Innovation part of corporate DNA: 3M regional chief at Sri Lanka forum

May 11, 2013 (LBO) – Listening to the unarticulated voice of the customers of 3M has helped the firm drive innovation, which is central to its corporate culture, a top regional official of the US-based multi-national said in Colombo. The company makes more than 55,000 products are year, adding new ones continuously.

“It’s easy if the customer can tell you his problem, but sometimes even he does not know what it is,” Ajay Nanavathi, managing director of 3M India told the LBR-CEO forum, a gathering of senior executives in Colombo.

“In many, many industries 3M has actually created markets that did not exist – because we were able to capture that unarticulated need.”

The forum was on the theme of Driving Perpetual Success through Innovation.

Inspired Innovation

3M is a 30 billion US dollar diversified technology company and one of 30 companies that make up the Dow Jones stock index in the US. The company’s products range from Post-it notes to touch screens.

“One of the things we take great pride in is customer inspired innovation, all our innovations come from listening to our customers,” Nanavathi says.

“It’s not guys dressed in white coats mixing cool chemicals and coming up with cool st