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Work experience

Innovation Specialist

Synthesis 360

Current development projects are in the area of imaging systems for machine vision applications, information research software, medical instruments. The focus is on developing new programs from the ground up. My work includes:

  • Market research and needs analysis
  • Ideation and product definition
  • Business planning
  • Software product prototyping

Most of my engagements are with companies that serve technical markets.

Technology Manager, R&D Engineer

  • Technology lead in startup team for color services venture at Clariant aimed at major brands. Designed and developed SaaS products and technology to power the operation. Helped realize 45% CAGR over 4 yrs and improved customer’s process efficiency by 40%
  • Created new opportunity by initiating development of color matching software system. Built a highly usable product to manage a complex process, resulting in high adoption. Advanced the system over three generations. There are currently 1000+ active installations globally.
  • Developed a patented process for coated paper with micro-encapsulated ink
  • Created a mathematical model and simulator to optimize dyeing process.

VP New Solutions, Program Manager

  • Led “New Solutions” team with a mandate to drive revenue growth through innovation. 
  • Execution of 20+ programs valued over $100M through stage-gate innovation process.
  • Guide market analysis, product ideation, solution design, business planning, product roadmap. 
  • Implemented systematic innovation front-end to improve market understanding and success rate
  • Initiated 5 new developments, realized cross-market leverage, identified 3 strategic growth areas. 
  • Reported to CTO and led program and team performance reviews with the CEO
  • Created high quality user-experience through deep collaboration with agile development team
  • Interfaced with marketing on product pricing, positioning, branding and launch planning 
  • Designed user-interaction prototypes for software and algorithms for a unique color search engine.
  • Development of new venture around digital color with a $20-25M annual revenue potential


Innovative business professional with strong skills in product ideation, planning, design, and development. Focused on generating revenue growth by building new products and services for technical markets.

INNOVATION : Consistent track record of taking the initiative to create new opportunity and enable innovation through synthesis of technology with market needs. Proven ability to identify market opportunities; assess potential value of product ideas; work concurrently with scientists, engineers, marketers, customers and partners; assess the market and formulate a business plan; build internal and external partnerships

LEADERSHIP : Establish a compelling product vision and strategy; provide thought leadership with new insights at business-technology interface; initiate and grow new area of business within large global organizations.

MANAGEMENT : Plan and guide multiple projects through globally dispersed project teams; foster cross-functional collaboration around a shared vision; setup lean processes for product management and development through innovation stage-gates

TECHNOLOGY : Hands-on experience with programming, mathematical modeling, scientific methods, color and imaging; semantic analysis and search technology; high awareness of current technology developments

DESIGN : Application of usability principles to hardware and software products; recognized for ergonomic and visually appealing designs offering high quality user experience; use of a range of prototyping methods

Software Experience

Hands-on development (7 years), project management (4 years), planning and UX design (2 years).

  • Enterprise applications for remote sample approval - development using VB and web services
  • Lab application for use with spectrophotometers - design and development with VB
  • Interactive product catalog for web and desktop - developed with Lotus Notes, Domino and VB
  • Search and semantic analysis on patent database - VB.NET and Lucene
  • Embedded software for handheld devices - specification and user interaction design
  • Web application for graphic design market - specification and user interaction design
  • Cross-platform desktop applications for digital color control - specification and UX design
  • Machine vision application with color accurate image capture, analysis and segmentation

Career Highlights

Added $4.5M/year in revenue by opening a new market for existing technology. Designed a novel software solution after identifying unmet needs, and helped create an appealing product brand.

Initiated new programs valued at $30M/year with market research, detailed business planning, product design and functional specification development.

CAGR of 45% over 4 years from services offering for major brand owners. Led technology for the venture. Built SaaS product to improve customer’s process efficiency by 40%.

Built user base of 1000+ installations for scientific software system. Single-handedly designed, developed, trained, supported and evolved the system over 3 generations.


  • Executive Certificate, Strategy & Innovation, MIT Sloan School of Management
  • MS and PhD, Paper Science and Chemical Engineering, University of Washington 
  • B.Eng., Pulp & Paper Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology, Graduated top of class

Patents and Publications

  • Five patents/application from research at Clariant
  • Five technical papers from graduate work


Bill S.

“I quickly grew to respect and appreciate Niraj's clear and logical approach to process modeling and he developed is still used in the business today, a testament to his ability to anticipate future requirements as well as the current. He has a deep appreciation for simplifying software user interfaces and building in what he refers to as "click efficiency". Niraj has a unique blend of exceptional intellect, practical experience, and engaging personality.

Doug B.

“Dr. Agarwal worked with me on a new business development for Clariant. This business required aggressive action, new systems development, customer interaction, and new product development in the software and internal systems areas. He has an entrepreneurial mindset which helps in generating new ideas and business opportunities."

Linda B.

“NIraj is a very diligent and committed worker. He is very bright and brings novel ideas to his work.”

Steve R.

"Niraj is a natural mentor and motivator with a wealth of knowledge to share. A true visionary, he consistently brings a fresh look and practical solution to both familiar and complex problems. He is an excellent listener, quick thinker, and great communicator. His passion and drive were inspirational to me and other team members."

Matt A.

“Niraj proved himself an excellent strategist and marketer with clear thinking and steady approach...Niraj was very strong at coordinating a geographically dispersed team...and presenting a cohesive, prioritized strategy. Niraj provided solid guidance to me when it was needed, but allowed latitude in my own decision making on a day-to-day basis.”

Thomas K.

“Niraj is an extremely smart individual, a great visionary and out of the box thinker. Working with Niraj is always inspiring and motivational. He leads through vision, empowerment and successfully manages a team by objectives.”