In a celebration of business excellence and leadership, Olam Agri in Nigeria’s Country Head, Ashish Pande, was distinguished as the ‘Most Admired CEO’ in the Agriculture sector at the Nigerian Business Leadership Awards.
The Awards, organised by BusinessDay, celebrates the outstanding achievements of business leaders and organisations that have demonstrated a strong commitment to excellence in their fields.
Ashish Pande stood out as a titan in the agribusiness sector with a robust portfolio under his stewardship, including oversight of Olam Agri’s largest and most diversified global operation with a turnover of $2 billion.
Boasting over two decades of international experience in the food and consumer goods industries, Pande’s career has spanned across prominent corporations such as PepsiCo and Reckitt Benckiser in various capacities across India, Australia, and France.
In response to the accolade, Ashish Pande, represented by a delegation of Olam Agri’s top executives, expressed gratitude for the recognition,
“This award signifies the strides we’ve made across the agricultural value chains. It is a nod to our ongoing commitment under the Seeds for The Future (SFTF) initiative to create a food and nutrition-secure, as well as a sustainable, Nigeria.”
His strategic vision and leadership have been pivotal in scaling Olam’s operations in Nigeria, notably in establishing the company’s thriving animal feed and protein business. Moreover, his successful integration of the acquired Dangote Flour Mills and management of the substantial supply chain operations in Sub-Saharan Africa underscore his capability to navigate and triumph in complex business environments.
Through strategic initiatives under Olam Agri’s “Seeds for the Future” program, he has made significant strides that have earned government recognition and the prestigious Presidential “Productivity Order of Merit Award.” His approach is marked by a global perspective, agility, and a consistent track record of performance, even in the most challenging situations.
Ashish Pande’s recognition comes as a testament to Olam Agri’s impactful role in supporting the Nigerian Federal Government’s economic development initiatives and bolstering the agriculture sector. Olam Agri in Nigeria is a leading force in the food, feed, and fibre agribusiness sector, has received multiple awards for its contributions to the Nigerian agriculture value chains.
Frank Aigbogun, the awards organiser and publisher of BusinessDay newspaper, noted that the recent positive outlook for Nigeria’s economy by Moody’s rating agency highlights the need to acknowledge the efforts of leaders and companies driving growth.
“These are the enterprises and individuals paving the way for economic resilience and advancement. Their dedication and determination to excel are the hallmarks that earned them this honour,”said Aigbogun.
In addition to his leadership role, Pande harbours a keen interest in startups and innovation within the agri-food sector, embodying the spirit of progress that is vital for future economic development.
The Seed for the future (SFTF) initiative stands as Olam Agri’s social sustainability program, focusing on five key areas: support for farms and farmers, education and skills development, women’s empowerment, health and nutrition advocacy, and carbon footprint reduction in business practices.
Olam Agri’s investments have catalysed enhanced productivity across several segments, including rice and wheat milling, animal feed and poultry, edible oil, tomato, and cotton production. These ventures not only boost local agriculture but also generate employment for the local population.
The Olam Agri delegation at the awards ceremony included key figures such as Abhishek Singh, Vice President of the wheat milling unit, and other notable executives responsible for various strategic areas within the company, illustrating the depth and expertise within Olam Agri’s leadership team.
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