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Thirumalai Parthasarathy
Africa Representative (Vice President) - Corporate Responsibility & Sustainability , Olam International Limited
The Hague, Netherlands
Expert in agriculture value chain, International Trade and business in Africa. 14 years experience with private sector including a year in corporate responsibility designing and implementing programs to improve livelihood of farmers in sub Saharan Africa. Have also established many new businesses in Africa. Designed and implemented finance programs for collectors. Have worked at village level too.
Send email Contact Thirumalai Parthasarathy
Area of Expertise:
  • Agriculture, Livelihoods, Microfinance, Rural
  • Director, CEO, COP, President
  • Private Sector, Social Enterprise, Corporate Social Responsibility
  • Trade, Finance, Economics, Cooperation, Global
Professional Experience:
Africa Representative (Vice President) - Corporate Responsibility & Sustainability with Olam International Limited
- Spearhead all our CRS work across Africa. Work closely with all NGO/donor partners in executing all our projects.
- Develop systems and processes to monitor and evaluate established corporate partnerships and product initiatives
- Liaise with foundations and international donors including USAID, Gates Foundation to seek potential partnership/funding opportunities for corporate partnerships and product initiatives
- Collaborate with technical NGOs to develop product initiative proposals for financial support to foundations and international donors
- External and internal communication
- Certification of products - Liaise with certification schemes to implement third party product certification (i.e. RA, UTZ Certified, Fairtrade etc)
- Social Welfare & Support

Sr. Trader (VP) with Olam International Limited
Global Trader of Sesame Seeds business - both buying and selling side with a oversight of strategy and operations.

Business Manager with Olam International Limited
Fully responsible for our imports and distribution business in Nigeria. The products handled include Rice, Sugar and Dairy products. Role: Import and distribution business with P&L responsibility. Direct responsibility for business strategy, business growth, imports and logistics, sales and marketing, statutory and legal aspects and Risk management.

Business Manager with Olam International Limited
Direct Responsibility for setting up and managing our businesses in Tanzania, Mozambique & Madagascar. Sourcing Coffee, Cashew Nuts, Cocoa, cotton and Cloves and exporting the same to Europe, India and SE Asia; business strategy; business growth; identifying new opportunities; operations; financing; exports logistics; statutory and legal aspects and profitability.

Joint Manager with MAC Industries Limited
I was responsible for trading cashew nuts and edible oils in India. Fully responsible for strategy, planning and operations.

MA in Development Studies, ISS, The Hague

MA in International Relations and Diplomacy from Seton Hall University (2001 - 2003)

MBA in Marketing from Pondicherry University (1992 - 1994)

BE in Electronics and Communication Engineering from Karunya (1987 - 1991)

Affiliations and Achievements:
Dear Recruiter,

I am pleased to submit this letter to express my great interest in the said vacancy. I bring forward over 14 years’ worth of agricultural commodities management experience in both the private sector and corporate responsibility spheres, for the improvement of farmer livelihoods in Africa. Applying my strengths in business development, team leadership, and strategic planning, I have also gained significant insight and understanding of African countries’ socioeconomic situation, which I feel will serve an advantage in helping further your organization’s objectives.

I have been responsible for managing the complete value chain of many agricultural commodities including procurement and sales, and led the set-up of buying networks, new business ventures and strategy, and the development of partnerships with international organizations, private sector clients, foundations and donor agencies.

Pulling together my experiences in commodity sourcing, and import/export operations, I led the entire set-up of OLAM International in Madagascar—from incorporation and strategy, to executing business plans and overseeing day-to-day functions—despite challenges with adapting to unfamiliar territory in terms of both location and language. Being consistently driven to learn and adopt different approaches to tackling challenges, I was able to efficiently build and manage the new branch of the business, while at the same time navigating the legal and logistical components in the process.

In 2004, I was able to lead business development, imports, logistics, and marketing for OLAM across eight countries in West Africa—in response to the prominent gap between the local production of milk and the demand of dairy, which has led to substantial amounts being imported into these countries. Although proven difficult to manage, I played a significant role in contributing to the opening of 4 new markets aligned with the organization’s thrust to ensure that social responsibility and ethical practice is incorporated in the achievement of profitable growth.

Along this vein, I eventually came to spearhead OLAM’s corporate social responsibility initiatives across Africa, bridging donors such as the Gates Foundation, GIZ, and USAID with African farmers to improve livelihoods, provide access to services and opportunities, market linkages, marketing/trading, and business support and logistics.

Having done so, I am confident that I have the necessary expertise and proven capability to deliver quality results for your organization. At present I work at OXFAM NOVIB for the Private Sector division, where I’ve endeavoured to incorporate human rights across agricultural value chains, to promote livelihoods and further Oxfam’s efforts to reduce poverty and empower vulnerable communities.

Throughout my career I have demonstrated adaptability, a keen sense of efficiency, a knack for identifying opportunities in unfamiliar terrain, and a commitment to providing value for both consumers and stakeholders in spite of cultural challenges. Should you require someone with the aforementioned skills—who is constantly striving to learn, improve, and innovate; who thrives in putting order and systems into unstructured and complicated environments; and whose leadership stems from a deeply collaborative and strong entrepreneurial mind set—then I encourage you to review my CV enclosed.

I am eager to vie for the position, and would welcome a conversation to discuss matters further, if you deem me duly qualified. Please feel free to contact me via mobile or e-mail, as indicated in the header above. I am completing a Masters in Development Studies from ISS (Erasmus University, The Hague).

Thank you sincerely for your time and consideration. I hope to hear from you soon.



Available for:
  • Consulting assignments
  • Job opportunities
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    Years of Experience:
    10-15 years
    Highest Qualification:
    English, French, Spanish, Hindi, Tamil
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