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Dec 19, 2014  Düsseldorf / Germany

Henkel Innovation Challenge

An extraordinary meet and greet

Getting to know Henkel’s CEO and asking him a whole range of questions is priceless. Six international finalists of the 7th Henkel Innovation Challenge had this unique opportunity, when they met Kasper Rorsted in Düsseldorf yesterday.

Finalists of the 7th Henkel Innovation Challenge met with Henkel CEO Kasper Rorsted at Henkel headquarters in Düsseldorf.

Finalists of the 7th Henkel Innovation Challenge met with Henkel CEO Kasper Rorsted at Henkel headquarters in Düsseldorf.

The winners had already been chosen in April, but there was still one more important activity on their agenda: The three finalist teams of the 7th Henkel Innovation Challenge – six talented students from Croatia, Qatar and India – collected one of their prizes yesterday and met with Kasper Rorsted in his office in Düsseldorf. Among those was Dominik Benger who came in first together with his team mate Daren Perincic. The duo defeated the competition with their product vision for 2050 – the so called “H-Design” hairspray which, combined with a customizable app, can instantly change the consumer’s hairstyle.

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???gallery.open.slideshow??? Rorsted met with the students in his office and took a lot of time to answer their questions.

Rorsted met with the students in his office and took a lot of time to answer their questions.

???gallery.open.slideshow??? The winners of the 7th Henkel Innovation Challenge: Dominik Benger (left) and Daren Perincic from Croatia.

The winners of the 7th Henkel Innovation Challenge: Dominik Benger (left) and Daren Perincic from Croatia.

???gallery.open.slideshow??? The team from Qatar: Jaasim Polin and Sarah Mustafa.

The team from Qatar: Jaasim Polin and Sarah Mustafa.

???gallery.open.slideshow??? The team from India: Mayank Nandwani and Geetika Goel.

The team from India: Mayank Nandwani and Geetika Goel.

Together with the teams that came in second and third – Jaasim Polin and Sarah Mustafa from Qatar, and Geetika Goel and Mayank Nandwani from India – they presented their creative finalist concepts to Kasper Rorsted, and answered his questions. Rorsted showed great interest in the students’ innovative ideas. He also offered them some important advice for the future: As they embark on their career, he said, they should make the most of any development opportunities and accept any challenges that come their way – even if it sometimes means getting out of their comfort zone.

The finalists also had diverse questions for the CEO. Kasper Rorsted took a lot of time to answer the students’ questions that ranged from “What does it take to be successful in an international company like Henkel?” to “What are Henkel’s plans for its businesses in the emerging markets?” The students were impressed. “I felt inspired by this meeting and the different insights into the company,” said Dominik Benger. His team mate Daren Perincic was equally delighted to have had the opportunity of meeting Kasper Rorsted in Düsseldorf: “I really enjoyed the exchange – especially because it was on a very personal level.” Both students from Croatia will join Henkel for an internship in Dubai next year. The meeting with the Henkel CEO was accompanied by other activities, including a guided tour of the Henkel plant.

The Henkel Innovation Challenge (HIC) is an international student competition, where teams of two students turn into creative and sustainability-aware “Business Development Managers”. In the seventh HIC edition, students from 30 countries (from Brazil and China, over Russia and France and all the way to the US) submitted their innovative product and technology ideas for 2050, for the company’s three business units: Laundry & Home Care, Beauty Care and Adhesive Technologies. In the last years, around 35,000 students have participated in the competition.

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