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Issue 3/2016: Olam’s wheat milling strategy in Sub-Saharan Africa paying off on region’s growing urbanisation and consumption of wheat-based products

September 2016

Underpinned by the attractive macroeconomic prospects of the emerging economies in Sub-Saharan Africa and supported by its global supply chain expertise, Olam’s investments in wheat milling in the region has given it a market leadership position in what has become the fastest growing wheat flour market in the world.

In this third issue of Olam Insights for 2016, our Wheat Milling team explains why it chose Nigeria, Ghana, Senegal and Cameroon for flour production and shares how it has brought operations across different locations together to achieve strong results within a short timeframe.

Global Grains platform, human capital: our competitive advantages in wheat milling
K C Suresh, Managing Director & CEO, Olam Grains

Our ability to establish a market leadership position in African wheat milling in a short time is not only because Olam has been in this market for over 26 years.  As significantly, our wheat milling strategy is well differentiated by our global Grains franchise and the quality of our human capital within our engineering team.

In search of strong returns in Sub-Saharan Africa
Saurabh Mehra, Senior Vice President & Global Head, Milling, Olam Grains

Olam looks at overall market attractiveness, determines which countries offer the highest levels of sustainable margins given the industry structure and regulatory framework, and selects key locations where we believe we can take leadership positions by investing in milling infrastructure and through superior execution abilities.

Differentiating through process and engineering excellence
Richard Hedges, Senior Vice President, Olam Grains

The growth of our wheat milling capacity from zero to 6,140 MT per day in just six years has been at the back of a strong focus on technical efficiencies and engineering expertise. We take this approach in all aspects of our operations, from building our mills, to procuring raw wheat, all the way to product innovation and final delivery to our customers.

Strong customer relationships as growth enabler in Nigeria
Anurag Shukla, CEO, Crown Flour Mill

While both industry and market dynamics made a strong and compelling investment case for our entry into wheat milling and subsequent expansion in Nigeria, it is the strong customer relationships that allow us to continue to grow in Nigeria.

Cross-country synergies: driving efficiency with strong business processes
Sanjeev Goel, Head of Operations, Crown Flour Mill

Our extraordinary pace of growth has been contingent on “bringing our assets together” by extracting synergies while harmonising processes across the board.