The ‘social intrapreneur’ taking on typhoons and housing crises
Great story of what is a good example of what I call Humanomics or others would call Corporate Social Innovation or Shared Value.
PP: The fourth project around providing affordable housing, in the context of a global housing shortage, seems like an odd mission for a chemicals company?
RN: Affordable housing solutions was actually the one project we thought would be slow in getting off the ground and now it has jumped to the forefront of our work.
It was an idea that a colleague of mine had; she’d been in India looking at business models on a course with a European University. She came back very moved by what she saw in the slums of Mumbai, like many people are, and she started asking, “why aren’t we doing anything to contribute here?” She decided that we had to do something, and that’s how it all started.
Around 7 million houses need to be built in the Philippines. And then there’s another million that need to be built in Malaysia by 2020. India has just announced that they have to build 72 million houses by 2022. So the market is absolutely huge. The need to build fast, and come up with new construction technologies is something that the private sector can help with.