OSI Group began operating in China in 1992. Now, after more than 25 years, the American meat processing giant believes its future in one of the world’s largest markets is more exciting than ever.
In a recent interview, OSI President and COO David McDonald said years of hard work and patience in forging deep relationships with the Chinese people and government puts OSI in a competitive position like no other company.
McDonald has been with OSI for more than 30 years. He was instrumental in spearheading his firm’s foray into China. He has invested a huge amount of time working personally on the ground with Chinese officials on all levels. One of his main takeaways after more than two decades is: Patience pays off.
In a recent interview, David McDonald said it was important that OSI did not go into China with an attitude that it would simply dictate how things would be done. Rather, he said his team took an approach of listening to local people first and offering solutions second.
“I think OSI understands the importance of becoming local,” McDonald said. “Becoming local is an important catalyst behind the success we have had in China. Yes, we have had to be flexible. It’s important to stay true to your principles. For example, food safety, customer quality – we don’t compromise on that. But you still have to learn the local needs of the customer and being patient to understand the local business model. Then you need the flexibility to adopt the best solutions.”
A milestone of the OSI Group experience in China came in 2008. That year China hosted the Olympics. OSI supplied 113 tons of processed food products to the masses of people attending the games. That included beef, chicken, pork, eggs and dehydrated onions. It received zero complaints and won the praises of both the Beijing Olympic Committee and international officials on site.
OSI Group’s first major customer in China was its long-time partner, McDonald’s. The company has also supplies meat products to Starbucks, Papa John’s, Burger King, Subway, Yum and Saizeriya. Q&A with Dave McDonald, President & COO, OSI Group