Updated: Apr 1, 2020
Read our interview about an expat who has diverse experience within agriculture in Africa
What industry do you work in and what exactly are your skills?
I am a Senior Country Manager with over 20 + years of experience in the food ingredients industry, in commodity trading and also in cotton procurement.
What inspired you to get into this sort of industry?
MY first job was an as supervisor in a Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) company dealing in the procurement of spices and other food ingredients, and I felt that this is the job that would give me total satisfaction.
What qualifications and experience did you have to gain In order to establish yourself and therefore become a professional within your industry?
I have an MBA which I took while I was working my way up and the most important experience one needs to have is the patience to understand the product, its qualities the demand and supply for the particular product and above all an eagerness to continuously learn and improve.
What is the most challenging aspect within your field of work?
Deciding on the right price, and being there at the right time. Planning plays an important role and also understanding the overall production of a particular item/s the world over.
How do you manage and overcome these challenges?
Sometimes you have to think positively and make sure that you lead the situation rather than let the situation lead you.
What has been the highlight of your career?
I have always dealt with the procurement of large volumes always in excess of 10000MT and for me its a relief when I have finished my procurement at the right price and at the right time. So I would say that the highlights would be the achievement of my targets.
What could somebody expect to earn within your field at the starting level or at the trainee level?
A rough estimate would be USD$1000 – 1500 per month.
What could somebody expect to earn after working within your field after 10 years?
Around USD$ 5000 – 7000 per month.
Who is your role model and why?
There are just three of them who were my ex ex-bosses and they have taught me to maintain high standards of integrity at all times For in procurement integrity is vital
What motivates you to work this hard?
I have been in the field of procurement for the past 22 yrs and this is my second stint in Africa I am trying to teach my team how to be a good leader and how to excel in procurement.
What is your outlook within your industry over the next 5 years?
The industry will need more procurement specialists in the years to come, especially Africa
As you know, numerous African countries are being invested in due to their rich minerals. Which country within Africa do you think will be the next hot spot and why?
1 Ethiopia 2 Malawi 3 Congo 4 Zimbabwe are some of the countries but in all these countries apart from the minerals, there is also stability and security is above average.
You can view K. Anil Zachariah’s profile on LinkedIn:
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