Dominating The Business


The oil and derivative market is an intensely competitive domain which functions on fine margins. P.S. Kumar, Chief Executive Officer at Omani Vegetable Oils & Derivatives Co. on the commitment and dedication that goes behind maintaining the company’s track record

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Published: Fri 30 Sep 2022, 12:19 PM

Last updated: Mon 3 Oct 2022, 1:05 PM

With over 25 years of experience in an extremely regulated and competitive industrial and consumer sector, P.S. Kumar, Chief Executive Officer at Omani Vegetable Oils and Derivatives Co. (OVOD) is a performance-oriented business leader with an outstanding track record of maximising profits. Kumar is a successful consulting professional who is skilled in business planning, operations management and international business. He is an adept strategy policy driver and a sales and marketing professional in the FMCG / commodity vertical. During the course of his career, he has honed his skills and expertise in operational excellence through his strategic leadership behind turnarounds in consolidation and growth.

During his job experience, Kumar was able to glean knowledge and insight while working for over 11 years with with one of the most admired global organisations — The Coca-Cola Company. Having a strong academic background with a Master in Business Administration, a vocational Master from Georgia Tech in the US and a fellowship experience from the prestigious Cranefield School of Management in the UK, Kumar is a dynamic, far-sighted executive, who has been nurturing OVOD’s growth for the last 15 years as its CEO.

Core Area of Business

Speaking about the main focus of the organisation, Kumar said: “Our promoters have a vision to create an organisation to serve the needs of the society, especially with regards to essential commodities. Thus, we meet the demands of the GCC consumers with pure and natural cooking oil, providing the best prices at their doorsteps.” He went on to explain that primarily, Omani Vegetable Oils & Derivatives Co (OVOD), is focused on dominating the edible oil commodity space.”We import bulk oil, then refine, process and distribute it through various customer channels as per their respective country wide specifications,” he added. Going into the detail of the company’s core area of business, Kumar said that OVOD is selling essential edible oils in various SKUs, starting from 750 ml to 20 litre retail packs for FMCG vertical and bulk packs of 200 litres and more to other processing industries. “Our product range includes palm olein, sunflower oil, corn oil, blend oil and frying oils. We have a wide presence across the GCC as well as some African regions with our own brands and through some private labels for major super markets. We follow stringent quality parametres and we source high quality oil globally and from top suppliers, meeting all statutory requirements,” he said. The performance of any organisation is only as good as the caliber of its employees and the level of teamwork and harmony that it enjoys. This was corroborated by Kumar, he said: “Our team is passionate about providing highest quality edible oils to consumers for a better life by adding convenience and healthy living to their daily routine. Our edible oil brands are widely available in the market under the popular names of Al Safa, Zain, Noof, Salalah, Taibah, Sahi, Bahjah, Diyah, Sunlife and Shifa.

Competitive Edge

Every brand needs to make a unique place for itself in the market. To achieve that goal, it must incorporate certain key elements that make it stand out from its competitors. Kumar said that under his guidance, the organisation has keenly developed a unique niche, he said: “Our key pillars of business successes are cost, quality and delivery. OVOD operates on the principle of low-margin, high-volume essential within the commodity business. Thus, operational excellence is our edge.” He added that the company had gained significant market share because of having cost leadership, differential products and a wide range of products. The company has been practical in approach with a long-term focus and strategic alliances. “During the last five years, we have focussed on automation and building robust controlled centralised environment at our corporate office,” he said. Elaborating further on the company’s edge, Kumar said: “We are successful in sales generation through competitive and optimal pricing methods against market rivals and ensure clear Visibility and availability of the product across the channels throughout the shelves.” He mentioned that OVOD’s sales force has ensured a ‘Route to Market’ strategy for well-defined customer/market visits with a clear focus on market expansion for new product launch and distribution extension. “Superior customer satisfaction at all level is ensured by addressing their special requests through promotional offers, dynamic packaging etc,” he said adding that it gave him great pleasure in announcing that under his guidance, the company had become one of the largest private label manufacturers in the GCC.

“Having the capacity in place to meet the ever-rising demand is essential in our business. We have invested twice already and in third phase of our expansion in last 15 years, we have been successful in turning our facility into a state-of-the-art processing structure in the region,” said Kumar.

Adapting to technological trends

Technology is an unavoidable and critical part of any business and is essential for any organisation to function efficiently and effectively. Speaking about the company’s conscious effort to stay abreast of the latest technological advancements, Kumar said: “We have demonstrated our ability to adapt to any changes in process or technologies from time to time. We stringently follow specification and packaging guidelines that are administered by regulators. Our facility has been certified as Comprehensive Food Safety Management System by SGS Europe. Furthermore, it has also been fully ensured under the Current Good Manufacturing Practices (CGMP) in terms of its operations.”

Kumar added that OVOD has a proven SAP platform for its business operations including the next generation human capital management system, which offers individualised experiences and strategic solutions that empower employees to reach their potential. “We have been using sales automation software to optimise effective sales process on real-time data analytics. Moreover, we plan to discover and attract market attention and build demand through value creation,” he added. Kumar said that the company strives to convert prospective customer by fulfilling its promise and bringing customer delight. This is achieved through introduction of value-added products for end-consumers that promote healthy living and productive lifestyle additions.

Milestones and Achievements

Kumar is grateful of the success the company has achieved but is not done yet. “We have had a successful journey and multi-folded our top line revenue number by almost seven times within the short span of over 15 years. We have established our 100 per cent subsidiaries in other countries to expand the market presence and deep penetration in to diverse pockets throughout the GCC and built a multi-model distribution network through distributors/dealers,” he said. Kumar added that he was also proud of the work done by the company in the realm of corporate social responsibility. “We have institutionalised CSR activities to cultivate positive influences on society as a whole which impacts economic stability, social and cultural sensibility, environment and local communities,” he added.

Future Prospects

“We have been closely monitoring our performance based on our short and long-term strategy framework,” said Kumar adding that the company has an aggressive growth plan which is focused on enhancing its capacity and bottling enhancement. “A capex outlay of $10million has been earmarked for the next five-year investment strategy plan,” he continued. Kumar also said that the company plans to set up new distribution and manufacturing hubs in territories which are closer to their target markets. “We have an ambitious projection plan laid out to achieve a five-fold turnover by year 2027 as our CAGR is better than the industry average,” he concluded.

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