Q.You are the CEO of Dow Chemical International Private Ltd. (Dow India), and have been associated with the company for over 20 years. What inspires you to do this?
Being one of the world’s most innovative and inclusive material science companies, Dow India is uniquely positioned to make a true and lasting positive impact on the communities in which we operate. Our commitment to building self-sufficient and socially healthy communities manifests itself through numerous projects worldwide contributing to economic development, environment preservation and education.
These values of Care and Respect for People and the Planet, very much align with my own personal values, and therefore being part of this company for the last two decades has provided me tremendous opportunity to grow as
a professional and as a person.
Q.What is the partnership between Dow Chemical and Habitat for Humanity India like?
We have been a global partner with Habitat for Humanity for over three decades. Dow’s support to Habitat includes building homes, product donations and employees volunteering on Habitat builds. We have also employed our expertise to deliver solutions that help provide sustainable, affordable housing to low-income families. Dow has directly aided Habitat India in funding 242 homes, 201 sanitation facilities and 10 school facilities across rural, underprivileged communities.
Q.What do you think are the toughest challenges India is facing today? What is your vision for the country?
I believe the core challenge in India remains tackling illiteracy. Having said that, I envision that India will rank among the developed nations in the next 20 years. An important result of that for me, will be that our farmers will no longer have to contemplate extreme steps like suicide due to lack of access to water and resources.
Q.How do you feel about India’s agrarian crisis, and what do you think we can do to support the families affected by it?
Despite being one of the world’s fastest growing economies, we continue to depend heavily on monsoons as a primary source of irrigation, with improper infrastructure and market linkages. This leads to the ongoing low income rut that our farmers find themselves in, creating greater economic disparity in the country. Hence, there is a big need to support rural India.
Simple steps that we can all take to save and utilize energy and water more wisely can have a far-reaching impact on rural communities. In addition, we should also endeavor to support Habitat for Humanity to raise awareness and resources that will provide dignity of life at the grassroots-levels in India.
Q.What inspired you to run in the Tata Mumbai Marathon 2019 on behalf of affordable housing for the widows of farmers in India?
I was preparing for my 51st marathon which was a very special milestone for me; I felt that there should be more to it than just running for myself. I decided to support the cause of housing for widows of farmers by Habitat India.
I am very grateful to my network of family, friends and business associates for showing their overwhelming support in helping me raise over 55 lakhs through the marathon. This money was used to build houses for 25 rural families. I can therefore confidently say that my 51st run has by far been my most special marathon!
Q.How do you think a decent home empowers a family?
A home keeps the family together in an environment that is safe and secure. Above all, a home gives a family a sense of dignity and hope. It signifies stability and confidence - that something beyond the bare minimum can be achieved, and that one can look forward to a brighter future.