Sanatan Hajra

Head of RD&I Decorative Paints business in India, Sri Lanka & Bangladesh and of Product Development for Trim & Wood care for the South East and South Asia business

Hello, I am Sanatan Hajra, Head of RD&I for the Decorative Paints business in India, Sri Lanka & Bangladesh and for the product development activities of the Trim & Wood care category for the South East and South Asia business. Let me tell you about my 17 years of experience in coatings innovation in India.

I was born in Calcutta and completed a Masters degree in Polymer Technology at Mumbai University in 1996 before joining ICI in 1997 as a technical officer in Hyderabad, where I worked on formulation development for water-based coatings.

In 2000, I joined Decorative Paints' R&D department in Mumbai in the same capacity before becoming development manager in 2003. Since March 2014, I am heading the RD&I function in India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, based out of Mumbai. Apart from this role, I am also leading the product development activities of the Trim & Wood care category for the South East and South Asia business. Our task is to develop innovative formulations with collective effort, knowledge & experience of the global RD&I community of AkzoNobel, so that we can deliver cost-effective products to the fast growing emerging market that comply with AkzoNobel´s exacting sustainability and product stewardship requirements.

We have been consistently productive over the years with a series of highly successful product launches. In 2007, for example, one of our innovation projects was nominated for the high profile ICI Innovation, Creativity & Excellence in Science & Technology (ICEST) award which recognizes R&D-driven innovation. We won India´s prestigious 2010 Green Innovation Award for the Dulux WeatherShield SunReflect exterior wall paint. Launched in April 2010, this paint can reduce the interior temperature in a building by 5°C. In 2013, we won the AkzoNobel Creativity Award for sustainable Dulux Gloss. And to continue with our effort to deliver sustainability and cost efficiency, our team has developed special foamed plastic packaging, which has recently been awarded with the INDIASTAR AWARD for innovative packaging by the Indian Institute of Packaging, one of the premium packaging institutes.

What I really like about working at AkzoNobel is that the company is always seeking to push the boundaries when it comes to innovation. I find it very exciting to be involved in a truly creative process, working together in a cross-disciplinary global team. The only way to grow this business in India and put down sustainable roots is through innovation, and that means working together as a global team to deliver the best sustainable solutions from the resources at our disposal. It´s something that really motivates me.