Developing markets are often more receptive to new ideas & ways of doing things
An international executive with significant experience leading high-tech growth companies, Dan was appointed President, CEO and Director of The Cooley Group in March 2011. He is also a Director at Satcon Technology, a NASDAQ-listed renewable energy company. Prior to joining Cooley, Dan was a Partner and Cleantech & Renewable Energy Segment Leader for Tatum, President and CEO of Kronos Advanced Technologies, and a 17-year executive with GE in the Americas, Asia and Europe. He holds a bachelor’s degree from The University of Vermont and a master’s degree in Business Administration from The University of Chicago Booth School of Business. Cooley/Group designs, develops and manufactures a diversified industry-leading portfolio of premier engineered coated fabrics used across an array of industrial and commercial applications. In addition to their proven performance, Cooley’s products and processes have a significantly reduced carbon footprint, and the Company is taking a leadership position in developing fully recyclable solutions for its global customer base.
I find the phrasing of the question interesting because often times I have experienced the opposite over my 30-year career, which included working and living in China, Brazil and other emerging markets. Developed markets often times have entrenched ways of doing business that a new entrant needs to break through. Conversely, developing markets are often times more receptive to new ideas and ways of doing things. For example, I am currently traveling through India and Israel evaluating new opportunities for Cooley. For Cooley/Commercial Graphics, the market participants, (printers, ad media companies, etc.) are seeking higher quality print media solutions than are currently being offered in the local market. Similarly for Cooley/Engineered Membranes, the market participants, (developers, contractors, etc.) are seeking higher quality waterproofing solutions for higher-end real estate and infrastructure projects. Cooley is seeking to take advantage of the demand in developing markets for higher-quality, more sustainable solutions.
Although Cooley applies proprietary chemistry to an underlying fabric, we are first and foremost a high value-added chemistry company. Therefore, our outlook may differ from the overall outlook of the Industrial Fabric Industry. Cooley is coming through a strong 2011 and expects 2012 to be even stronger. Despite the weak global economic environment, Cooley’s financial success can be attributed to consistently providing our global customer base innovative, high-quality, sustainable and cost-effective solutions without sacrificing Cooley’s reputation for proven performance.
Cooley’s 2012 (and beyond) expansion is twofold: First, Cooley will continue globalization strategy by expanding beyond the 20 countries where Cooley currently sells proprietary products. Our globalization will be primarily focused on developing countries. Secondly, Cooley will continue expansion strategy into new markets. As examples, Cooley/Engineered Membranes division is leveraging Cooley’s proven performance in commercial roofing, reservoir liners, and chemical containment to expand into the waterproofing market. Cooley/Commercial Graphics division is leveraging Cooley’s development of a PVC alternative product for outdoor advertising. These proprietary polyethylene-based products were developed with a leading chemical company specifically to meet the growing global need for a higher-quality, more sustainable solution for billboards and posters.
India has a long history of producing fabrics and other textiles but much less experience in high-end coated fabrics. Cooley is seeking to take advantage of our technical expertise in developing chemistry-based solutions for the local India market. Our 85-year history of being first to the market with innovative solutions for our customers provides Cooley with the experience to develop and modify our solutions to fit the local market. For example, Cooley is developing a modified version of our new polyethylene-based poster product specifically for serving the unique demand from Brazilian ad media companies for the upcoming Brazilian elections.
China and India provide significant opportunities for western companies who have the fortitude and commitment needed to take a long-term view of these developing markets. To be successful, you need to develop a clear understanding of the markets and to nurture the necessary relationships to be able to identify and serve the local customers’ needs for localized solutions.
Cooley has an 85-year history of being first to market with innovative, sustainable solutions that are known for their proven performance. We serve customers in 20 countries and are aggressively expanding into select new markets with localized solutions and, where appropriate, with select local and multinational strategic partners. Where it is financially prudent, Cooley will also seek to expedite our organic growth with select acquisitions to gain access to new products and markets.
DISCLAIMER: All views and opinions expressed in this column are solely of the interviewee, and they do not reflect in any way the opinion of technicaltextile.net.