Olam Cocoa Ghana, one of the largest private Licenced Buying Companies (LBCs) in Ghana’s cocoa sector, has stated its commitment to supporting Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs) and other struggling businesses to survive the COVID-19 pandemic and grow.
According to management of Olam, with about 20 percent of market share in the cocoa sector, the company will shift attention to other areas of its operation such as food ingredients, processing and manufacturing to ensure the support and survival of small businesses which need help to survive the pandemic.
Business Head-Olam Cocoa, Eric Asare Botwe, indicated that Olam has a complete plate when it comes to the food industry in Ghana; with operations in the supply space, especially cocoa and cashew. It is also into manufacturing business and is a strong brand in the production of flour, tomato paste and biscuits, as well as distribution of rice.
This, he said, the company will highlight more in the coming year, as a means of assisting other players in the business ecosystem to survive all the shocks suffered as a result of COVID-19.
“We have taken the COVID-19 pandemic as an opportunity to support businesses which are weak, and that strategy has really helped us. In the cocoa business, for instance, there are other sectors that we driving; so what we want to do going into the next season is hold onto our 20 percent share and find ways of supporting other local businesses to grow.
“We have identified some parts of the industry that we want to grow; we will still be present in the cocoa beans business, but we will also be digging deeper into other opportunities in the sector to bring a pool of options to the business community,” he said.
He made these remarks on the occasion of Olam’s Cocoa Managers Conference, an annual event that brought together about 500 key stakeholders to discuss topical issues of concern to the industry.
On his part, Country Head of Olam Ghana, Amit Agrawal said: “Olam Ghana has within a short period birthed six different businesses which are all leading in market share. Olam is the fifth largest company in Ghana, according to the Ghana Club 100 rankings, based on our size of revenue”.
He indicated that these milestones have been made possible because of hard work, adherence to good practices and processes as well as continuous promotion of the staff’s welfare.
On the impact of COVID-19 on the company, Mr. Agrawal stated that the business had digitalised its operations and become paperless and cashless before the advent of COVID-19; hence, products sales and procurement of produce has been little-affected.
Touching on the conference’s significance for the company, he indicated that the about-500 managers who participated were taught various procurement courses; like achieving the company’s FY21 targets with zero outstanding, maximizing value, among others.
“In addition, there were also non-procurement courses like financial management, project management, communication and presentation skills to equip employees for the main crop season,” he emphasised.