Olam has the distinctive capacity to operate as one company even though it is highly diversified across 65 countries, 16 platforms and 14 functions. Our ability to sustain a highly-coordinated, cross-functional and high-performance organisation, is driven by the way we integrate our multiple businesses, geographies and functions. We do this by developing a shared vision and agenda, installing common operating systems and embedding a common culture across the organisation. Consequently, Olam is significantly greater than the sum of its parts.
We are structured as a transnational organisation with a three-dimensional matrix (products, geographies and functions) to execute our strategy. This structure has enabled us to develop three key complementary capabilities:
Global scale efficiency and competitiveness;
Local country-level responsiveness and flexibility; and
The capacity to leverage our intellectual capital, insight and best practices on a worldwide basis.
Our Corporate Centre, together with its Executive Committee, the top management team in Olam, plays a vital role integrating all three dimensions of our business matrix. It provides leadership to the various businesses, geographies and functions, moulding them into one cohesive unit through effective coalitions.
It is responsible for key processes and functions including strategic planning, mergers and acquisitions, capital raising and allocation, leadership development, career paving and manpower deployment, accounts, banking and treasury, risk management, audit and compliance, systems and investor relations.
At Olam, we have built an entrepreneurial, high performance and team-oriented culture that our Corporate Centre helps perpetuate. Accordingly, it is responsible for building a strong portfolio of leadership businesses, raising and allocating capital, driving common initiatives and processes to expand performance, developing a critical mass of leaders, and quickly integrating global best practices and learning across our businesses and geographies.
Our annual corporate calendar comprises our annual strategic planning process, bi-monthly Executive Committee meetings, bi-annual Management Committee meetings, monthly Budget Review meetings, monthly Functional Review meetings, annual Product Plan meetings, annual Country Management Team meetings, and Performance Management Systems, all of which take place with drum-beat regularity and intensity to deliver a high-performance organisation that performs across business and commodity cycles.
Management Committee (ManCom)
Olam’s Management Committee represents its senior leadership team, drawn from our various geographies, functions and products heads. This group of 80 meets once a year to participate in developing corporate strategy, and provides thought leadership for various organisation-wide initiatives aimed at bringing transformational change. ManCom also ensures leadership alignment to Olam’s mission and shared goals, and spearheads interventions designed to improve engagement and internal partnership. Beside its other functions, ManCom also administers various standing committees to address large cross-cutting issues that could shape Olam in the years to come.
Global Product Heads
Our Global Product Heads help capture the full benefit of our integrated world-wide operations by furthering global scale efficiency and competitiveness, and extracting synergies across different countries. They serve as our strategists for our businesses, the allocators of our world-wide assets and resources, and as our coordinators of transactions across national borders.
For geography roles, the primary objective of our Country Managers is to be sensitive and responsive to the local market. They play three vital roles: as sensors and interpreters of local opportunities and threats, as builders of local resources and capabilities, and as contributors of our global strategy to their businesses in their respective countries.
The mandate for our Functional Managers, is to build an organisation that can use learning to create and spread innovations across national borders. To achieve this important objective, our Functional Managers scan the globe systematically for specialised information, help transfer in leading-edge knowledge and best practices, and champion innovations across our various businesses and geographies.