He will also partner with WestRock’s commercial, digital, marketing, and innovation teams to advance the company’s innovation strategy with a strong focus on more environmentally sustainability products, breakthrough packaging designs, and the digitalization of packaging.
With more than 30 years of experience, Banavali is an experienced technology leader with broad material science knowledge, experience in leading large technical teams across global markets, and expertise in driving complex sustainability-related initiatives.
Banavali joins WestRock from Huntsman Corp., a $7 billion global manufacturing company of chemical products for consumers and industrial customers with manufacturing and R&D operations in over 30 countries. Most recently, Banavali served as the global vice president, research and technology, textiles. In this role, he led research and development centers in Asia and Europe and built sustainability practices for textiles in the clothing industry.
Prior to Huntsman, Banavali worked for Honeywell International as the director of technology, Specialty Products. At Honeywell, he progressed to the role of vice president and chief technology officer, Advanced Materials, where he led the global research and innovation organization that commercialized refrigerant products with a significantly lower global warming impact.
Banavali holds Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees in organic chemistry from Bombay University and a doctorate degree in organic chemistry from the University of Missouri, as well as 80 publications and 50 patents.