Tech su­pe­ri­or­ity the key to Dow’s suc­cess

China Daily (Canada) - - SHANGHAI - By YU RAN in Shang­hai


Peter Wong, pres­ence in China was lim­ited to its Shang­hai head­quar­ters and a few of­fices in Guangzhou and Bei­jing. To­day, it has nine busi­ness cen­ters in cities such as Chengdu, Harbin and Wuhan. They have also just opened a new Xin­jiang of­fice in Septem­ber, be­com­ing the first multi­na­tional chem­i­cal com­pany to op­er­ate a busi­ness cen­ter in the re­gion.

Dow cur­rently runs 17 man­u­fac­tur­ing sites and has 3,500 em­ploy­ees in China. Its an­nual sales in China last year was $4.3 bil­lion. About 90 per­cent of Dow’s sales in the coun­try come from tech­nol­ogy and mar­ket-driven busi­nesses.

In ad­di­tion, the com­pany is al­ways look­ing to co­op­er­ate with lo­cal and in­ter­na­tional brands such as Huawei, Blue­moon (liq­uid soap and laun­dry de­ter­gent), Proc­ter & Gam­ble and Ap­ple.

“We have changed our per­spec­tive about lo­cal com­pe­ti­tion — we re­spect and learn from them. They know what’s go­ing on and are much faster and more re­spon­sive, which are needed by the cus­tomers,” said Wong.

Founded in 1897, the US com­pany is one of the largest chem­i­cal man­u­fac­tur­ers in the world and its an­nual sales last year hit $58 bil­lion. Dow, which has been in China since the 1930s, now em­ploys about 53,000 peo­ple world­wide and has more than 6,000 prod­uct fam­i­lies man­u­fac­tured at 201 sites in 35 coun­tries across the globe.

The com­pany is known for driv­ing in­no­va­tions that ex­tract value from the in­ter­sec­tion of chem­i­cal, phys­i­cal, and bi­o­log­i­cal sciences to help ad­dress many of the world’s most chal­leng­ing prob­lems, such as the need for clean wa­ter, clean energy gen­er­a­tion and con­ser­va­tion, and in­creas­ing agri­cul­tural pro­duc­tiv­ity.

Dow de­liv­ers a broad range of tech­nol­ogy-based prod­ucts and so­lu­tions to cus­tomers in ap­prox­i­mately 180 coun­tries and in high growth sec­tors such as pack­ag­ing, elec­tron­ics, wa­ter, coat­ings, and agri­cul­ture.

“We are a so­lu­tion provider, with an ex­ten­sive range of in­no­va­tive and sus­tain­able tech­nolo­gies to ad­dress de­mands in food safety and se­cu­rity, in­fra­struc­ture, energy ef­fi­ciency, and en­vi­ron­men­tal pro­tec­tion,” said Wong, who was born in Hong Kong and has worked in Dow for 25 years. “We are try­ing to of­fer a bet­ter, cleaner and health­ier life for our down­stream cus­tomers by in­putting our tech­nol­ogy to all as­pects of life — from wash­ing ma­chines to car parts to run­ning shoes.”

Wong fore­sees that in­no­va­tion and a grow­ing aware­ness of health is­sues will start to have a greater im­pact on the Chi­nese econ­omy from now, and Dow’s strat­egy is to cre­ate prod­ucts that sat­isfy both cri­te­ria.

“We try to un­der­stand where and what the prob­lems are, and think how we can use our tech­nol­ogy to solve these prob­lems,” said Wong.

One of Dow’s latest in­no­va­tions is a col­lab­o­ra­tion with Haier, a lead­ing elec­tric ap­pli­ance maker in China, fol­low­ing a part­ner­ship be­tween the two com­pa­nies.

Haier’s new Casarte wash­ing ma­chine adopts Dow’s Pur­inze ul­tra­fil­tra­tion mod­ule, which runs con­tin­u­ously dur­ing wash­ing. Com­posed of por­ous hol­low fibers about 20-30 nanome­ters in di­am­e­ter, the mod­ule al­lows wa­ter mol­e­cules to pass through while block­ing bac­te­ria and mites. As a re­sult, as much as 99 per­cent of com­mon bac­te­ria and mites, as well as other dirt and con­tam­i­nants are re­moved from the wa­ter and dis­charged from the wash­ing ma­chine. Be­cause of the fil­tra­tion per­for­mance, wa­ter con­sump­tion is re­duced by more than 30 per­cent.

“The wa­ter in the wash­ing ma­chine is al­ways clean as we have put a wa­ter clean­ing unit in­side the ma­chine. You can even drink the wa­ter af­ter you’re done wash­ing the clothes,” said Wong.

Dow may be an Amer­i­can com­pany but we can be as lo­cal as any Chi­nese com­pany. We learn from lo­cal com­pa­nies to un­der­stand the mar­ket, make fast de­ci­sions and make sure we are re­spon­sive.”

pres­i­dent of The Dow Chem­i­cal Com­pany in China


Peter Wong be­lieves that in­no­va­tion will soon have a big im­pact on the Chi­nese econ­omy and Dow is well placed to de­liver on that.

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