Along the way to being named CEO of Chroma Color Corp., Shruti Singhal followed the best career advice he received.
"Always stay true to yourself," Singhal said. In July, the 51-year-old took the top spot at Chroma, a color compounder and concentrate maker based in McHenry, Ill.
Singhal has more than 25 years of industry experience. He joined Chroma after a three-year stint with DSM Engineering Plastics, a unit of Dutch materials firm Royal DSM. His previous career stops also include Dow Inc., Ashland Inc. and Rohm and Haas.
Over the course of his career, Singhal said, he's had many mentors. "Each one of these mentors have all encouraged me and shown me how to listen, build solid businesses, recruit and retain top talent, and manage fast-growing businesses," he explained.
"Today, I work hard to mentor others and coach them to become better managers. I also learn from my mentees whenever they are willing to provide me with honest feedback."
Singhal said he'd advise a new employee at Chroma "to bring your creativity and help build something of lasting value so the company can achieve sustainable growth and profitability."
The most interesting job Singhal ever had took place during his college years, when he was a camp counselor for individuals with special needs. "The experience taught me that everyone. no matter what obstacles have been put in front of them, with some support from others, will accomplish more than they ever thought they were capable of doing," he said. "As a result, over the entire course of my career, I have made sure I provide everyone the support they need to surpass their dreams."
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Chroma has made it a priority to consistently listen and communicate with customers and team members to maintain operations at all of its plants, according to Singhal. "Our team worked hard to implement all the necessary procedures to ensure the health and safety of all of team members, customers and vendors," he said.
As a result of the pandemic, Singhal said that Chroma learned flexibility.
"We found we were all willing to learn and adopt new tools to stay in touch and support our customers, suppliers and team members. Being flexible and open to new ways to operate kept Chroma on track."
Looking to 2022, Singhal said that he expects Chroma to continue to grow both organically and inorganically. "We'll continue to build out our very successful portfolio of sustainable solutions for our customers while continuing to drive forward our culture of excellent service," he added.
Chroma has made six acquisitions in the last three years, most recently acquiring Adam, Gates & Co. LLC, a maker of specialty dyes based in Hillsborough, N.J., in August. Investment firm Arsenal Capital Partners combined Chroma with materials firms Carolina Color, Breen Color Concentrates and Breen's Hudson Color unit in mid-2018.
Singhal told Plastics News in July that Chroma will continue to look at acquisitions that are "complementary to our technology."
Looking ahead to his legacy as CEO, Singhal said he'd like that to be building "successful companies with a team of employees who are great listeners, have the desire to be lifelong learners and the ability to implement creative/sustainable solutions for the entire plastics industry."
Singhal added that he'd like his legacy to include "building a safe workplace that people feel proud to come into every day."