This video and article are produced and published by Devex Impact, a global initiative of Devex and USAID, that focuses on the intersection of business and global development and connects companies, organizations and professionals to the practical information they need to make an impact.

When DSM, a life-science and material-science company, teamed up with the World Food Program to create sachets of fortified food for needy populations in Asia and Africa, the company was confident that its scientists had delivered the best product possible.

But a key detail — how the product was packaged — was overlooked, to the embarrassment of all involved. “It was a stupid mistake, and we learned from it,” said Sheetal Bhadekar, DSM’s senior manager for corporate affairs, during an interview on the sidelines of the Business Civic Leadership Center’s 2012 conference.

Bhadekar also told Devex Impact why a B2B business like DSM sees sustainability work as a core driver for future success, and what government and NGO partners can learn from working with private-sector companies like DSM.

Video editing by Sarah Cannon.

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About the author

  • Andrea Useem

    As former associate editor and content director for Devex Impact, Andrea created and managed cutting-edge content on the intersection of business and international development. An experienced multimedia journalist, Andrea also served as leadership editor at the Washington Post and spent three years as a foreign correspondent in Eastern Africa reporting for publications including the Boston Globe, Dallas Morning News, and San Francisco Chronicle.

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