APAC FMCG Supply Chain Leaders: No Change in the Past 10 Years
DEIEnvironmental, Social, and GovernanceBoard and CEO AdvisoryExecutive SearchDiversity, Equity, and Inclusion Advisory
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October 06, 2020
3 min read
DEIEnvironmental, Social, and GovernanceBoard and CEO AdvisoryExecutive SearchDiversity, Equity, and Inclusion Advisory
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
The picture of a successful company is shifting towards one with sustainable practices ingrained throughout the organization.
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The last decade has been one of the most dramatic periods of economic growth and transformation, especially in Asia Pacific (APAC) region. The rise of APAC economies and rapid technological advances in various fields such as manufacturing, ecommerce and automation have highlighted the increasing importance of having robust and resilient supply chains in the region. However, despite more complex business needs in APAC over the past decade, regional supply chain leaders have not changed. Companies need to invest in supply chain leadership in APAC to better meet the business requirements.

Positive changes in the last 10 years

YEAR APAC EMEA AMERICAS
2010 12% 25% 63%
2020 40% 10% 50%

40% Local talent representation for senior APAC supply chain leaders has more than tripled in the last 10 years, from 12% to 40% . This is an area of positive change that shows local talents have been given increasing responsibility.

One area of positive change among APAC supply chain leaders is the increase in local talents over the last decade. Despite that, their profiles remain unchanged in professional experiences, background and gender diversity.

 

Areas which remain unchanged in the last 10 years

>70%
73% of APAC supply chain leaders have been internally appointed; limiting external perspective.

<50%
Less than half of APAC supply chain leaders have multi-functional experience, limiting their exposure in the supply chain field.

<10%
Gender diversity continues to be a big challenge with female supply chain leaders representing 7% of the talent landscape.

>20 years
The depth of experience prior to appointment as APAC supply chain leader remains high at over 20 years, partly reflected by the increasing importance of the role.

<3 firms
Average number of companies APAC supply chain leaders work for in their professional career, limiting their external perspective.

How to Develop the Best Talent in Supply Chain

Companies which invest in supply chain leadership today will significantly outpace competition to win in APAC

SUPPLY CHAIN AS A BASIS FOR COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE IN APAC

  • LOCAL TALENT
    Identify and accelerate the development of high-potential local supply chain

  • MULTI-INDUSTRY
    Ensure supply chain leaders rotate across categories for broader experience; selectively recruit supply chain leaders from outside of immediate category for infusion of new ideas

  • CROSS-FUNCTIONAL
    Rotation across R&D, Plan, source, make, deliver, quality as a criteria for supply chain leaders

  • PROVEN LEADERSHIP & DEPTH OF EXPERIENCE
    APAC SC leadership roles should no longer be seen as step up/development opportunities, but require experienced leaders to manage the scale and complexity

  • EXTERNAL PERSPECTIVE
    Selectively recruit external supply chain or functional leaders for infusion of new ideas

  • GENDER DIVERSITY
    Proactively identify and accelerate the development of high-potential female supply chain talent; ensure all external recruitment is sufficiently balanced in terms of gender

APAC is a region of growing importance for global MNCs and its influence will only grow in the following decades with hundreds of millions of new entrants to the ranks of middle class. The investment and development of APAC supply chain leadership today will allow companies to significantly outpace competition to win in APAC. Key areas of developments include having proven leadership and sufficient depth of experience as well as leaders who have multi-industry and cross-functional experience who can provide external perspectives to the company. Finally, the ability to attract diverse talents and local leaders who understand the region well will be critical for the success of MNCs in the future.

METHODOLOGY

This study analyzed the evolution of APAC supply chain leaders in FMCG and ingredients companies over the past decade (2010 vs. 2020)
The total sample size of the study consists of 50+ end to end regional and sub-regional supply chain leaders among MNCs in APAC across FMCG and ingredients companies
“External hires” are defined as leaders who were recruited into their current companies within a year of their regional supply chain leadership role
“Primary functional experience” is defined as the functional area in which supply chain leaders have spent more than 75% of their professional career
Both internal proprietary Russell Reynolds Associates data and publicly-available sources were utilized for the study

AUTHORS
CHRIS CHIA is a member of Russell Reynolds Associates’ Technology sector Research team. He is based in Singapore.
CHUI LEE is a member of Russell Reynolds Associates’ Operations and Supply Chain practice. She is based in Singapore.
LUCAS NI is a member of Russell Reynolds Associates’ Corporate Officers practice Knowledge team. He is based in Singapore.
MALCOLM SIM is a member of Russell Reynolds Associates’ Industrial and Natural Resources and Technology practice Research teams. He is based in Singapore.