Case | HBS Case Collection | December 2012 (Revised April 2013)

Olam: On a New Course

by David E. Bell, Forest Reinhardt and Mary Shelman


From modest beginnings as a cashew trader in Nigeria, Olam, founded by Indian nationals in 1989, has grown into a leading global agricultural trading company, with annual revenues of $14 billion. The company recently has begun investing in farms and in the production of packaged goods, shifting from its traditional focus on the midstream of the value chain. The case raises questions involving competitive positioning, corporate strategy, sustainable development, and the management of business and political risk.

Keywords: Risk Management; Leadership; Customer Value and Value Chain; Corporate Strategy; Organizational Culture; Environmental Sustainability; Expansion; Competitive Advantage; Agribusiness; Agriculture and Agribusiness Industry; Nigeria;


Bell, David E., Forest Reinhardt, and Mary Shelman. "Olam: On a New Course." Harvard Business School Case 513-044, December 2012. (Revised April 2013.)