By Kamil Ridzuan
June 2012 marked the month in which Felda Global Ventures Holdings Berhad (FGV) was listed on Bursa Malaysia. Despite the various controversies surrounding the listing process at one stage, the world’s largest crude palm oil producer persevered through the trials and tribulations, emerging triumphantly together with its 112,635 pioneering smallholders and their families.
Building on this milestone, it is now evident that FGV’s Group President and Chief Executive Officer, Mohd Emir Mavani Abdullah, and his team will have their hands full to continue to take the company to greater heights. One of their aims is to steer FGV into becoming one of the country’s top three plantation firms, and for it to establish itself as one of the world’s top 10 agribusiness firms by 2020 (as per the Business Circle report yesterday).
A visionary leader
Mohd Emir was appointed to the board of FGV on January 2012 as Non-executive Director and subsequently assumed the current position of Group President and Chief Executive Officer on July 16, 2013.
Mohd Emir graduated with a degree in chemistry from Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia in 1987 and obtained his masters in engineering management from Warwick University, United Kingdom in 2000.
Within the industry, he is recognised as an expert in economic and government administration reforms for the Middle East and Asia, a reputation earned from his illustrious career thus far which spans more than 20 years.
Previously, he was a Senior Adviser to the United Nations Development Programme on various projects in the Middle East and North Africa region between 1998 and 2004. He was also Adviser to the Minister of Finance in the United Arab Emirates from 2002 and 2007 and also served as Strategic Adviser to the Executive Council of Abu Dhabi between 2008 and 2010.
Prior to his current position, he was a Director in charge of National Key Economic Areas within the Performance Management and Delivery Unit (PEMANDU) in the Prime Minister’s Department and also Chief Executive Officer of Malaysia Petroleum Resources Corp, the Prime Minister’s Department and Director of Malaysia Nuclear Power Corporation.
Vision and mission for FGV
During a media visit to FGV’s newly acquired Pontian United Plantations in Lahad Datu, Sabah in early April (pic), it is clear that Mohd Emir and his team is set to transform and propel the integrated plantations company into one of the world’s top 10 agribusiness firms.
“We are optimistic that FGV can become a top agribusiness firm by 2020. We have set guidelines for our management team and we trust that the initiatives carried out will assist us to further boost our efficiencies and realise greater cost savings, “he told Business Circle. Mohd Emir also pointed out that it is the culture of the FGV Group to implement discipline along with commitment in all their professional endeavours.
“It’s all about ‘participative engagement’ and our corporate values revolve around the pursuit of success in our core businesses and our efforts to maximise value for all our shareholders,” he added.
“Every member of the FGV Group is welcomed to participate and express their views whenever an issue arises, as well as to volunteer any suggestion they have towards the improvement of the Group and our operations,” he added, “We are always open to any form of suggestion from the members of our team, even if it’s a criticism. We are a team and we should listen to each other.”
Thus, Mohd Emir always leads by example. His team understands that they are able to approach him pertaining to any issues that they have. They also trust that he will have a reply or a solution, even though there could be slight delays as he has a very tight schedule.
Fondly referred to as Encik Emir by his staff, Mohd Emir is sometimes pressed for time. However, choosing to put the running of the company first, Mohd Emir believes that it is part of his duty to ensure the comings and goings of FGV is done professionally and in the best interests of all concerned.
This sentiment is echoed by S. Palaniappan, FGV’s Head of Research and Development, who said that Mohd Emir always involves his team in decision-making processes and is incredibly hardworking. Mohd Emir is also never one to shy away from challenges.
The way forward
Although acknowledging that the road ahead is fraught with challenges, Mohd Emir remains optimistic and trusts that his team will be able to deliver results and, at the same time, continue to add value for shareholders.
“The plantations industry is a very challenging business. There are so many players and the landscape is constantly changing. In order to position ourselves as part of the top ten, FGV needs to adapt quickly and be agile enough to seize opportunities as and when they arise,” he said, during a late night interview with Business Circle after yet another hectic day at work.
“It is important that we are passionate about success and to always strive for it. As a team, we need to believe in our mission from the depth of our hearts and give it all we can for the benefit of all our shareholders,” he added.