ALTANA

Mandar Mulay

Division:BYK Additives & Instruments

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Company:BYK Asia Pacific Pte. Ltd. –India Branch                             
Role:Product Group Manager -Nanotechnology  
Location:Pune
Country:India
Has been with the company since:01/2006

How did you find your way to BYK?

From 1998 to 2002, I studied in India for a bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering. Then, from 2003 to 2005, I studied to obtain a joint master’s degree in Industrial Chemistry awarded by the National University of Singapore and the Technical University of Munich.

During the period 2004-2005, I completed an internship and my master’s thesis at the Nanotechnology Dept., BYK-Chemie, Wesel. My chosen topic was “Synthesis of Nano Silica & Alumina Dispersions for Improving the Scratch Resistance of Coatings”, supervised by Dr. Thomas Sawitowski.

From 2006 to 2007, I was project engineer with BYK Asia Pacific Pte. Ltd., Pune, and from 2007 to 2008 I was engaged in nanotechnology training at BYK USA Inc., Wallingford, CT. My supervisor here was Mr. Robert McMullin.

Since 2008 I have been employed as Product Group Manager Nanotechnology for India.

How does a typical working day look like?

Initially, my day used to begin with lab work at the nanotechnology lab in Pune. It mainly included training agents’ staff, attending to internal lab projects, dealing with customer service requests received from agents, handling subsequent follow-ups, and making a number of customer visits, as per the respective agent’s request.

Working in the lab helped me to develop a feeling for Nanobyk products, generate product data for Indian customers in local coating formulations, prepare demo panels, and develop appropriate test methods for local customers.

A good amount of my time is now spent on technical discussions, presentations, lab trials, the necessary follow-ups, and the exchange of information on the proper incorporation and handling of nanoadditives, etc. Obviously, the safety aspects and related environmental issues of nanoparticles are also addressed in order to create awareness in our customers of what the “responsible” handling of nanoadditives entails.

Often, at the request of agents, I need to visit the customers personally to extend technical support for our nanoadditives.

In which personnel development activities within the ALTANA Group have you already participated?

Aside from routine job functions, it is very useful to participate in the management training courses that are organized each year. Training topics are carefully selected to suit the requirements of day-to-day work challenges.

Additionally, technical training arranged at Wesel to upgrade one’s technical skills in nanotechnology is very useful and gives you confidence when it comes to new products.

Which activities do you prefer for your leisure time?

A few years back during my leisure time, I used to go swimming and practice martial arts. But now, as father to a two-year-old son, I enjoy playing with him, and it is like being back in the kindergarten again. Photography and cooking are things that I enjoy doing as well, especially at weekends.

Which cultural experiences have you already collected?

After four years of staying at the university hostel while completing my engineering studies in India and then spending several years outside of India in Singapore, Germany, and the USA, I have come to better understand something of the Asian, European, and American cultures. It has been wonderful to have the good fortune to experience the differences in food habits, language, work culture, family customs, social norms, weather conditions, music, art, history, religion, etc. Even after joining BYK, having had the chance to participate in various meetings, training sessions, and events organized in different countries, I have enjoyed the opportunity to develop a special “BYK bond” with other colleagues and feel part of a global ALTANA family.

All this has made me realize that one should not be afraid of change, because change is the only constant in this age of the global village!