Winning Isn’t Everything: When Growth Stalls, It’s Time to Act

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When Sundaram “Naga” Nagarajan became Nordson’s CEO in 2019, he had a formidable success streak to uphold. Nordson–a global manufacturer of precision nozzles and dispensers that are involved in making a mindboggling list of products, from diapers to semiconductors–had an unbroken 56-year-run of annual dividend increases. Nagarajan, who previously lead divisions of Illinois Tool Works, has notched two more years onto Nordson’s winning streak. But his real challenge has been to grow and position the company for the future through smart acquisitions, while retaining Nordson’s customer-focused, roll-up-your-sleeves culture. While Nordson is not a household name (nozzles that put the glue dots on beverage pouches are obscure to most people), it has a solid standing in communities where it operates. It’s known for its charitable giving and for both challenging and taking good care of its people. Lately, it has been integrating a number of smaller companies into its fold, seeing opportunity in both the test and inspection of specialized materials and in dispensing nozzles and containers for healthcare (including in COVID-vaccine manufacturing).

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