How important do you think digitization will be in value creation in the chemical industry, and will job opportunities be transformed?
Digitization is going to be an important factor in the chemical industry, and has the potential to be a source of disruptive change. All aspects of our business have the potential for improvement and/or transformation with the digital tools available today, and those being developed now –form manufacturing to Supply-Chain to Sales and Finance, Digital tools will play an important role in transforming our operations and perhaps even business models.
How can the chemical industry attract and retain the best talent?
The workplace and workforce of the future are likely going to look quite different from what it is today – employees will extensively use mobile and digital tools, rely on remote and/or home work spaces, could expect a different reward system, and have different expectations of a work-life balance. Also, importantly, the workforce of the future is likely to be increasingly more global, involve people from different regions, work cultures and time zones. Companies must adapt to these changes to offer a comprehensive “Employee Value Proposition” to employees to attract the retain them, beyond just a compensation package and promise of challenging work.
Can the industry retain its focus on innovation and R&D investment in the current climate?
Given the ongoing changes in the world, Innovation will be required not just for differentiation and growth, but also to ensure survival, as the material needs of tomorrow could evolve and transform from today, and thereby require new, different or improved solutions form what is available today. Companies that adapt and offer such solutions, will set themselves up for continued success and growth, while others could be at risk of even maintaining their business share in tomorrow’s world
Will the chemical industry continue to see more consolidation?
Though there are advantages of consolidation to achieve scale in large businesses (commodity and other large volume chemicals), more specialty businesses do not typically benefit from scale and consolidation. Indeed, the Stock market has pushed companies to break-up disparate businesses into smaller companies rather than consolidate under a single corporate umbrella. So we would expect to continue to continue to see consolidation in some segments, and not so in others.