Suleman Dawood School of Business (SDSB), LUMS organised a special case session for MBA students with Cargill’s Head of Strategy, Mr. Mark Chow. Accompanying Mr. Chow were LUMS alumni, Mr. Mumtaz Kazmi, Head of M&A, Cargill; Mr. Imran Jehangir Nasrullah, CEO, Cargill, Pakistan and Cargill senior analysts, Mr. Thomas Simpson and Mr. Kuan Tek, and Business Development Lead Cargill Pakistan, Mr. Ahsan Mahmood. The session began with an introductory talk by Dr. Muhammad Adeel Zaffar, Associate Dean, External Relations, SDSB. Also present were SDSB faculty members, Drs. Fazal J. Syed and Zainab Riaz.
Cargill is a global agribusiness leader, with over 160,000 employees in 70 countries. With a rich history spanning over 150 years, Cargill is an integral part of the international agricultural value chain, trading, processing, and distributing grains and oilseeds. The company also serves major food and beverage manufacturers, retailers, and service companies. Additionally, Cargill’s diverse portfolio includes shipping, metal trading, bio-industrial, and pharmaceutical interests.
The case method of teaching, pioneered by the Harvard Business School, is an innovative method of learning that places students in the position of the decision maker facing a critical business challenge. The dynamic process of developing and justifying varying perspectives at opposite ends of the spectrum, and building on each other’s ideas to develop a workable solution helps students gain the skills and confidence required for future leadership.
The case discussion revolved around emerging challenges in a global marketplace and adjusting to changing consumer demands and practices. The MBA class of 2020 gave value propositions for shifting from traditional to digital marketplaces, developing sustainable supply chains, and collaborating with e-commerce giants to enhance productivity and profitability. Successful examples of evolving businesses, both in Pakistan and abroad, were also discussed.
Mr. Chow elaborated on usage of consumer insights and capitalising on digital data for growth. The class discussed the possibilities of aggressive growth by building upon existing value chains, rebranding and reorganising portfolios, and examining various long-term strategies, such as adopting emerging trends in dietary preferences, new market choices for consumers, and leveraging consumer data for agile planning and development. The debate also revolved around the potential for expansion in a country where nearly half of the household income is spent on food.
During the following Question & Answer session, Cargill executives explained the intricacies involved in moving food staples around the world. They also shared insights from the local consumer market, identifying national dietary trends and opportunities for entrepreneurship and expansion. The session ended with a presentation of souvenirs to the visitors by SDSB faculty.