Dinesh C Paliwal, Chairman, President & CEO, Harman International exerts the need among leaders to aggressively focus and cash in on emerging markets
Dinesh C. Paliwal is the Chairman, President & CEO of Harman International Industries, Inc (NYSE:HAR). Paliwal joined the company as President and CEO on July 1, 2007, and was further appointed Chairman on July 1, 2008. He instituted major change initiatives at HARMAN to simplify and strengthen the company’s operations. These include the formation of a diverse and multi?cultural board, recruitment of a seasoned executive management team, expansion of the company’s footprint and revenue in the emerging markets, propelling HARMAN’s innovation pipeline dramatically. To put the company on a profitable growth trajectory, he transformed the company culture and launched best in class business processes which delivered an unprecedented $450 million in sustained cost savings.
Prior to joining Harman, he spent 22 years with ABB Group (NYSE:ABB, a $40 billion global industrial leader), where he last held the dual role of President of ABB Group with responsibility for the company’s global P&L, and Chairman/CEO - ABB North America. He drove profitable growth by eliminating the cultural and organizational silos among multiple P&L operations globally and turned the multi-billion North American operation profitable following 18 years of losses.
He has a Masters degree in Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT Roorkee), a Masters degree in Applied Science and Engineering (1983) and Business Administration (1985), both from Miami University (Ohio).
The main challenges and priorities faced by CEOs around the globe is hiring the topnotch talent and retaining them. People are the most important component of every successful company and much effort has to be put in this. Also the CEOs are finding difficulty with maintaining the necessary innovation required to develop new technology based products and solutions. Simultaneously, they will have to maintain a healthy balance sheet. Talent acquisition and development (most globally experienced team in our industry), R&D pipeline and production innovation (4,200 patents and pursuing hundreds more), and rapid growth in emerging markets are my primary concern now.
We have tremendous untapped opportunity in India and other emerging markets, where economic growth is far outpacing mature countries. When I arrived at Harman in 2007, I was shocked at the limited amount of business we were doing in these countries; we had hardly any presence outside the OECD countries. Diversity in our geographic reach became an immediate priority for me.