Speaker Interview: Shruti Singhal, Chroma Color
In this interview, we got the opportunity to talk to Shruti Singhal, President, CEO, and Member of the Board of Directors at Chroma Color.
Please tell us about your current role. What are your key focus areas and responsibilities?
I hold the positions of President, CEO, and Member of the Board of Directors at Chroma Color Corporation. Additionally, I proudly serve as an independent Board Director for MATIV (NYSE: MATV) and as a distinguished Board Member of the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM).
In my capacity as President and CEO, I assume a pivotal role in directing the operations of our six state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities dedicated to producing specialty color concentrates, color masterbatches, and sustainable solutions for the plastics industry. My foremost responsibility is to ensure our team is well-attuned to our customers' current and future needs, enabling us to deliver cutting-edge color technologies that set them apart in their respective markets.
Furthermore, I collaborate closely with our senior leadership team to foster a safe and growth-oriented environment for our employees. Despite our geographic dispersion across five locations, we pride ourselves on being a unified team with an unwavering commitment to delivering top-notch service to our valued customers.
At Chroma Color, we are dedicated to crafting custom colors that not only enhance our customers' products but also elevate their brand presence. Our relentless pursuit of excellence and innovation drives us to provide unparalleled solutions in the color concentrates industry. Additionally, we are fervently focused on advancing Epolin's specialized applications in managing light absorption transmission across UV, Visible, and near Infrared Spectra, thus catering to emerging markets such as autonomous vehicles, augmented reality, and viral testing.
What are the biggest challenges facing the market today, and how can they be overcome?
The current landscape of the plastics industry presents several significant challenges that demand our attention and ingenuity. A foremost concern is the slowdown being experienced by numerous plastic processors. Factors such as higher interest rates, an oversupply of certain resin types, and escalating manufacturing costs, including labor and raw materials, have contributed to this deceleration.
Moreover, there is a pressing need for the plastics industry to counteract negative perceptions and misinformation, as well as address product bans that are currently in place. To overcome these challenges, we must effectively communicate the advantages of plastic products compared to alternative materials and actively engage in shaping public opinion.
In your opinion, what do you consider to be the greatest development in your industry in the last decade?
The last decade has witnessed remarkable strides in enhancing the sustainability of plastics production and consumption. Our industry has made substantial progress in harnessing the potential of recycled materials, ushering in practical applications that align with the principles of a circular economy and promote the effective utilization of renewable resources.
Furthermore, the burgeoning field of Artificial Intelligence (AI) holds tremendous promise for our company and the entire industry. AI-driven tools and innovations are poised to be game-changers, streamlining processes, optimizing efficiencies, and driving innovation in ways we have yet to fully explore.
We are optimistic that by 2024, we will witness a resurgence in the industry as existing inventories are streamlined, potentially leading to a reduction in material costs. Our industry's resilience and adaptability will play a pivotal role in overcoming these obstacles.
How will the sector develop in the next five to ten years?
The plastics sector is poised for transformative growth in the next five to ten years, largely fueled by a decade-long infrastructure investment cycle that underscores key industry trends: electrification and digitalization. These trends will usher in new demands for plastic products that cater to the evolving needs of the market.
To meet this burgeoning demand, companies in the industry must focus on developing innovative solutions that incorporate sustainable materials, facilitate easy recyclability, and offer cost-effective alternatives. As the push for electrification gains momentum in the United States, lightweight and durable plastic materials will play an instrumental role in meeting stringent performance standards in various demanding environments.
It is worth noting that the manufacturing sector contributes significantly to private-sector R&D spending in the United States, underlining the importance of policies that promote innovation. As industry leaders, we advocate for policies that foster innovation and drive our nation's economy forward.
Furthermore, embracing Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) goals will be paramount for companies in the industry. Demonstrating year-over-year improvements in areas such as energy conservation, waste reduction, and employee engagement will not only resonate with investors but also resonate with consumers who increasingly value sustainable practices.
Chroma Color is committed to its third year of measuring and enhancing our ESG goals. Our collaboration with EcoVadis has propelled us forward, leading to significant improvements and earning us a Silver certificate this year.
You will be speaking at the AMI Plastics World Expos in North America. Please give us a preview of what you will be talking about.
At the upcoming AMI Plastics World Expos, I am excited to engage in a discussion about the future of the concentrates industry. In this forum, I will delve into several pivotal themes that are reshaping our industry.
First and foremost, I will emphasize the continued investment in automation and research and development within our manufacturing processes. The adoption of cutting-edge AI tools will be a central point of focus, as these technologies are poised to revolutionize our operations and drive efficiency to new heights.
Additionally, I will underscore the paramount importance of ongoing education and upskilling opportunities for our employees and the broader industry workforce. Preparing our talent pool for the jobs of the future is an imperative that we cannot overlook.
Ultimately, my aim is to ignite a dialogue that inspires innovation, fosters collaboration, and positions our industry for a future defined by sustainability, technological advancement, and unwavering commitment to excellence. Together, we will chart a course for the success and resilience of the concentrates industry in the years to come.
Shruti Singhal will be speaking at the AMI Plastics World Expos in North America.