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Reckitt Benckiser wins The Economistís Innovation Award in the category of Corporate USE of Innovation

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Anna-Louise Maloney
E: anna-louisemaloney@economist.com
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Rickard Andersson
E: randersson@waggeneredstrom.com
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Reckitt Benckiser
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Core Facts

  • The Economist is pleased to announce Reckitt Benckiser as the winner of this year’s Corporate Use of Innovation Award. The company, one of the world’s biggest manufacturers of household, health and personal care products, has demonstrated strong sales and profit growth, even during the recession, thanks to the strength of its innovative and entrepreneurial corporate culture.
  • Reckitt Benckiser has a highly-focused product portfolio with a large number of power brands that include Vanish, Nurofen, Strepsils, Clearasil and Dettol. With a workforce of 23,000 employees from across the globe and an executive committee comprising six nationalities, they champion diversity and drive innovation forward by encouraging staff to outperform; promoting team spirit at all levels and allowing daring ideas to thrive.
  • Rakesh Kapoor, Executive Vice-president of Reckitt Benckiser, will be accepting the award on behalf of the company, along with seven additional award winners from the remaining categories, who will also be recognised for turning their innovative ideas into reality at The Economist’s Eighth Annual Innovation Awards Ceremony. The Ceremony takes place at London’s Science Museum on October 29th, followed by the Innovation Summit on October 30th at the Dorchester Hotel—a unique event focusing on the interface between innovation and business—where this year’s winners will discuss how their innovative ideas became reality.
  • The Economist’s Eighth Annual Innovation Summit provides an opportunity for delegates to meet the greatest thinkers and doers of this world in an inspirational setting, take away content relevant to their business environment and hear from the 2009 Innovation Awards winners. The speaker line-up includes Syl Saller, Global Innovation Director at Diageo, who is responsible for Diageo’s innovation strategy and management of R&D, and Julie Meyer, founder and CEO of Ariadne Capital, whose mission is to back the best entrepreneurs in Europe with global ambitions.
  • Journalists may request interviews and a place at The Economist’s Eighth Annual Innovation Awards Ceremony (29th) at the Science Museum and Summit (30th) at The Dorchester by contacting the press team at Waggener Edstrom on + 44 (0)20 7632 3900 or e-mailing ecis@waggeneredstrom.com 

Quotes

Winner’s quote: Rakesh Kapoor, Executive Vice-president Category Development, Reckitt Benckiser “Innovation is at the very heart of RB’s success, and the reason we love it is because it means our consumers get better benefits and great value through our brands. Innovation is not just about great ideas, but also the passion with which we put those ideas to work. Innovation is also about being constantly inquisitive, asking ourselves and the consumers what improvements will be really worthwhile, what will really make a difference! And the reason we are good at this is that we also breed a culture of entrepreneurship where it really does not matter where the idea comes from, as long as it makes sense for the consumer and our brands. This is the ideology that drives us and brings to market a faster acting pain pill with Nurofen or a more-sparkle automatic dishwash detergent with Finish.”

Sponsor’s quote: Sir Andrew Cahn, Chief Executive, UK Trade & Investment  “As the UK's international business development organisation, UK Trade & Investment is delighted to be host sponsor of The Economist’s Eighth Annual Innovation Awards and Summit. These events celebrate the people whose ideas have shaped the world that we live in, and also look ahead at how innovation will provide foundations for a fast-changing world.“We are equally delighted to present Reckitt Benckiser with the Corporate Use of Innovation Award. Created only a decade ago by the merger of Benckiser, a German company incorporated in the Netherlands, and the UK's Reckitt & Colman, they bring together a rich heritage going back over 200 years. Reckitt Benckiser is one of the world's fastest-growing companies in household, health and personal care products. “The strength of Reckitt Benckiser’s innovative and entrepreneurial corporate culture, which encourages controversy and "bottom up" opinion, is the key driver of their success. It underpins their position as one of the top-ranking companies listed on the UK stock exchange and their strong sales and profit growth, even in the current climate.”

Judge’s quote: Tom Standage, Business Affairs Editor and Technology Quarterly Editor, The Economist “This year’s winner of our Corporate Use of Innovation Award is Reckitt Benckiser. The company said at the beginning of the recession that it was sure that customers would continue to buy its products, rather than trading down to cheaper alternatives, and it has been proven right. It has demonstrated strong sales and profit growth, in large part because of the strength of its innovative and entrepreneurial corporate culture. Controversy is encouraged, bureaucracy avoided and performance rewarded. A diverse multinational workforce provides a wealth of perspectives on consumer behaviour. The company has a talent for dreaming up products that consumers did not realise they wanted (and for giving them crazy names). Some 35-40% of its sales come from products launched in the past three years, which is a clear indication of its continued ability to dream up winning new ideas.”

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About The Economist (www.economist.com)
The Economist is published each Friday in the UK and is available from newsagents and on subscription. With four million readers from almost every country on the planet, and editorial offices on every continent, The Economist is truly a global publication.

The paper includes sections on each international region, plus Science and Technology, Books and Arts, and the weekly obituary.

For profiles of our journalists, please visit www.economist.com/mediadirectory/ About The Economist‘s Innovation Awards (www.economistinnovation.com)

The Economist was established in 1843 to take part in a "severe contest between intelligence, which presses forward, and an unworthy, timid ignorance obstructing our progress". One of the chief ways in which intelligence presses forward is through innovation, which is now recognised as one of the most important contributors to economic growth. Innovation, in turn, depends on the creative individuals who dream up new ideas and turn them into reality. The Economist recognises these talented individuals through our annual Innovation Awards.

You can also follow The Economist’s Innovation Awards online:
Twittter: @Economist_Innov (#ECIS09) (www.twitter.com/economist_innov)
LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/groups?home=&gid=2014321&trk=anet_ug_hm
Web: www.economistinnovation.com 

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