In our Beyond The Drop Q&A series, we bring you brief interviews with some of the minds driving innovation at Aquatrols. We speak to a wide variety of folks who work here at Aquatrols, exploring topics from research, to conservation, to business.
Today we are featuring an interview with Dr. Darryl Ramoutar, who is the newly appointed Director of Research and Development at Aquatrols. With a vast array of experience within the turfgrass industry, Darryl touches on what brought him to Aquatrols, what his goals are for the R&D program, and how his prior experience will guide him.
What excites you most about joining the Aquatrols team?
I have a bit of an entrepreneurial and innovative spirit, and even though Aquatrols is not a new company, it feels to me like a start-up. The opportunity to build an R&D team, and to work with people who share one vision is attractive. I also believe that Matt Foster’s (President and CEO) growth strategy will take the company to a new level and I wanted to be part of the team responsible for growing the brand.
What interests you most about the golf course industry?
I really love the game of golf, and I have always been interested in learning about the people who manage the playing surfaces and the research that goes into making efficacious products for growing turf. Since very early in my career, I have continuously chosen places to study or work based on their proximity to the golf industry. The depth of scientific research being conducted on turf every year that is aimed at optimizing plant growth and health always amazes me.
What practices from your previous experiences do you plan to implement to Aquatrols’ research and development team?
In my past roles I have worked to expand basic and applied research competencies of R&D units to deliver on investments. In many cases R&D seems to function separately from commercial business segments, but it is important to align discovery and/or development projects with company growth strategies. By doing this, we will ensure that there is a commercial need for R&D projects, and that we fund the projects that will result in the best ROI for the company. My prior experience in managing innovation portfolios will ensure that our R&D projects are balanced and adhere to the needs of our core customers, but also attract new customers, such as those who want natural alternatives to conventional chemistries.
What do you feel has been your biggest accomplishment in your career thus far?
I have had some amazing opportunities so far in my career, many of which gave me the ability to lead research programs for global leaders in their industry, such as Clarke for mosquito control and Scotts Miracle Gro for consumer lawn care and gardening. Those positions resulted in several patents, research grants and most importantly, innovative and commercially successful products.
Why do you believe it is important to keep the golfing community aware of the conservation efforts golf courses are making?
In the US, about 30MM people play nearly 500MM rounds each year, on nearly 3MM acres, which is a substantial proportion of land use. To maintain playing surfaces, superintendents apply an array inputs such as fertilizers, herbicides, insecticides, fungicides, and plant growth regulators, along with over 100M gallons of water per week in summer months to maintain healthy turf grass. What if we could reduce the water and input requirements while maintaining a high standard of plant health through novel products? What if golf courses could become areas of refuge for animals and plants? I believe that most golfers would support that.
What goals do you have in place as you step into the role of the Director of Research and Development?
I am excited to build a research program that is the best in our industry, consisting of a team whose members are passionate about science and love coming to work each day. I look forward to developing research expertise in areas that extend beyond Aquatrols’ current product base and establishing a global network that will help us deliver world class products and services through collaborative research.
To learn more about the Aquatrols’ brand and vision, visit our “About Us” page at www.aquatrols.com/about