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XCELIS™ CHAMPION: Dr. Jay Shetty

"I can only find out a customer's pain points by working with them as a partner. That knowledge then becomes the catalyst for me to develop future products that will create value for them."

XCELIS™ CHAMPION: Dr. Jay Shetty

"My job is to come up with new ideas." That's how Dr. Jay Shetty sums up his current role as DuPont Fellow, the company's highest technical rank. Dig a little deeper, and you'll find out he's been turning those ideas into fuel ethanol innovations for more than four decades.

His fascination with enzymes led first to a PhD in biochemistry and then to a successful career in R&D, contributing to more than 70 patents along the way. He also received the 2008 Research Excellence Award for his contributions to biofuel industries.

But it was his passion for people—and a desire to connect his research more closely to real-world needs—that inspired a move to marketing and sales from 1999 to 2008.

"It gave me the opportunity to study our customers, to walk through their plants and understand their processes," Shetty says.

"Our philosophy is not to sell the product that we can make, but the products which create value in our customers' process.”

"Then, I could offer a scientific solution that's tailored to what they really need. Because our philosophy is not to sell the product that we can make, but the product our customers want."

That one-on-one experience helped him build strong partnerships with ethanol producers. It also shaped the way he's helped them navigate some big changes in the industry—and how he sees the road ahead.

"From 2005 to 2012, the U.S. fuel ethanol market was growing in double digits. Now, demand has slowed, and customers are looking for co-products to generate revenue, such as increasing the nutrient content of DDGS for animal feed," Shetty says.

"The future of the ethanol industry will be capturing the value of every component of the corn. My goal is to help our customers do it."

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