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I think the most important megatrend for our business
is the increasing economic performance in the emerging markets.
As I said before, titanium dioxide
is an essential element in paint and plastic, but therefore paint and plastic is an
into construction and into other activities
in economies and as they grow in terms of economic development,
as more and more people become wealthier, if you will, or at least
enter into a more wealthy state than they have been historically, the use of paint
and plastic increases significantly.
People get bigger flats, bigger apartments or homes. They get a car or they get a
And this expansion of the wealth effect, if you will,
will be very important for the growth of our business, which is why I think we
faster than global GDP, because we'll focus
more on these emerging markets that are growing much faster.
That's why I think that's an important productive positive
element for us. I think there are new uses for our
pigment and we're exploring with some customers the actual execution on
or at least the testing of those ideas. In particular, our product goes
into white paint and white plastic
and it has certain characteristics that make those products desirable from the
consumer's point of view.
But those same characteristics could be applied in other ways
and have environmental benefits, for example. So we could
contribute to putting our product into
exterior building coating paint or
some sort of coating on a building or even on streets, and
the reaction with the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere
would be such that the carbon dioxide would be eliminated,
and other positive elements would be introduced into the environment.
Those sorts of applications are very different than what we have now,
what we do now, but we're looking at them.
We also think that as titanium metal becomes more and more useful,
right now it's relatively limited supply, it's relatively expensive,
but it's extremely strong and it's extremely light,
and it has other desirable characteristics for
objects that are going to be in the outside environment, airplanes, cars.
To the extent that we can enhance
the production of the material that goes into titanium metal.
That's also a new market for us that we're working on as well.
I believe we operate in a global market
and so competitors from other parts of the world
can become, and are - in fact, they have been for last year or two - and will become,
will be increasingly a factor for performance in our market.
The global market becoming
more competitive over the next five years. We think significant entrance from
other parts of the world that are not now
significant or as meaningful
will become significant and therefore we have to have a cost structure that meets their
forecast cost structure. I think sustainability
is a much more important factor, and is becoming
even more important in the future than it is now.
And if you fail to meet a broadly defined
sustainability performance level, I think
companies will suffer. That's not only environmental. It's
it's people, it's your community, it's your customers.
I think sustainability will become a very broad term
covering a set of behaviors that
are deemed by society generally to be positive
and a minimum threshold of performance to be engaged
in that community. And we're going to have to achieve it. There won't be
any discretion about that. Its going to be table stakes for doing business globally.
We're very committed to moving our capabilities in that area forward
But obviously if we fail to achieve that, that would be a threat.
China has a different history
with respect to partnerships and intellectual property,
and some of the other features that go along with cooperative relationships.
But, I think that as
some of their leading companies become more sophisticated,
more international that the opportunities
there to form constructive relationships will increase, in both
the nature of them, and also the the number of
relationships that one can have, but one has to be careful.
generally one, encounters and that we in particular have encountered,
because we are the product of a merger, several mergers actually,
is culture. It is aligning the culture of your employees so that
they are focused on the goal, the strategic goals, of Tronox,
of one company. Somebody once said, and I don't know who it was that
expressed this, but I agree with it, culture
eats strategy for lunch every day. That's true.
If your culture isn't aligned with your strategic objectives
the culture will prevail and your strategic objectives will not be met.
So I think that's the single biggest issue that we have. We work on it every day.
We have a
pretty significant commitment to communicating an aligned set of values.
It's important in this culture transformation
process that one identifies those kinds of leaders down at the operating levels,
and that they become your advocate, they become
your megaphone for cultural change, because I think it's very difficult to achieve
it if you don't find them,
or if they don't identify themselves. Many of them are the kind of people who
will self-identify. They'll volunteer for that because they see it
value-creating for the company and for themselves and they have
instinctively in their makeup, and so you find some of them,
If they don't volunteer, you're going to have to identify them, and you want your HR
Human Resources function, to be able to tell you,
to identify them, and to begin that process as well as
the other functions: communications and strategy and planning, those functions.
All of them have to work together.
Good growth means sustainable growth. It means growth that you can replicate.
It's not just a one-time spike that
you won't replace the next year.
It's a steadier, more substantiated,
built on a stronger platform kind of growth that you can expect and predict
will reoccur next year, and the year after, and the year after. With expected to the future,
essentially, it's an infinite kind of growing strategy.
The prerequisites for having that kind of growth have to do with
Your product has to be sustainable, your technology has to be
replicable in terms of being efficient
for the market you're serving, your relationship with your people whether
your employees, your community, your national government,
your environmental performance. All of those factors that go into the
rubric of sustainability has to be
compatible with the growth that you're achieving, because if they're not growth end,
because the sustainability factors will prevail. Everything ties back into the
culture of the company.