Corporate Leadership Team

Shekhar Anantharaman, Executive Director and CEO at ofi

A. Shekhar

Executive Director & CEO

Shekhar was appointed CEO of ofi in January 2020 upon its creation following the reorganization of the Olam Group. Shekhar joined Olam in 1992 and has been an Executive Director and a member of the Group Board since 1998. Shekhar held a variety of roles in the Olam Group, he was previously Group Chief Operating Officer, Executive Director – Finance and Business Development, and prior to this he incubated and managed various global businesses including the Nuts, Spices and Packaged Foods businesses, where he led many of the Company’s organic and inorganic growth initiatives. 

Rishi Kalra, Executive Director and CFO at ofi

Rishi Kalra

Executive Director & CFO

Rishi was appointed CFO of ofi in January 2020 upon its creation following the reorganization of the Olam Group. Rishi began his career with Olam in 2000 and during this period has served as CFO India, CFO West Africa, and President and Global Head of Corporate Finance. He is a founding member of the first Circle of Practice in Asia of The Prince of Wales Charitable Project, Accounting for Sustainability (A4S). A4S inspires action by finance leaders to drive a fundamental shift towards resilient business models and a sustainable economy.

Profile shot of Ashok Kristen, Managing Director and CEO, nuts

Ashok Krishen

Managing Director & CEO, nuts

Ashok is a management graduate with almost 30 years’ experience. He has been with Olam since 1992 and is the Global Head of the nuts business which includes almonds, cashew, hazelnuts, peanuts, pistachios and walnuts. He is also Chairman of the Executive Human Resource and Compensation Committee.

Profile shot of Prakash Jhanwer, Global Head - Sales and New Channels

Prakash Jhanwer

Managing Director and CEO, Spices

Prakash joined Olam in 1998, taking responsibility for coffee operations in Uganda. He moved into the risk function in 2001 and relocated to Vietnam in 2007 to take on the role of Country Head, extending to a regional role in 2010.

 

Since 2016, he has been responsible for Olam’s Southeast Asia and China operations, which he continues to manage today. His key markets include China, Indonesia, Vietnam, Papua New Guinea and Thailand.

 

Prakash is a Graduate of Commerce and holds an MBA from the Indian Institute of Management. He was recently awarded the prestigious Young Alumni Achiever Award by his alma mater for Corporate Leadership.

Profile shot of Vivek Verma, Managing Director & CEO, coffee

Vivek Verma

Managing Director & CEO, coffee

Vivek joined Olam in 1992 to head operations in India. He is currently responsible for the Coffee and Commodity Financial Services businesses. Originally trained as an engineer, Vivek has over 30 years’ agri‑commodities experience.

Profile shot of Sandeep Jan, Managing Director and CEO, diary

Sandeep Jain

Chief Commercial Officer & CEO, Dairy

Having joined Olam in 1998, Sandeep has expertise across all five ofi product platforms. He became CEO of ofi’s Dairy business in 2017, also taking on the role of Global Head of Sales in 2020. As CCO, Sandeep has responsibility for driving sales excellence and customer centricity with more focussed key account management processes. In leading the ofi F&B Solutions platform, Sandeep oversees global strategy execution for the platform enabling it to become a growth driver for the business. He also continues to oversee the Dairy business globally.

 

Sandeep is a Graduate of Commerce and holds an MBA from the Indian Institute of Foreign Trade.

Profile shot of Tejinder Singh Saraon, Managing Director, cocoa

Tejinder Singh Saraon

Managing Director & CEO, Cocoa

Teji joined Olam in 1997 and went on to manage ofi’s cocoa business in Togo, Benin, Côte d’Ivoire and Singapore. He moved to London in 2009 to manage the company’s global cocoa beans and products business, returning to Singapore in 2019.

 

He was integral in the integration process following the acquisition of ADM Cocoa in 2015. He is an expert in cocoa trading and origination, and previously served on the Board of Cocoa Association of Asia.

Ian Haslegrave

Group General Counsel and Company Secretary

Ian joined ofi in January 2022, taking responsibility for the global legal, compliance and company secretarial teams.

 

Ian has over 30 years of experience working in both private practice and global FTSE listed companies across a diverse range of sectors including food, media and distribution. He has significant commercial, M&A and management experience with previous roles including executive management responsibility for HR, information security, indirect procurement and risk at a global level.   

Kamesh Ellajosyula

Chief Innovation & Quality Officer

Kamesh joined Olam in 2010 and held various senior manufacturing, innovation and quality roles. In 2020 he became Chief Innovation & Quality Officer at ofi, overseeing a global network of Innovation centers and driving quality and food safety across 100+ food ingredient manufacturing plants.

 

Kamesh holds a Master’s degree in Food Science from the Pennsylvania State University and a Master’s degree in Business Administration from the State University of New York.

Dan Turney

President & Global Head of Operations

Dan joined ofi in January of 2022, bringing with him 35 years of FMCG food industry experience. His industry experience includes many iconically branded food companies, several private label manufacturing entities as well as multiple private equity portfolio companies. Specializing in end to end operations and supply chain disciplines, Dan’s focus is delivering the ‘one-ofi’ business for all stakeholders across a balanced scorecard of performance. As the global, functional lead for operations, Dan is responsible for aligning and realizing successful, holistic results for ofi across more that 115+ facilities around the globe.

Sathyamurthy Mayilswamy

President – LatAm region & Cocoa Americas

Sathyamurthy (Satya) joined Olam in 1996 to manage Sesame and Cashew operations in Nigeria, before moving on to lead Cocoa and Cashew operations. He moved to Cameroon as Country Head in 2001 before taking the role of Country Head – Nigeria & Benin in 2004. He then established the business across South America in 2007. In 2020 he began his current role at ofi as Regional Head for Latam and head of Cocoa Americas  

 

Satya has over 30 years of international industry experience. He is an agricultural Engineering Graduate from CAE, TNAU (India) and holds an MBA from IRMA.

Yusuke Kurosaki

Senior Vice President, CEO Office

Yusuke joined Olam in 2016 and has worked across a wide range of initiatives, including corporate strategy, re-organization & re-structuring, operational excellence and customer excellence.

 

He has been in the food & beverage industry for over 15 years and has held various positions within the sector from supply chain & procurement, international sales & marketing, to business development and M&A.

 

Yusuke holds an MBA from New York University Stern School of Business.

Usha Kakaria-Cayaux

Chief Human Resources Officer

Usha joined ofi in September 2022, taking responsibility for driving the company’s one-ofi strategy and amplifying its unique entrepreneurial culture leading global diversity, inclusion and equity, organization effectiveness and global talent management.

 

With over 25 years of professional experience across a diverse set of industries and iconic brands, she has expertise across finance, sales, marketing, project management and strategy. Usha has worked across all areas of HR – leading HR strategy, talent management, organization transformation, leadership development and succession. 

Steve Byers

Chief Digital and Information Officer

Steve joined ofi in September 2022, taking responsibility for expanding ofi’s leadership position on sustainability by digitizing traceability, supply chain delivery, and social impact transparency.

 

Steve has over 30 years of experience, which includes working at blue chip global listed companies across a diverse range of sectors including distribution, consumer goods and food ingredients. He holds significant experience in Information Technology (IT) management and leading large-scale digital transformational initiatives.

Roel van Poppel, Chief Sustainability Officer

Roel van Poppel

Chief Sustainability Officer

Roel joined Olam in 2013 as the global commercial lead for its spices business. He then moved internally to lead the award-winning sustainability insights management system AtSource. Most recently, Roel was seconded as a co-founder of the wider industry led sustainability measurement digital platform TRACT. In 2024 he became Chief Sustainability Officer at ofi, with responsibility for scaling ofi’s ability to drive positive impact across its five leading product platforms.

 

With over 25 years of industry experience, spanning senior leadership roles across the food and agriculture sector, he has extensive expertise across both food ingredients and sustainability, along with having held several board positions – including as Vice Chair of The Sustainable Spices Initiative.

 

Roel holds an MSc from Wageningen University in environmental sciences.

Shekhar Anantharaman, Executive Director and CEO at ofi
A. Shekhar
Executive Director & CEO
Rishi Kalra, Executive Director and CFO at ofi
Rishi Kalra
Executive Director & CFO
Profile shot of Ashok Kristen, Managing Director and CEO, nuts
Ashok Krishen
Managing Director & CEO, nuts
Profile shot of Prakash Jhanwer, Global Head - Sales and New Channels
Prakash Jhanwer
Managing Director and CEO, Spices
Profile shot of Vivek Verma, Managing Director & CEO, coffee
Vivek Verma
Managing Director & CEO, coffee
Profile shot of Sandeep Jan, Managing Director and CEO, diary
Sandeep Jain
Chief Commercial Officer & CEO, Dairy
Profile shot of Tejinder Singh Saraon, Managing Director, cocoa
Tejinder Singh Saraon
Managing Director & CEO, Cocoa
Ian Haslegrave
Group General Counsel and Company Secretary
Kamesh Ellajosyula
Chief Innovation & Quality Officer
Dan Turney
President & Global Head of Operations
Sathyamurthy Mayilswamy
President – LatAm region & Cocoa Americas
Yusuke Kurosaki
Senior Vice President, CEO Office
Usha Kakaria-Cayaux
Chief Human Resources Officer
Steve Byers
Chief Digital and Information Officer
Roel van Poppel, Chief Sustainability Officer
Roel van Poppel
Chief Sustainability Officer

Read ofi news

Articles Feb 14, 2024
The sweet treats and trends winning hearts this Valentine’s Day

Author | Madeline Bills | Cocoa Innovation Manager at ofi

 

Chocolate has long been synonymous with Valentine’s Day, with sweet treats a classic way to celebrate the season of love.

But Valentine’s Day is evolving, with Gen Z and Millennials redefining traditions.  Many consumers are choosing to celebrate this day with friends and family members, as well as significant others. In 2023, 40% of Gen Z and 20% of Millennials said they were planning to buy their friends a Valentine’s gift.[1] And what better way to do so than with cocoa?

 

As consumers change the way they celebrate Valentine’s Day – and who they celebrate with – there is an opportunity for manufacturers to develop new products.  From introducing more exotic flavors in confectionery to creating more experiential formats and expanding into new categories, we’re seeing companies inventing new ways for consumers to celebrate the season of love with those who matter most to them. At ofi we explore the top chocolate, confectionery and bakery trends shaping Valentine’s Day 2024 and how manufacturers can develop new offerings to win the hearts of consumers.

 

[1] Actually, Lots of Gen Z Would Rather Spend Valentine’s Day with Their Friends - YPulse

Press Release Feb 7, 2024
ofi creates solar-powered cocoa warehouse at Port of Amsterdam

olam food ingredients (ofi), a global leader in naturally good food and beverage ingredients, and Commodity Centre Group(“CCG”), a leader in supply chain, logistics, and warehousing solutions in the UK and Northern Europe, have partnered to create a cocoa bean warehouse terminal exclusively using green energy at the Port of Amsterdam in the Netherlands.

 

ofi and CCG jointly achieved this by installing nearly 7,000 solar panels at the warehouse, which could lead to the reduction of 1,350 tons of CO2 per year. This is the equivalent of 67,500 trees absorbing carbon from the atmosphere and utilizes roof space in the region of two football pitches in size to maximize green energy usage. The company expects the warehouse to also be certified carbon-neutral in the future. 

 

The warehouse is critical for helping ofi deliver high-quality cocoa beans to its global confectionery brand customers. Using an innovative conveyor belt system, cocoa is directed into one of the 110 available pens, creating bulk micro lots managed by CCG. Not only does this enable greater segregation of beans to preserve their flavor, but it also helps maintain quality and traceability1. The company believes it is one of the only systems like this in existence, and thanks to the solar installation, the process now exclusively uses renewable energy.

 

This latest move forms part of ofi’s ambition for sustainable cocoa, Cocoa Compass, which sets ambitious goals – including a 30% reduction in natural capital costs2 by 2030. ofi reduced these costs in 2021 in its global cocoa processing operations by 11% per metric ton of product output, partly due to investments in renewable energy initiatives. For example, a network of biomass boilers fuelled by cocoa shells, which was recently shortlisted for an Edie sustainability award.

 

Chris Beetge, President of Europe, Middle East, and North Africa, ofi, said: “We’re always looking at ways to drive decarbonization across our cocoa value chain from the farm to our processing facilities and warehouses. The milestone of turning our Amsterdam warehouse operation solar-powered is another example of how we’re not only progressing towards our own environmental goals but also supporting those of our customers and the national climate agendas of the Netherlands and the EU.”

 

Alec Gunn, CEO of Commodity Centre Group, said: “Our Group has been working closely with ofi for over 35 years, providing logistics and warehouse solutions in multiple locations. Commodity Centre’s Amsterdam Falcon and Osprey Terminals are shining examples of our continued commitment to incorporating sustainable solutions within our operations.”

 

Discover much more about what ofi has to offer at ofi.com

 

1 Cocoa beans with segregated traceability are sourced via a sustainability program, providing social and environmental support to farmers, and are kept separate from conventional cocoa beans.

2 Natural capital costs/accounting follows a holistic systems approach to understanding the true value of nature, people, and society for humans. It is an approach to measure the changes in the stock of natural capital at a variety of scales and to integrate the value of ecosystem services into accounting and reporting systems.

 

Articles Feb 5, 2024
Chocolate and Confectionery gets a sweet surprise across Europe

Author | Naveen Passani |

Technical Category Manager for Chocolate & Confectionery, ofi

 

Last year, freak weather patterns, global inflation and war have caused supply challenges and increased confectionery prices. Yet demand across Europe remained resilient. While the tough economic backdrop has led consumers to cut back on discretionary spending, many see chocolate as an affordable luxury they’re unwilling to give up.

 

That means intense competition for manufacturers looking to attract consumers’ attention in this category. One way to succeed is by tapping into the desire for adventure and developing products that use exotic or unusual flavors. So, building on our research into the emerging flavor profiles crossing continents, here are three chocolate and confectionery trends to watch right now.

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