Interview with Giuseppe Santoro, Country Leader, Dow Poland
Q: Giuseppe, you are a new face for AmCham Estonia community being the Country Leader of Dow Poland – AmCham Estonia non-resident corporate member. Could you please tell us a little about yourself and your background with the company?
A: I have been Country Leader Dow Poland since November 2017 and I am responsible for leading Dow’s operations across the country with a particular focus on employee, customer and stakeholder engagement. Working closely with the businesses, I explore and accelerate new opportunities and drive business growth.
Prior to being appointed to my present role, I served as Global New Business Development Director for Dow’s Consumer Solutions business and was based in Dow’s European headquarters in Horgen, Switzerland.
I joined Dow in 1999 in Italy so it has been almost 20 years of international experience with functional expertise in many different areas such as sales, marketing, product management, strategy and new business development. In this role, since 2015 I developed and driven the global Mergers & Acquisitions strategy for Dow’s Consumer Solutions business enabling growth in adjacent markets segments and I led key innovation projects with external third party technology leaders.
Prior to this, I was Global Binders Market Director of Dow Coatings Materials, among other roles. I chose Dow as my future company after graduating in Chemical Engineering from the University of Pisa in Italy. My education I continued while working at Dow in UK where I obtained an MBA from London Business School.
Now it is my time to explore Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania and I cannot wait to establish new business relations in these vibrant markets.
Q: How many countries do you oversee in your current portfolio and how often do you get to travel to Estonia?
A: Currently I oversee Poland, where I am based and I have recently added Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.
Q: Overseeing the Baltic region from Poland, what is your take on the region, its main advantages and challenges in your industry? What are your main challenges in Estonia in particular?
A: The Baltic region represents a very interesting growth market for Dow given its dynamic economic development and focus on innovative products.
Dow’s largest sites in Europe are located in The Netherlands (Terneuzen), as well as in Central Germany (Schkopau and Boehlen) and Northern Germany (Stade). This makes the Baltic region and Estonia, in particular, ideally situated for supply via barge.
We have already a significant presence in the region as we have imported products for decades. Our main challenge is to establish a critical mass to enable a more focused presence on the market.
A major challenge for the chemical industry and for Dow is addressing the issue of plastic waste.
Dow recently announced its role as a founding member of the Alliance to End Plastic Waste (AEPW), a newly formed organization committing more than $1 billion with the goal of raising $1.5 billion over the next five years to develop and scale solutions that manage plastic waste and promote post-use solutions of plastic. The Alliance, currently comprised of nearly 30 companies, will develop and bring to scale solutions that will minimize and manage plastic waste and promote solutions by transitioning to a circular economy for plastics.
Dow is a strong proponent of a sustainable Circular Economy that allows consumers to reduce waste. As a result, “Advancing a circular economy” is one of our top 2025 sustainability goals.
Q: What are the most recent developments currently in Dow and what have been the most successful projects in the region?
A: On 1st April 2019, Dow will complete its spin-off from DowDuPont forming a new global Materials Science Company.
The merger between Dow and DuPont has been, without a doubt, a key activity for us over the past three years and a game-changer not only for our Company but for the whole chemical industry.
Our Companies brought together two complementary portfolios announcing at the same time the intention to spin-off from the newly created DowDuPont three strong companies focusing on the Agriculture, Materials Science and Specialty Products. Each of them will have a focused portfolio, a strong balance sheet and the ability to direct resources where they can be most productive. This will position each company to successfully compete in the global marketplace, invest in R&D, and develop new products for customers.
The first one, New Dow, is anticipated to separate from DowDuPont on April 1st, 2019 and the remaining two by June 2019. We will be a premier materials science solution provider with a focus on three narrower and deeper, higher-growth market verticals – packaging, infrastructure, and consumer care.
Looking at Dow in Poland after the spin-off phase, the majority of the assets and employees will become part of the Materials Science Company – Future Dow. Poland will remain the most important country in the whole CE region focusing on Polyurethanes, Packaging and Specialty Plastics and Industrial Chemicals. Our priority will continue to be on delighting our customers with our product, and innovative solutions
Q: Has AmCham network in Europe been helpful to Dow and if so, how has your membership benefited your company?
A: Dow has been a member of AmCham in Poland for decades and now we look forward to joining the chapter in Estonia. AmCham includes some of the world’s largest, most prestigious US companies. Membership offers several benefits and keeps business leaders informed about important issues and trends within their community and local marketplace. Its events and programs provide the opportunity to expand our network to expand our customer base.
AmCham also organizes also very professional workshops on important topics that are run by experts from leading consulting companies.
Last but not least, as I am still learning Polish, it offers the opportunity to attend events in English and to meet new people to share views and experiences.
ABOUT DOW CHEMICAL COMPANY:
The Dow Chemical Company (Dow) combines science and technology knowledge to develop premier materials science solutions that are essential to human progress. Dow has one of the strongest and broadest toolkits in the industry, with robust technology, asset integration, scale and competitive capabilities that enable it to address complex global issues. Dow’s market-driven, industry-leading portfolio of advanced materials, industrial intermediates, and plastics businesses deliver a broad range of differentiated technology-based products and solutions for customers in high-growth markets such as packaging, infrastructure, and consumer care.