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Communication not a barrier in multicultural supply chain, says Unilever

Company representative cites Middle East factories as examples

| | Feb 25, 2018 | 8:30 am
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Dubai, UAE, 25 February 2018: Communication is vital towards ensuring the highest quality and standards within a supply chain, said Yasir Jamal, Vice President – Supply Chain, North Africa and Middle East, Unilever. For a global company, such as Unilever, the diverse cultural work environment often becomes a melting pot of different languages, owing to multi-national employees, he said, adding that the situation does not pose as a barrier with regard to training, as evidenced by the smooth functioning of the company’s factories in the Middle East.

“That is the beauty of the operation we are running in the region,” Jamal said. “If you go to [the factory in] Morocco, almost all are Moroccan. In Egypt, they are Egyptians. But if you go to Saudi, it’s a mini United Nations in the factory; the same goes for the UAE.” In the Jeddah and Dubai factories, Jamal said, there are 15 different nationalities, with up to eight languages spoken under the same ceiling, “but the whole team and operators have the same mindset and the same goal”.

“Everybody is accelerating in the same path,” Jamal explained, “And this is something we have developed over the years, how we deal with multinationals, multiple cultures and multiple languages to communicate whatever we need to operate swiftly and smoothly.” As such, Jamal said, different nationalities are not a barrier. He emphasised that the diversity could, in fact, become a competitive advantage, once the knowledge and expertise of personnel from different backgrounds is leveraged to help the team move forward.

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