Editor’s note: Over the next year, FlexPack VOICE® will feature a short profile on a member of the FPA team based in Annapolis, Maryland. “Meet the FPA Staff” is a way for you to get to know those you work with in a more personal way. Ram K. Singhal, FPA vice president, technology and environmental strategy, is the next person in this occasional series.
FlexPack VOICE®: Tell us a little bit about yourself.
Ram K. Singhal: I was born in India and spent part of my adult life there. Prior to moving and settling in the United States in 1980, I spent several years in the United Kingdom both studying and working. After getting a master’s degree in systems engineering from a British University, I worked in London and the surrounding areas for a company that designed, developed, and manufactured electronic controls for high-speed printing presses. My engagement was in design/development and applications engineering that provided me the opportunity and an in-depth understanding of dealing with customers in a highly stressful environment. It gave me the foundation of becoming an asset for my career years in the U.S. In 2000, I completed my MBA from Johns Hopkins University.
FPV: What was your career path and how did you end up at FPA?
RS: Upon moving to the U.S. as a director of engineering with a previous employer, the challenge was to convince U.S. printing companies to make a change and buy British. Since printing is a time-sensitive business where publication must go out on a specific date, it was a challenge to convince print buyers that the availability of spare parts and service support would not be an issue. It took over 12 months to break through the market. It gave me name recognition and thus an opportunity to manage printing projects and regulations for several prestigious accounts, like Parade magazine, Readers Digest, and AAA guidebook.
I joined FPA in 2001 by “accident.” Then president of FPA, Marla Donahue, convinced me that my low-key approach, ability to develop consensus, and determination to succeed is what she needed to manage FPA’s Environmental, Health, and Safety committee, including communication with federal and state regulatory agencies. I fell for the sale but never looked back. It continues to be a pleasure working for FPA.
FPV: Talk a little bit about your duties with FPA. What do you like best and what are some of the challenges going forward?
RS: As vice president for technology and environmental strategy for FPA, I wear multiple hats. My role takes me to argue against promulgating burdensome federal/state regulations and providing member companies information that will help in managing compliance and prepare them to deal with a continuous onslaught from non-governmental organizations. The biggest challenge of my job with FPA is to skillfully manage issues associated with sustainability as perceptions can easily turn into reality if not appropriately and timely challenged.
FPV: What do you like to do when you are not working?
RS: I am not an introvert but being called social would be a stretch. I enjoy a solitary walk in the park and love listening to political discourse on the television. I do take the time to watch the news and, whenever possible, will go to the theater.
FPV: Anything that you would like to add?
RS: I feel fortunate to have the ability to draw a balance between family and work life. Having a solid family has given me the strength to maintain sanity and overcome adversity. I am close to retirement and have worked for FPA now for 20 years. I can sincerely say that FPA members have been my strength, and FPA’s leadership has proven that diversity matters.