OSI Industries Archive

OSI Industries: Its origin and leadership

OSI Industries is a value-added foods company with headquarters in Aurora, Illinois. It is a top producer of food products which are supplied to almost every continent. Currently, the privately-owned company is ranked as one of the largest in the world. The Forbes places it at number #58 with a net worth of over $6.1 billion. OSI Industries is serving 17 countries in different countries and has established 65 production plants to meet the high demand for food products. It has also employed over 20,000 people to serve in its plants. The company is still in expansion mode, and it is doing a thorough job of taking its operations to the people in different parts of the world.


OSI Industries is a name that was adopted in 1975. However, this is not when the company was created. It has been around for a longer time. Previously, the company was operating as a family-owned business and operated in the name of Otto & Sons. Otto Kolschowsky is the founder of this company. He was a German immigrant living in Chicago when he started a butcher shop in 1909 which grew to become OSI.

Early development

Otto & Sons got an opportunity to work with the McDonald’s restaurant franchise when it opened its first restaurant in Illinois. This was the beginning of growth for Otto & Sons. McDonald’s got v a lot of business, and Otto & Sons was made one of the suppliers to their restaurants. As they expanded, more products were needed for supplies. That is how Otto & Sons found itself looking for financing to expand its operations. It needed to have high production capacity so that it grows into a huge business and meet the huge demand from McDonald’s.

Entry of Sheldon Lavin

Sheldon Lavin was a banking executive in a bank where Otto & Sons was looking for financing. OSI Group acquires Baho Food. He was responsible for the expansion of the company at the time, by availing the resources needed to grow the company. After the role he played in the growth of the company, he took another initiative of helping the company grow by taking up an active role in its day-day operations. He joined other partners in OSI Industries in equal status to others. Soon he was appointed Chairman and CEO, and since then he has never looked back. He has carried out operations of the company in a manner that is impressive. He has made it the company we see today.