3M is committed to make lives easier and better! From products that improve manufacturing efficiency and impact improved healthcare delivery to safety markers that help increase road visibility, everyday kitchen and home care aids and car care products; today, 3M has expanded its reach in almost every industry segment.
The company has recently conducted its ‘Tech Connect Event’ in Bengaluru that showcased world-class urban infrastructure technologies. On the sidelines of this event 3M India’s Executive Director Dr. Kris Sridhar speaks to Shashi Kumar Sharma and gives an overview of the company’s commitment to the infrastructure development in India. Excerpts:
Could you briefly tell us about 3M’s operations in India?
3M was established in India in 1988 and today it leverages its global innovation expertise to develop home-grown solutions that address unique needs of diverse customers in the Indian market. In India, we are headquartered in Bengaluru and have manufacturing footprint across Bengaluru, Pune and Ahmedabad. We have made significant investment in Innovation Centres at Bengaluru and Gurgaon which are designed to boost local product development.
How important is Indian market for your business?
It’s extremely important. As India is one of the fastest growing economies in the world and the middle-class puts its power, we foresee a tremendous business opportunity here. Make in India initiative, the GDP growth all that is positioning India as a great business destination for us altogether. We already have a good infrastructure – good capabilities in terms of manufacturing and workforce.
How do you see opportunities with ‘Smart City’ initiative?
The Indian government has pledged $15 billion for the Smart City initiative for 100 cities. 3M being a diversified company with multi-segment products based on our 46 technology platforms, we would like to play a major role in upgrading the infrastructure and services of cities in alignment with Smart City mission including smart mobility, energy management, waste and water management, government services and green buildings – either directly or indirectly.
What are your key solutions for smart city segment?
In the focus segments of smart mobility and energy management, some of the solutions that 3M currently offers include smart variable messaging signage, solar raised pavement marker, smart films for light management, daylighting solutions, advanced lighting systems, corrosion protection solutions, and locater and markers for utility management.
How much do you invest in R&D every year?
R&D is the heartbeat as far as 3M’s business philosophy is concerned. Globally we invest around US$ 1.8 billion in R&D which is about 5.8 per cent of our sales revenue and we will continue to invest more on new product development.
Did you design or develop any innovative product especially for Indian market?
Indian consumers being little different from rest of the world, we are committed to deliver the products to the Indian market that meet the local needs. To address the hurdle posed by India’s congested and accident-prone roads, 3M has developed products like smart variable messaging signage that provides real-time, automated and contextual information on traffic, congestion, weather etc., flexible median marker that is a vandal-resistant visual aid for night-time driving and the solar raised pavement marker that uses sun’s energy to power a “ring” of light to enable active and passive safety. 3M India has developed NSF-certified Scotchkote liquid epoxy anti-corrosive coating for pipelines, tanks and vessels to enable safe delivery of water fit for human consumption while reducing water leakage and loss. In the area of infection prevention, our scientists have specifically formulated Avagard Foam Handrub to suit India’s hot and humid conditions.