OSI Industries, a globally recognized leader in the food industry, began in 1909 as a small Midwestern meat market. Otto Kolschowsky, a German immigrant who founded the business, was a visionary who made critical decisions that poised the company for the global reach it has today.
From Wholesale Meats to Fast Food Supplier
In 1917 Kolschowsky expanded the meat market to include the wholesale meat trade. In 1955, with a handshake deal with an unknown Ray Kroc, Otto launched the company on its current trajectory. The deal gave the company, now known as Otto and Sons, the contract to provide the ground beef patties for the fledgling McDonald’s franchise. In 1971 Otto and Sons added specially designed equipment that featured liquid nitrogen freezing tunnels for the hamburger patties. With this innovative equipment, the company could flash freeze meat and transport it anywhere, enabling Otto and Sons to expand into other markets. In 1975 the company became Otto Industries, reflecting worldwide ventures.
Leadership Changes and Global Footprint
Throughout the 100 years of expansion, Otto and his sons, who grew to lead the company, remained committed to excellence. In 1970 Sheldon Lavin joined the company and later became its Chairman and CEO of OSI Industries. Lavin shared Otto’s entrepreneurial vision and brought direction to the company’s global expansion. With its name changed to OSI Industries, under Lavin’s tenure, it acquired Baho Food, a Dutch manufacturer in the food industry. This move secured a significant share of the European market. Today, OSI Industries has 65 facilities throughout 17 countries. In 2016 Forbes ranked it as #58 among the largest private companies.
Recognized for Vision and Excellence
Some companies lose their commitment to excellence when they grow to international scale, but not with OSI Industries. Otto’s vision and values remained intact in the company culture. In March 2016 Sheldon Lavin was recognized by India’s Vision World Academy with a Global Visionary Award. In November 2016, OSI Food Solutions UK was presented with a Globe of Honor Award from the British Safety Council for exemplary management of environmental risks. Mike Robinson, Chief Executive of the British Safety Council, as he presented the award remarked, “Leadership is a key factor in achieving excellence. You can legislate for compliance, but you have to inspire people towards excellence.” That’s something Otto began doing over 100 years ago, and Sheldon Lavin continues to do today.
OSI Industries Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/OSI-Group-106191179472361/