TAKING A LOOK FROM THE OUTSIDE-IN – LEADERSHIP CONFERENCE 2015
"IN the ever changing world of sugar, it is business critical to focus on shaping Illovo to react, respond and proactively engage with the markets in which we operate."
IN the ever changing world of sugar, it is business critical to focus on shaping Illovo to react, respond and proactively engage with the markets in which we operate. In order to be ahead of our competitors, we must understand our consumers, customers and the various routes to market, and we must deliver value and quality to those we service. This endeavour involves the entire organisation and success is highly dependent on our ability to break down silos and work collaboratively and across functions.
For this reason the 2015 leadership conference, “The Sessions”, was done a little differently - with a chance to look at the business from some alternate viewpoints, and to focus on “bringing the outside in” to provide some food for thought about how to tackle the challenges and opportunities facing the business into the future. The focus was less on sharing the strategy, and more on how best to execute it.
To assist with this, there were a number of external speakers who joined the event: SAB Miller, our largest customer, shared their perspective on Illovo as a supplier and some of the elements that add value to their business. In addition to this, the CFO for Unilever Africa and the Head of Marketing for the Lodestone Group shared the ways in which they have responded and adapted their strategies, products, brands and operational capabilities to meet the needs of their customers and markets.
George Weston, ABF’s CEO, spoke about other “outside in” successes from across the group, and Philip Meyers who is head of business development at ABF’s Weston Centre sparked some very interesting dialogue about capturing value in very fragmented channels like we have in most of our markets. The stars of the show were the messages from around-the-country teams as our local “roving reporters” captured news and views on what they would like to see from the leadership of the business.
To keep the energy up and facilitate all of “The Sessions”, we had our very own DJ called “Brown Sugar” working for “Sweet Talk Radio” keeping us on our toes and making sure we were hard at work on all things Sugar and More.
BEST COUNTRY – Tanzania. Celebrations for the Kilombero team, who also won the Financial Management and Human Resources awards. Kilombero MD Mark Bainbridge (bottom right) and his senior management team, with some of their partners, were clearly delighted!
As always, the highlight of the conference – this year with a colourful African theme dress code - was the presentation of the Illovo awards, no more exemplified in their character than our operations in Tanzania who, with their backs against every imaginable wall in the 2014/15 season – most prominently a massive hole in their domestic sugar market caused by unfettered illegal imports – went on to record both record sugar and potable alcohol sales for the year, and the Best Country Performance. This was an incredible team effort by everyone at Kilombero, well recognised by Gavin Dalgleish in his pre-award motivation and, upon announcement, thunderously approved by everyone in the audience.
During the awards presentation a new category was announced, an annual “Values Award” which will be presented for the first time at the 2016 Management conference. This award seeks to entrench and encourage broader Values-Driven Organisational behaviours, thus serving as a reminder that it is not only what we do, but the way in which we do things, that makes us successful. A brochure detailing how the process will unfold was handed out at the conference and will also be made available to all staff during the course of the year. The aim is to identify and celebrate those who are embracing and Living our Values in their everyday lives.
NEXT on the red carpet in order of number of awards won was Zambia Sugar which was not only awarded the best Factory and Agricultural Performance awards but also picked up the Best Marketing achievement. MD Rebecca Katowa (BELOW RIGHT) is joined by members of her team (ABOVE) to gather the spoils.
THE Safety Award went to Maragra, presented here by George Weston, CEO of ABF, to Maragra GM Hans Veenstra and his team members, Dicks Pillay and Stephen De La Harpe.
THE Risk Management award went to Illovo Sugar South Africa, led on to the stage by MD Dave Howells (at left), with the Corporate Award going to Johann Van Rooyen (Below right) who heads up the group’s Group Risk Management function; presented by George Weston.
ANOTHER highlight of the evening was the presentation of the MD’s award to Pranisha Maharaj & Wes Cowden (left) in recognition of their considerable work in the area of supply chain alignment, together with other commercial imperatives.
Zambia MD Rebecca Katowa