Expert Details

Expert in Agri Business, Soft commodities, Traceability and Origination

Expert ID: 736303 Zimbabwe

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Expert is a Senior Management professional focused on nurturing businesses, while ensuring profitable growth. In the past 25 years, he has honed his skills in Agri business, running efficient Supply Chains, Strategic Purchasing, Country P&L Management, Commodities Trading, Origination, Food and food processing, and Out-grower farming, all in the context of Sub Saharan Africa and India. Apart from business roles, the undersigned has also led his previous organization in sustainable agriculture, product certification and supply chain traceability.

His experience rests heavily on setting up new businesses from their infancy to large scale, and building the systems, processes and manpower to support both short term needs and long-term goals. He wishes to work with high growth companies / organizations that are willing to take risks, explore new ways, are socially responsible and believe in sustainability.
Apart from P&L delivery, also keenly interested in product certification, sustainable agri business and supply chain traceability.

Regional leadership, driving organization growth and profitability:
• Turned around Olam Zimbabwe from the brink of closure in 2013. Steadied existing revenue streams, started three businesses and delivered four straight profitable years.
• Commodity trading and Managing P&L– Customer & supplier focus, continuously seeking ways to grow profitably, deciding hedging strategies and managing risks.
• Collaborating with 30,000 farmers, improving team & processing capabilities and traded more than 25,000 MT of commodities (mostly cotton, rice and sesame) annually
• Established Rice sales business in Olam Zimbabwe – wholesale, followed by retail

Strategic thinking:
• Part of the team spearheading the GMO journey in Africa
• Offshoring Hybrid seeds production to Africa
• Led the ‘Better Cotton Initiative’, or BCI, journey for Olam Cotton globally. BCI is a product certification platform based on sustainable agriculture and supply chain traceability. Later elected and served as a Board Member of BCI for multiple years.
• Digitalized key processes in agronomy and payments to improve speed and accuracy.

Collaborating and influencing:
• Created JV opportunities for long term profitability of Olam Zimbabwe. All related documents submitted, awaiting final approval.
• With assistance of SNV Netherlands, using internet as a tool and encouraged by the village chiefs, a rural development model was established where select Mozambique district offices were upgraded into Farmer information and commercial centers.

Leading people and developing organizational capability:
• Lead the Zimbabwe team under a politically difficult and an economically testing time due to hyperinflation
• Hire and seamlessly match the new ‘Marketing and Sales’ Rice/imports team with the old ‘Origination and Farming’ team in Olam Zimbabwe to achieve the desired results.

• As the Business Head, observe and understand in the context of every country
o How value is created
o Whose support is critical – internal and external
o What are the key risks
o What skills / steps are required to secure the value
Identify unique / emerging business opportunities, be commercially sharp, mitigate risks and conclude deals. More than USD 25 Million worth of pre-finance deals concluded, beyond normal ‘business as usual’ activities.
• Manage, protect and promote the organization’s reputation in the country among various stakeholders and different media formats.
• Anticipate government policy changes and continuously align organization with the new reality. Country policies will change continuously. It is important to change the business model to stay relevant and profitable.
• Key stakeholders managed – There are internal and three types of external stakeholders which needs to be managed continuously
o Government related – Mega parastatals, The Central Bank, Various Ministry offices, Sector Regulators and key opinion leaders.
o Commercial banks – MNC’s and Local
o Industry associations, competition and business partners
• Create a learning organization where employees are encouraged to do higher studies, ensure zero accidents in manufacturing, be socially sensitive and ensure processes which are sustainable. Build individuals, team and organization for the long term.

Key Strengths:
Leadership roles across multiple countries
Knowledge of field, crops, seeds and farmers
Create JV opportunities. Integration with main business.
Stakeholder management at multiple levels
Awareness of IR issues and Employee affairs
Understanding of Legal and Corporate Governance
Knowledge of Commodities, Agri business and Origination.
Culturally sensitive and comfortable with diversity
Manufacturing / Shop-floor management
Supply Chain Management
Usage of Six Sigma Black Belt tools
Knowledge of Sustainability and Corporate Social Responsibility

Available for panels, in depth interviews, and surveys only.

Education

Year Degree Subject Institution
Year: 2009 Degree: Senior Management Programme Subject: Advanced Management Institution: IIM Calcutta
Year: 2005 Degree: PGDGM Subject: MBA Institution: NMIMS Mumbai
Year: 1995 Degree: Bachelor of Technology Subject: Mechanical Engineering Institution: IIT Kharagpur

Work History

Years Employer Title Department Responsibilities
Years: 2019 to Present Employer: Undisclosed Title: Regional Head Department: Responsibilities: Regional Head and complete P&L responsibility for multiple countries spread across South and East Africa. Member of the Mahyco International Leadership team.
Years: 2009 to 2019 Employer: Olam International Ltd Title: Vice President Department: Commodity Trading Responsibilities: As the Managing Director of Olam Zimbabwe, observe and understand in the context of the country
o How value is created
o Whose support is critical – internal and external
o What skills are required to secure the value for Olam
Identify unique / emerging business opportunities, be commercially sharp, mitigate risks and conclude deals. Big value pre-finance deals were concluded, beyond normal ‘business as usual’ activities.

• Manage, protect and promote the organisation's reputation in the country among various stakeholders and different media formats.

• Anticipate change and continuously align organization with the new reality. For example, when the country decided to change the Cotton sector rules, we changed our business model to stay relevant and profitable.

• Key stakeholders managed – There are internal and three types of external stakeholders which needs to be managed continuously
o Government related – Mega parastatals, The Central Bank, Various Ministry offices, Sector Regulators and key opinion leaders.
o Commercial banks – MNC’s and Local
o Industry associations, competition and business partners

• Create a learning organization where employees are encouraged to do higher studies, ensure zero accidents in manufacturing, be socially sensitive and ensure processes which are sustainable. Build individuals, team and organization for the long term.
Years: 2007 to 2009 Employer: Reliance Retail Ltd, India Title: Asst Vice President & SBU Head Department: Responsibilities: Spices & Dry fruits
• The first Head of the Spices and Dry Fruits business vertical of the Retail Division, Reliance Industries Ltd (www.ril.com, USD 87 Billion turnover). The task included o Setting up a multiple location team with deep product knowledge o Designing the origination supply chain and reverse logistics o Private labels o Planning & executing the retail sales, including pricing and promotions.
• Most profitable Business Units for the Reliance Retail food business.
Years: 2006 to 2007 Employer: RPG Group - Spencer’s Retail Ltd Title: General Manager & Head – Private label and Logistics, Member – Management Council Department: Responsibilities: • Started the Private Label business for Spencer’s Retail (www.spencersretail.com, a Food First retail format) from scratch. We laid down the process of Private Label business in India and launched more than 50 FMCG SKU’s. The work included market category identification, product conceptualization, designing the product & packaging, planogramming and managing third party manufacturing.
• Ensured that the all India launch of Spencer’s stores were enabled by timely setting up of the back-end infrastructure (warehouses, transport, IT, store replenishment process and manpower).
Years: 2003 to 2006 Employer: RPG Group - Ceat Ltd Title: Deputy General Manager & Head – Supply Chain Department: Responsibilities: • Completely redesign and revamp the supply chain of CEAT Tyres (www.ceat.com, USD 1 Billion Tyre company). The previous supply chain was designed by McKinsey – this prompted the consultancy giant to call the undersigned for a job
• Managed more than 250 active SKU's, output from 2 own factories, 6 outsourced manufacturing locations and a network of 120 warehouses in a hyper competitive industry of six major players.
Years: 1995 to 2003 Employer: Philips India Ltd Title: Black Belt – SCM, Logistics Head – Kalwa factory Head – Wire drawing unit, Kalwa (Mumbai) factory Department: Responsibilities: Black Belt – SCM, Logistics Head – Kalwa factory 1999-2003
Head – Wire drawing unit, Kalwa (Mumbai) factory 1995-1999

• First Philips India (www.lighting.philips.co.in) Six Sigma Black Belt in SCM. The project was designed across one factory, the country logistics team and one regional sales organization. The project target was to cut the cycle time of a specific supply chain by more than 30%
• Factory of more than 150 people. Produced wires for filaments used in electric bulbs and tubes. More than half of the filament produced was exported to Europe. Philips is considered a leader in precision manufacturing. This factory was recognized in 1998 as one of the leading Asia Pacific factories of Philips for reducing defectives and wastages.
• Part of the six-member team which was responsible for the greenfield Philips Lighting Factory at Kota, India. Was responsible for site inspection prior to payments.

International Experience

Years Country / Region Summary
Years: 2009 to 2014 Country / Region: Mozambique Summary:
Years: 2014 to Present Country / Region: Zimbabwe Summary:

Career Accomplishments

Associations / Societies
Board Member of 'Better Cotton Initiative' on behalf of Olam International from 2012 to 2016. Better Cotton Initiative, or BCI, IS the global certification and sustainability platform for Cotton.

Additional Experience

Training / Seminars
Trained Six Sigma Black Belt in supply chain
Vendor Selection
The first Head of the Spices and Dry Fruits business vertical of the Retail Division, Reliance Industries Ltd. The task included
o Setting up a multiple location team with deep product knowledge
o Designing the origination supply chain and reverse logistics
o Complete supplier base - Brands and Private labels
o Planning & executing the retail sales, including pricing and promotions.
Marketing Experience
Started the Private Label business for Spencer’s Retail, a Food First retail format, from scratch. We laid down the process of Private Label business in India and launched more than 50 FMCG SKU’s. The work included market category identification, product conceptualization, designing the product & packaging, planogramming and managing third party manufacturing.

Language Skills

Language Proficiency
English Native
Bengali Native
Hindi Native
Portuguese Beginner

Fields of Expertise

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