indian executives need to understand different business contexts and be able to identify opportunities, leading to better business decisions about global markets

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3. How have the changes in technology/globalization/economy affected your sector?

The chemical industry has been quite mature with respect to technology adoption. The positive business environment, surging consumer demands, technological upgradation and several other factors have facilitated the initial steps to improvement in the Indian chemical industry.

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4. How does the growth prospect of your organization look like for the next 12-24 months?

It is my firm belief that Clariant in India will be able to capture mega trends that are evolving in the country; especially with the rapid urbanization and growing consumerism. Keeping this in mind, we have continued to work hard over the years, restructured and revitalized our businesses to future-proof the company.

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5.Will there be any significant change in the market dynamics in next few years? If so, what steps are you taking for the same?

India currently accounts for approximately 3% of the world chemical market. The specialty chemical segment is a significant driver of growth within this market. According to a report released by McKinsey & Co, India’s specialty chemical industry is likely to grow 4-5 times to $ 80-100 billion by 2020

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6. In a world full of volatility, uncertainty, complexity & ambiguity (VUCA), innovation has become one of the most important factors to transform a crisis into an opportunity. How do you promote Innovation?

Clariant follows a customer-centric approach and we are able to provide our customers with innovative and technologically advanced solutions. We constantly innovate to be able to offer tailor-made solutions by listening intently to what our customers imply.

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7. How Indian leaders can become Global Leaders?

The leadership DNA is present in Indian talent, as seen from the alumni of IITs or IIMs and other such premier institutes. Indian executives need to understand different business contexts and be able to identify opportunities, leading to better business decisions about global markets. Investing in soft skill development is equally important for Indian leaders to become global leaders.

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8. What are the shortcomings and strengths of Indian Leaders?

Emerging markets like India have become cradles for global leaders in various sectors. The recent leadership appointments in leading global technology companies like Microsoft and Google have bolstered the India leadership positioning

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9. What is your talent strategy?

AWe have a dedicated unit in Clariant – Senior Management Development which concentrates on talent management. SMD provides programs, tools and initiatives to support individual and organizational development in Clariant.

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10. What was the mandate given to you by the Board when you took over in your role?

When I joined Clariant in India in 2013, I took it upon myself to transform the Company, bringing about a paradigm shift with a sharp focus on hypergrowth.

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11. What are the most pivotal moments in your career that you either learned from and/or that got you where you are today?

In the early 2000, while strategizing the turnaround of the Asia business of DuPont, I leveraged the local cultural synergy to penetrate the market..

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12. What message would you like to share with young professionals at the start of their career?

Firstly, do your job right, it determines your future course. Be selfless and patient, and evolve into a genuine team player. Make your department successful. Volunteer for community initiatives and cultural activities, that speak of your ability to excel all-round. Concentrate on personal grooming and towards being presentable and professional. Develop social skills. Always remember, attitude decides altitudes

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