Dhananjay Salunkhe appointed managing director at Huhtamaki India

By 25 Jul 2022

The board of directors of Huhtamaki India has appointed Dhananjay Salunkhe as managing director of Huhtamaki India. Salunkhe will join Huhtamaki on 12 August 2022.

Dhananjay Salunkhe was ranked number three in PrintWeek's Power 100 listing in 2022.

Dhananjay Salunkhe: The industry has an incredible ability to innovate and offer solutions with augmented reality, personalisation and digitalisation to enhance value proposition

As per a notification from Huhtamaki, "Dhananjay Salunkhe is a seasoned business leader with a track record of growing and building businesses in India, Currently, Salunkhe is the CEO of packaging and printing business at ITC Limited (a diversified conglomerate in India). Salunkhe was in-charge of the packaging business, overseeing four manufacturing plants producing cartons, flexible packaging and rigid boxes. His proudest achievement being, patented coating solutions replacing PE for selected carton portfolio."

ITC Limited has a three-layered approach to delegation of responsibilities along with appropriate empowerment, i.e. board of directors (strategic supervision), corporate management committee (strategic management) and division management committee (executive management). Similarly at division levels, delegation and decision-making is done through a framework of accountability with collaboration and team work. Its outlook is "sustainable packaging, digitalisation, and expanding geographic coverage."

He is an advocate for sustainable packaging. In an interview with this scribe, he said, "Sustainable packaging is the next big thing, and shall be a focus area for the industry. The industry needs to have an aggressive plan about sustainable packaging with clear objectives and milestones."

Prior to ITC, Salunkhe spent nine years with 3M, starting as plant head for their Pimpri manufacturing unit. As the unit was acquired from Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M), Salunkhe played a key role in integrating the plant with the 3M ecosystem and turning the business around. Thereafter, he played a key role in consolidating the Pondicherry plant into the Pimpri and Ranjangaon plant. Subsequently, he moved to manage the Ranjangaon plant in Pune and over the last years at 3M headed all manufacturing operations and supply chains for the four plants. As a Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt holder, Salunkhe has been instrumental in driving significant process improvements and savings for 3M and was recognised with the Transformational Leader Award in 2015. 

Dhananjay Salunkhe was ranked number three in PrintWeek's Power 100 listing in 2022.

Salunkhe started his career as a graduate engineer trainee at PMP Auto, followed by stints at Sulzer India, a Swiss pumps and compressors company, and GKN Sinter Metals, where he was assigned the task of cultural transformation of the plant after divestiture by Mahindra & Mahindra.

Dhananjay Salunkhe holds a master’s degree in Business Management from SIBM Pune, India, and a BE (Production) from KBP College of Engineering in Satara. He has significant P&L, operations and people leadership experience whilst contributing to significant process improvement, business growth and cost savings during his career. His ability to objectively assess situations, articulate his approach, manage culturally diverse teams and apply Lean Six Sigma best practices to turnaround businesses and deliver on business results are his strengths.

He will report to segment president Marco Hilty and to the board of Huhtamaki India.

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