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Dr. Ramesh Ramchandran’s appointment raises storm in Kuwait parliament
September 28, 2017, 5:08 pm

The appointment of Dr. Ramesh Ramchandran as CEO of Equate Petrochemicals last week is creating uneasiness among Members of Parliament in Kuwait. Equate, a joint venture between Dow Chemicals of the United States and Petrochemical Industries Company (PIC)— a subsidiary of state-owned Kuwait Petroleum Corporation (KPC) — appointed Dr. Ramachandran as CEO with effect from 20 November.

Reason for the parliamentary flare-up is that Dr. Ramchandran, a US-based Indian engineer will replace the current President and CEO Mohammed Husain, a Kuwaiti.

Kuwaitis remain sensitive over the appointment of foreigners in the oil industry and several MP's have voiced their concerns over the appointment. Kuwait lawmaker MP Essa Al Kandari warned the oil minister over the new appointment and said it represented a political embarrassment and had a negative impact on the oil sector as a whole.

While Oil minister Essam Al Marzouk justified the appointment saying it was part of the joint venture deal with Dow Chemical, which has been a partner to state-owned PIC in several key petroleum projects.

Dow Chemicals and PIC are the major shareholders in EQUATE, the billion-dollar joint venture which was established in 1995. EQUATE is the world's second largest producer of Ethylene Glycol (EG) and accounts for nearly 60 percent of revenue from Kuwait’s non-oil exports.

Dr. Ramachandran, who is currently the President of MEGlobal, a Canada-based subsidiary of EQUATE, has a professional career of over 25 years in several leading roles at the Dow Chemical Company (Dow). He has served as the President and CEO of Dow Chemical International Pvt. Ltd. (Dow India) and as President of Dow Canada among other prominent positions.

A chemical engineer by training, Dr. Ramachandran holds a Masters in Business Administration (MBA) in finance from Rutgers University in New Jersey, USA, and a Doctorate (PhD) in chemical engineering and applied science from Columbia University, New York, USA. He earned his Doctorate in surface and colloid chemistry from Columbia University, New York and has several publications and patents to his credit. He has spent his entire career in the chemical industry, initially as an analytical chemist before moving into the commercial side of the business holding product and marketing manager roles for a wide variety of business units.




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