The CEO Magazine
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Edible oils and Food that Fuel the growth story of Adani Wilmar Ltd

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Edible oils and Food that Fuel the growth story of Adani Wilmar Ltd

Likely to market Chakki Fresh Atta, Soya Nuggets & Rice, eyes global agri-business

By Ayanangsha Maitra

The demand for edible oils is increasing every single day in the global market. India’s fastest growing edible oil sector has been growing at the CAGR of 19%. Adani Wilmar Limited- a pioneer in the sector – is striving to catch up this pace. Almost nineteen years ago, Adani Wilmar responded the call of lucrative and unexplored business of edible oil sector. Adani Wilmar, the bellwether of the sector – has now recorded a total turnover of ₹29,000 crore divided between two main business areas – edible oil and foods. A Joint Venture of Adani Group and Singapore’s private infrastructure major Wilmar International Limited, Adani Wilmar didn’t take much time to solidify its position in the market. The company is now a leading super power of quality edible oil and food products to the markets of India and Middle East. They have the largest range of edible oils spanning across the categories of Soya, Sun, Mustard, Rice bran, Groundnut, Cottonseed and have extended its basket of offering with the introduction of the revolutionary oil – Vivo, India’s first oil for Diabetes care. The other business arm deals with Basmati Rice, Pulses, Soya Chunks, Besan and Fortune Chakki Fresh Atta. The product portfolio of Adani Wilmar spans under various brands such as – Fortune, King’s, Bullet, Raag, Avsar, Pilaf, Jubilee, Fryola, Alpha and Aadhaar. Adani Wilmar Limited also caters to institutional demand through its industry essential range which includes bulk packs of consumer essentials as well as Lauric& Bakery fats, Castor Oil derivatives, Oleo chemicals and Soya value added products. The company has an omni-channel presence in India and Middle East through multichannel distribution including exclusive brand stores, Fortune apps, online partners and distribution. Snapdeal is their logistics partner.Adani Wilmar has 21 manufacturing plants and 25 toll units in India. Their plants in Bangladesh are located in Dhaka and Mongla. These plants are able to full fill 18% of their total oil production. The rest 82% is sourced from US, Ukraine, Malaysia and Indonesia.

Over two thousand employees consider Adani Wilmar as the best place to workas its mission-driven culture, transparent leadership and it’s a strength-based organization which encourages employees that play to their strengths. In a conversation with The CEO Magazine, Mr T.K. Kannan, CEO of Adani- Wilmar, reveals more. Here are the excerpts.

The CEO Magazine: Adani- Wilmar is home to 2000 people. What kinds of employee achievements are recognized by the company?

Adani Wilmar is certified Great Place To Work and the company is successfully moving to further enhance the workplace with initiatives like health survey of employees. The company is high on Capability Building as well as on growth prospect. The performance is evaluated annually and the employee achievements are recognized on the basis of the on-time completion of their key projects and responsibilities in a particular year. Moreover, we also felicitate the employees for their long association with us. To recognize the talent we also have platforms such as ‘I have an Idea’, ‘Star of the Quarter’, Annual Awards etc.

TCM: How are employees recognized for their efforts?

There is a structured process to recognize the efforts by scaling their position and giving them additional responsibilities. 

TCM: Does the company have a stated set of cultural values for its employees? 

Yes, we have clearly defined our cultural values and our employees have imbibed them in their day to day practice. Our Values – Courage, Trust & Commitment expects embracing new ideas and businesses, believing in our employees & stakeholders and standing by our promises while adhering to high standards of business. 

TCM: Can you describe the environment here? 

At Adani Wilmar, we have always stressed on ensuring a Transparent, Friendly, Fearless and Futuristic environment. We encourage the participative approach and make the environment more conducive by having a two way communications between the management and employees. 

TCM: How does the organization support its employees’ professional development and career growth?

We strongly believe that learning is a never ending process and hence we encourage our employees to take up initiatives that can help them in their career growth. We as a company have also furnished various platforms such as ‘eVidyalaya’, Harvard Manage Mentor (HMM) etc. which helps them to grow internally as well as in their career.

TCM: How would you characterize the company’s overall management style?

We have Democratic management style and follow an Open Door Policy at Adani Wilmar. This helps us to ensure transparency and a smooth functioning of the systems & processes.

TCM: What is your company’s approach to team building and career development?

The company has strong foundation of Culture & Values that help us in team building. The employees are encouraged to participate in various internal initiatives basis on their interests and thus a pool of talent is created that works in sync.

TCM: How does your company respond to and overcome failures?

The company has rigorous review mechanism in place that ensures that setbacks are minimal. The successes and failures are shared with the employees and learnings are drawn from such instances to overcome such situations in the future.

TCM: What is the work-life balance like here?

We have always encouraged that the employees set a fine balance between work and home. The company provides enough scope to the employees to make sure that they spend enough time with their families. Our initiatives like Flexi-timing, Availability of Leaves etc. gives testimony of the same.

TCM: Does the company host social outings or events for employees?

At Adani Wilmar, we strongly believe the employees perform better only when they are free from work pressure. Throughout year we have several initiatives such as Sports Event, Family Fiesta, Outbound Training etc. that helps us ensure a stress-free environment at work. 

TCM: What personality traits do you look for in your ideal team members?

The management looks for someone who is consistent in excellent performance at the same time they are great people managers, employee who is taking end to end ownership of the given responsibility, someone who can look beyond KRAs, he/she should be aligned with organization objectives, continuously learning & raising the bar, committed and have a long term perspective, believing in motivating, coaching & mentoring others, he/she is decision maker, bias on implementation, delivery, growth & sustainability, he/she is positive, energetic, persuasive, hard-working and can live in ambiguity.

TCM: Is the company’s strategic approach driven by processes or results?

Processes play a key role in company’s strategic approach. 

TCM: Do the company’s different departments ever collaborate with one another? What kinds of people seem to succeed in this company/department?

Yes, we have set up programs like rotational transfers that brings synergy among various departments, regular interaction, cross functional reviews and platforms are provided where representative from different departments participate. For example collaboration between Marketing & Logistics, Production & Supply etc.

TCM: Where do you want to see AWL in near future?

AWL is currently one of the fastest growing food FMCG companies in India and few years down the line sees itself playing a major role not only in the edible oils but also in other food categories like Atta, Rice, Soya Nuggets and few other products that are currently in the pipeline.In keeping up with its spirit of innovation, the company has introduced a new dimension to its activities through introduction of Go-To-Market (GTM) strategy. The strategy helps in diagnostic study for better understanding of existing business structure and its relevance to new products & identifies capability gaps across the chain. The key driver of this transformation is to help the company move ahead with changing times.

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