30 January 2012 13:27 [Source: ICIS news]By Andy Brice
"We have been cutting back. At this point where growth is stumbling, we haven’t got a pipeline of new products and services coming through. This really is now a very urgent issue… there’s no time to waste."
In a video interview, Hodges said: “It’s very worrying and reveals an urgent need to do something. Shell CEO Peter Voser said it takes about 30 years for a new technology to get to 1% of the market.
He added: “We’ve gone down a blind alley. We’ve focused on development, taking existing products and adding a bit more value to them, which is fine as part of a portfolio but where are all the new products and new services?”
Hodges said that companies must start to concentrate on the needs of both the western baby boomers and those now emerging from poverty.
“We’ve got this wholly-new generation, people of 55 years plus in the west - the ageing babyboomers - and almost nothing has been developed for their needs,” he said.
“Equally, all the people who are emerging from poverty in the emerging economies, almost nothing has been developed for them. There’s a gap in the market and a fantastic opportunity but for goodness sake, let’s get on with it.
“There’s no shortage of opportunities, there just seems to be a shortage of recognition that these ideas are out there,” added Hodges.
*Chapter eight of Boom, Gloom and the New Normal – How Western Baby Boomers are Changing Global Chemical Demand Patterns, Again is now available free to download at www.icis.com/NewNormalEbook. It is co-authored by Paul Hodges, chairman of International eChem, who writes the ICIS Chemicals and the Economy blog, and John Richardson, director, ICIS training
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