Innovation, Emerging Technology, and Sustainable Development

CareerCast - Life-long Career Development

Dr. Surinder Kumar Innovation is no longer just a way to stay on the leading edge, but a business imperative that needs to be part of the fabric of an organization’s culture, processes, and people. In this CareerCast, Dr. Surinder Kumar, a global leader in consumer products technology and business innovation, shares his insights, wisdom, and experience on how to accelerate business growth and innovation.

Aired August 21, 2008

Surinder Kumar is a global leader in consumer products technology and business innovation, most recently serving as chief innovation officer for the Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company. Wrigley is the world’s largest manufacturer of chewing gum and a recognized leader in the confectionery category. At Wrigley, Kumar is responsible for leading innovation strategy, global research and development, engineering, quality, and scientific and regulatory affairs to provide business growth opportunities through innovation.

Kumar has over 35 years of experience in leading innovation for business growth in Fortune 100 nutritional, food, OTC, and pharmaceutical companies including Unilever, Quaker Oats, Frito-Lay, PepsiCo, Bristol Myers Squibb, and Warner Lambert. During his tenure at various companies his teams have launched hundreds of new products. As  consumer packaged goods (CPG) companies are facing increasing pressure globally on their businesses from a number of diverse sources, Kumar believes that true innovation is an imperative for building enduring, growth companies. 

Kumar received his PhD in food science and nutrition from the Ohio State University and an MBA in marketing and finance from the University of Chicago. He is an honored and distinguished member of Who’s Who worldwide. He has been awarded 17 patents, published many scientific papers, and served on several advisory boards including International Life Science Institute, Rutgers University, and Pennsylvania State University. He is a recipient of many national and international awards, including the Distinguished Alumni Award from the Ohio State University, Merit Honor award from the Indian Agricultural Ministry, and Manager Extraordinaire from the Quaker Oats Company. He has spoken extensively on the subject of innovation for business growth and is a coauthor of Riding the Blue Train, a book on building breakthrough innovation culture for accelerating personal, professional, and business growth in corporations.

Riding the Blue Train: A Leadership Plan for Explosive Growth by Bart Sayle and Surinder Kumar (2008).

Innovation to the Core: A Blueprint for Transforming the Way Your Company Innovates by Peter Skarzynski and Rowan Gibson (2008).

The Myths of Innovation by Scott Berkun (2008).

The New Age of Innovation: Driving Cocreated Value Through Global Networks by C.K. Prahalad and M.S. Krishnan (2008).

Innovator’s Guide to Growth: Putting Disruptive Innovation to Work by Scott D. Anthony, Mark W. Johnson, Joseph V. Sinfield, and Elizabeth J. Altman (2008).

Groundswell: Winning in a World Transformed by Social Technologies by Charlene Li and Josh Bernoff (2008).

The Opposable Mind: How Successful Leaders Win Through Integrative Thinking by Roger L. Martin (2007).

Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die by Chip Heath and Dan Heath (2007).

Innovation: The Five Disciplines for Creating What Customers Want by Curtis R. Carlson and William W. Wilmot (2006).

Making Innovation Work: How to Manage It, Measure It, and Profit from It by Tony Davila, Marc J. Epstein, and Robert Shelton (2005).

The Innovator’s Solution: Creating and Sustaining Successful Growth by Clayton M. Christensen and Michael E. Raynor (2003).

From Alchemy to IPO: The Business of Biotechnology by Cynthia Robbins-Roth (2001).


Read an excerpt of Riding the Blue Train: A Leadership Plan for Explosive Growth by Surinder Kumar. 

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