Business Times

3M to strengthen R&D in SL

3M is gearing to strengthen its Research and Development (R&D) capabilities in Sri Lanka, on the back of the peace dividend, officials say. “We are exploring ways to be a partner in Sri Lanka’s growth story, now that the country (with peace) is seeing many sectors such as infrastructure hospitability, health care, etc, grow,” Dr Ashish Khandpur Senior Executive Director, Technical 3M India – and Sri Lanka told the Business Times.

He was here to present a paper at the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) Sri Lanka Region’s 11th CIM Annual Conference 2011 early this week. On plans for Sri Lanka, Dr Khandpur added that 3M sees R&D as an investment and in Sri Lanka it sees immense potential, which is why the company hopes to grow this segment. “We’ll be developing products within the country and plan giving them at the ‘right price’ at all tiers of the market,” he explained. He added that over 6,500 scientists and engineers in the R&D community at 3M represent 100 years of breaking technical boundaries. “Our work spans abrasives and optics to nanotechnology and micro-replication. It’s complicated. To simplify, we collaborate across technical, functional and global boundaries.”

He added that it’s quite impressive the way 3M has progressed in Sri Lanka during the past 12 months, which is a primary reason the company has plans to locate its offices to Colombo (from Battaramulla).
At the CIM Annual Conference 2011 his presentation focussed on building a culture of innovation in organizations. Dr Khandpur, discussing product innovation as a main topic in his presentation explained on the complexity of an innovative organization and highlighted examples where multiple factors have to often come together for innovation to take place. The importance of the right people, culture, environment, technology, and access to resources, recognition, and access to customers was elaborated upon using real examples from the corporate world.

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