Having worked in almost all of our businesses, Ranju Arya epitomizes the One PPG approach as general manager of our Aerospace business in the Asia Pacific (APAC) region. He is enabler-in-chief for expanding our offerings and presence in a region where business and leisure travel is poised for another steep takeoff post-pandemic.
A Career Progression Marked with Learning and Growth
While pursuing his bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering, Ranju participated in a two-year co-op program that placed him at one of our U.S. locations every other quarter. It was mutual admiration, with Ranju joining us full time as a process and project engineer immediately after graduating in 1996.
In the decades following, he earned an MBA while progressing through management roles of increasing responsibility in six of our nine business units. He also served as corporate director of strategic planning for coatings.
Each of these roles taught me something that I didn’t feel comfortable with before I went into it. They grew various dimensions of my skillset while teaching me a lot about the company and the end markets we serve.
While in technical sales, for example, Ranju learned the importance of understanding how customers consider, use and even sometimes complain about our products and services. Product management taught him to take ownership and gather the right amount of detail to make decisions.
“When I joined the corporate team, I learned how the C-suite functions. I had a perception, but reality was quite different. I’m still impressed by the rigor, complexity of information and business knowledge that I witnessed.”
On the Runway to Aerospace Success
Ranju now pulls upon his own knowledge and experience to advance our Aerospace business in Asia Pacific.
“My primary responsibility is enabling others so that they and the company can achieve further success in ways that they didn’t before. This involves solving complex challenges that historically may have limited us, such as producing more products locally in the APAC region.”
Our Aerospace product portfolio is somewhat unique in that it goes beyond coatings for aircraft interiors and exteriors to include sealants, adhesives, transparencies, specialized packaged materials and services. All are used for commercial, defense and small aircraft manufactured or maintained in the APAC region. Five of our Aerospace application support centers are also located in the region near clusters of aerospace original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), airlines, and maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) facilities.
“Increasing local manufacturing capacity for our products will get products to our customers even faster while avoiding supply chain disruptions like those experienced during the pandemic. Localizing also will help our cost structure by eliminating the expense of importing finished products from our other regions.”
Capturing Opportunities in a Fast-growing Region
Pre-pandemic, APAC was the fastest growing region for our Aerospace business. An emerging middle class with disposable income for leisure travel and booming economies pushed air travel sky high. The pandemic slowed that trajectory, but the region is on the brink of a second wave of growth as more countries open up for travel.
APAC is still an upside market, with the biggest growth potential in China and Southeast Asia. We expect that the market will attain pre-pandemic demand in another year.
Ranju believes that capturing our fair share of that demand hinges on going deeper into the APAC countries and market segments to uncover unmet needs and success factors and reshaping our agenda around those.
“Acting as One PPG will allow us to look across the entire PPG portfolio to find existing solutions and services that could meet Aerospace customer needs. This synergy will help us penetrate the market more deeply and broadly, even moving into adjacent markets.”
In It Together through Thick and Thin
Understanding customer needs and perspectives is essential to success and a key learning for Ranju during his career.
“It’s important to sit with customers to truly understand their vantage point, dynamics and pressure points so we can provide the right solution.”
Enabling that is what he considers the PPG DNA.
I could brag about how strong our technologies are, how smart our people are and how deeply we have penetrated our markets, but what makes me most #PPGProud
is that our people are genuine. Our collective DNA is to help each other through thick and thin to find ways to be successful collectively rather than individually. We are in it together.