Leadership Perspective: Pankaj Bhardwaj on how having a local approach in APAC allows for a global customer experience
When Avery Dennison expanded into the Asia Pacific (APAC) region, we knew that bringing our global mindset and ability to serve customers was going to be key in establishing our presence here. However, rather than taking the approach of “what worked ‘there’ will work here”, we adopted the practice of a local first perspective.
By working both with and often alongside suppliers, policymakers, regulators, and other value chain participants, we have been able to acquire a rich understanding of the local ecosystem. This connection allows Avery Dennison to gain timely and relevant information, align our strategies with local expectations, and navigate the complexities of diverse markets.
"We believe this approach, especially in developing industries such as energy storage and electric vehicle battery (EVB) manufacturing, has been essential to our integration as a member of the communities we serve. "
As the energy storage industry grows, we also see exciting opportunities for local companies in the APAC region to take their solutions global. This growth in the ecosystem is a positive sign that the global economy recognizes the importance of developing sustainable energy solutions. We’re seeing significant international growth in South Korean and Chinese companies right now in areas such as raw materials, service providers, and equipment manufacturing.
This growth is reflected in our distribution strategy. Our solutions are tied in with specific product categories, market demand, resource availability and customer segments. As a result, we can deliver on this because our customer-facing divisions are closely connected to local markets.
The flexibility of our adhesive solutions paired with our local footprint and global value chain means we are able to support customers as they grow, truly offering an end-to-end solution when it comes to their needs in the energy storage and EVB industries.
A growing ecosystem
So, if we were looking for information, we knew you were too. We know the future is electrified and you, our customers, are working hard to achieve sustainable futures. That’s why we knew now was the right time to create our content hub, Electrified with Avery Dennison. It is the first of what we hope are to be many sustainability focused and user education initiatives.
Obviously, authenticity and factual communication play a vital role in this initiative, which is why every piece of content you’ll see on the Electrified with Avery Dennison content hub is curated by a multidisciplinary team of experts across the company.
Access to the right people
RRA’s latest Global Leadership Monitor tapped into the Zeitgeist when it explained that access to talent is what is keeping many executives up at night. It’s a concern heard across the corporate world, and the tight labor markets are encouraging many organizations to look in places they wouldn’t ordinarily look.
Our local presence allows us to tap into diverse talent pools across different markets. By investing in research and development facilities, Avery Dennison nurtures local talent and drives innovation. This combination of local expertise and global influence allows us to maintain technical leadership in the APAC region.
The local approach not only affords us access to local talent but also other key stakeholders in the industry. This is crucial to help influence regulations and set industry standards. These collaborations facilitate knowledge sharing and help align regional regulations with global trends. We see that with the recent Digital Product Passport initiatives that Avery Dennison supports in Europe.
It’s perhaps telling that in recent Gallup trust surveys, trust in small businesses tends to be incredibly high, whereas trust in big businesses tends to be incredibly low. Gallup argues that this decline in trust goes hand in hand with our growing expectations for both ourselves and others. We’ve all seen the studies showing how important purpose is to us as individuals, but we increasingly expect our employer and the companies we buy from to have the same values and mindset as we do.
The best performing companies get that and they appreciate that to understand what really matters to those you care about, you have to truly listen. This is something we try to do by virtue of staying local, as we believe that having a local presence establishes trust and fosters a stronger connection with the local market.
We’ve also strived to better understand local needs by creating experience centers in key markets like China and India. These centers enable customers to interact with the company's products, from design to application, under one roof. Additionally, our research and development capabilities in APAC countries further enhance the customer experience, providing customers with access to local expertise and infrastructure.
We truly believe that the hybrid approach we’ve adopted has allowed us to better address the needs of the Asia Pacific region, as well as the many markets we serve around the world. What’s more, we see that our local presence fosters trust, enables access to diverse talent pools, and facilitates collaboration with industry stakeholders. This approach allows Avery Dennison to effectively address local demands while leveraging global expertise, ultimately positioning ourselves and our customers for success in a globalized economy.
About the author
As VP marketing, Pankaj is responsible for driving strategic marketing, product portfolio, innovation, sustainability and superior customer experience.
Pankaj joined Avery Dennison in 2012, and until mid 2021, served as the VP/GM, South Asia. Previously, he has served in different commercial and general management roles. He is known for his exceptional business performance and was recognized as ‘The Most Promising Business Leader Of Asia’ in 2020 by Economic Times. He has also received the highest internal global recognition of ‘Business Leader Of The Year’ in 2019.
Prior to joining Avery Dennison, Pankaj has worked at Asian Paints, 3M, and AkzoNobel, and has over 22 years of professional experience.
He is an INSEAD alumnus with an education in industrial chemistry.