From 13 to four

Fiji Sugar Corporation’s Board Chairman Vishnu Mohan (right) and Chief Executive Officer Graham Clark during the press conference in Lautoka. Picture: REINAL CHAND

THE number of senior managers reporting to the Fiji Sugar Corporation CEO has decreased from 13 to four. According to FSC chief executive officer Graham Clark, this was part of the restructure process at the organisation.

“We started with a very bloated top-heavy structure, too many managers, too many general managers and the head office was overmanned,” he said.

“For example, there were 13 direct reports to the chief executive two years ago, we’ve now slimmed that down and now, there are only four. “So I have four key executives reporting to me as opposed to 13, which are very difficult to manage and very difficult to control.”

Mr Clark said two years ago, there were 43 expatriates working at FSC in various roles, including senior positions. Presently, he said they were training locals to get things done.

“As you would have seen, a lot of people have gone to India for training, come back and are being put into those positions and slowly but surely, we see the senior echelon of the organisation reducing proportionately which is correct.

“You really don’t need too many managers, you need people who will assist the company to do their job and that’s where we’re getting to. “We’ve also seen the departure of a lot of people who reached retirement and so I think we’ve had 15 senior managers go past retirement who have chosen to take retirement rather than stay on,” he said.

He said people had questioned the cost to these changes. “We are a completely different organisation compared to one year 15 months ago and we’re very excited about what we can achieve now.

“That’s come with people saying what is the cost to do all that? “We’ve seen no impact on our upgrading costs. We’ve seen a reduction of our costs.

“Everything we’ve done has been self-financed, we haven’t got money to spend so if we spend money, we have to find a saving somewhere else. “We’re trying to do it efficiently and in the right way for FSC and the industry going forward.”

FSC board chairman Vishnu Mohan said sugar production this year would be up by nearly 30 per cent over last year.

“Costs are down by 10 per cent and revenue is up by 20 per cent, so every indicator is moving in the right direction,” he said.

“The important thing is to make operation as efficient as possible, improve cane production or sugar production, taking as much cost out of the business as possible and making the operation nimble and fit for purpose.

“I think given where we were coming from, these things were done but I’m pleased to say, I’ve been chairman since August 2016 and I am very pleased with the progress we have made in that period. “I’m very confident that we have put the necessary steps in place to ensure that improvement continues subject to of course weather being in our favour which is not in our hands but we can hope for the best.”

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