Singapore-based Indian-origin businessman and co-founder and CEO of agri-business group Olam International Limited Sunny Verghese has been appointed as the Chairman of the Geneva-based World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD).
Verghese, 57, is the first WBCSD) Chair from the agri-sector. He succeeded Paul Polman, the CEO of Unilever, on January 1 and will serve a two-year term.
"Creating a sustainable future for all is fundamental to our survival. In leading a global agri business operating across 70 markets, I've seen intimately how each action we take separately as business leaders can impact millions of people, as well as the planet," Verghese said.
He said the potential was even greater when "we come together to take collective positive action".
"It gives me great pleasure to have the CEO of one of the largest agribusinesses as Chair of the WBCSD. We look forward to leveraging his experience and expertise to lead members in accelerating the transition towards a sustainable future for all," said WBCSD CEO and president Peter Bakker.
WBCSD is a global network of more than 200 CEOs who are responsible for a combined revenue of more than USD 8.5 trillion and 19 million employees. The leading businesses in the CEO-led organisation work together to accelerate the transition to a sustainable world.
Olam, which is about 57% held by Singapore state investment company Temasek Holdings, was co-founded by Verghese in 1989. He is a recipient of the Outstanding CEO of the Year award, as well as the Public Service Medal from the Government of Singapore.