OSI Group has achieved a lot since it was established more than 100 years ago. Much of the success is attributed to the company’s leadership led by the CEO and chairman, Sheldon Lavin. Lavin joined the food processor in the late 1970s when it was still known as Otto & Sons Ltd. The premier processor of value-added protein products was founded in 1909 by Otto Kolschowsky. Upon his retirement in the 70s, Otto left the management of the company in the hands of his sons.
In 1955, Otto & Sons Ltd signed a contract with the McDonalds that required them to supply meat to all the McDonald outlets in the U.S. With the McDonalds establishing more outlets, Otto & Sons Ltd was forced to increase their processing capacity to meet the increased demand. The company had also rebranded to OSI Industries and they needed capital to expand to new territories.
Sons of Otto approached Sheldon Lavin who ran a financial consultancy firm. Sheldon Lavin’s firm helped food companies in the U.S to access expansion capital from lenders. Sheldon organized capital for the OSI Industries but the bank that provided the loan asked Sheldon to become a business partner in the company.
Therefore, Sheldon Lavin became actively involved in the affairs of the company where he oversaw the expansion of OSI Industries in China, Europe, Japan and several other countries. Sheldon was impressed with the company’s expansion plan and work culture. One of Otto’s sons sold his stake in the company to Sheldon, which gave him a 50 percent controlling stake at OSI Group. Later on, the other partner retired leaving the management of the company in Sheldon’s hands.
Sheldon laid a concrete expansion plan for the company that saw the acquisition of Pickstock in the U.K. The joint venture with Pickstock enabled OSI Group to distribute their products in the expansive European market. After a few years, OSI Group purchased the former Tyson Production plant. The plant sits on 200,000sq feet, which gives OSI Group ample storage space for their products.
OSI Group currently employs a little over 20,000 employees who work in their facilities in over seventeen countries. Sheldon Lavin cultivated an appealing work culture that makes every employee at OSI Group feel at home. It explains why the company has low employee turnover despite having more than 65 processing facilities.
Over the years, Sheldon has maintained a positive image for the company. Nowadays, OSI Group has earned the reputation of being the premier provider of high-quality food products. They have diversified their product lines to include functional foods that meet the needs of the modern consumers.
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