6 Questions with Snehal Desai | Net Impact

6 Questions with Snehal Desai

This ongoing Q&A series profiles a few of the speakers we're looking forward to seeing at this year's Net Impact Conference. Snehal is the global business director for Dow Water & Process Solutions.

If you could spend 15 minutes with one impact hero past or present, who would it be and why? 

President Bill Clinton. The amount of attention he is able to bring to a wide range of worthy causes recently is incredibly motivational. He inspires action and philanthropy, brings diverse stakeholders together, and finds impactful ways to make a difference in the world. We can learn a lot from his ingenuity and commitment to finding solutions to global challenges.

What’s one surprising stat or emerging trend anyone looking to make an impact in your field should know?

According to the United Nations Environment Programme, “the total usable freshwater supply for ecosystems and humans is less than 200,000 km3 of water, which is less than 1% of all freshwater resources, and only 0.01% of all the water on Earth.” From hydration, manufacturing and irrigation to agriculture, the food we eat, and the products we buy, water plays a critical role in our lives. As global water scarcity and water stress continue to persist, solutions are needed to reduce pressure on freshwater assets. Now, more than ever, a focus on innovation and R&D is necessary to combat water challenges. Water treatment technologies can provide an effective way to purify wastewater and reuse it for industrial, agricultural and residential use. 

What do you love about your work?  

I love the people I work with, and the way we collaborate to achieve solutions that impact water issues today and tomorrow. Our ultimate goal is to find new and more efficient ways to address industry needs, while at the same time promoting sustainable water management technologies and strategies. It’s thrilling to know that the short- and long-term impact of the work I’m doing now will have an impact forever.  

What's the single biggest challenge in your work?

In the water business, it takes a while for change to occur. My biggest challenge is wanting change to happen faster. You may have an idea of where you want to go, but you also have to be prepared to change course. Establishing mini milestones to keep yourself motivated along the way helps you attain your long-term goals. 

What's your best advice for someone who wants to create positive change through their career?

Determine your big goals and objectives. Then, work your way back and establish small steps that keep you moving in the right direction. Too often, we can get overwhelmed and bogged down as our priorities shift. Persistence and an “eye on the prize” mentality will get you to the finish line.

When have you found yourself breaking boundaries in your work? 

Breaking boundaries is all about collaboration. Strategic relationships are critical to capturing individual strengths and the ability to make concrete change happen. We can do so much more when similar interests and common ground is found. I cannot emphasize how important public-private collaboration is to my work, especially with the ever-evolving landscape of the markets we touch. For example, we are breaking boundaries by working directly with oil and gas operators to tackle new industry challenges, such as facilitating sustainable water management in hydraulic fracturing operations.

How has being part of the Net Impact community or attending the conference in the past made a difference in your work? 

This is my first conference, so I am looking forward to connecting with attendees, forging relationships, and exploring creative solutions to mitigate global challenges.

About Snehal    

Snehal Desai is the global business director for Dow Water & Process Solutions, a leader in sustainable separation and purification technologies, representing revenue of approximately $1 billion. In his role, Desai is responsible for developing and implementing the growth strategy for the business and leading the approximately 1,700 employees worldwide. With industry-leading products, extensive expertise, and experience in a broad range of water treatment applications, Dow is leading the discussion about critical issues related to water, food, pharmaceutical, and energy resources with Desai at the forefront. Desai has more than 25 years of increasing leadership responsibility experience in the sales, marketing, and business development of water, plastics, chemicals, and renewable materials. He’s speaking at the Net Impact Conference at Managing Risks and Advancing Solutions at the Food-Energy-Water Nexus, a session in the Environment & Natural Resources track.

Want more? 

This year's conference is over, but you can also catch up with video of several sessions on our site. Watch now!