VP of Distribution
Location: Candidates must be prepared to relocate to Nairobi, Kenya + International Travel
Package: Competitive + Options + Benefits
Reports: Azuri CEO
About the role
Azuri is the leading provider of PayGo solar power systems for rural off-grid customers, with deployments in some 9 countries in sub-Saharan Africa. The PayGo business model transforms the affordability of entry-level power for our customers and adoption is growing rapidly.
To accelerate this growth, Azuri is seeking to hire an experienced VP Distribution to further develop and professionalise Azuri’s market operations and distribution channels. Azuri have a business model based on captured data. For each Azuri system installation, we capture the customer details and location which is then automatically sent to the Azuri cloud-based server. When the customer then “tops up” or is contacted by the distribution partner, our database is updated again, this provides Azuri with detailed records of each customers’ activities. This data is analysed and used to enable Azuri distribution teams and external distribution partners manage the customer population efficiently and cost-effectively.
The Azuri distribution channel must be built by bringing together partners with key skills and access to a customer base, then made efficient using Azuri’s data. This is similar to a franchise model but is a close relationship where, for larger partners, Azuri places Azuri staff within the partner organisations. The typical profile of an external distribution partner is that of a large consumer business in Africa ($50 million+ turnover) and has direct reach into rural communities.
The role calls for someone with experience of creating and scaling, end to end distribution supply chains, particularly service supply chains and experience of consumer lead distribution, ideally in Africa. This may be for products such as FMCG, telecoms, insurance or agricultural offerings, but importantly must reflect Azuri’s need for a service supply chain not a retail product supply chain.
– Build a powerful, scalable distribution system that is replicable across sub-Saharan Africa, with appropriate localisations
– Define the processes and scope out the support systems required to manage and support the complete distribution lifecycle including (for example) Distributor Selection, New Customer selection, registration, installation and payment, Customer Care, Customer Protection and In-Market warranty management
– In conjunction with Distribution Management, Sales, Customer Care and other business functions drive continuous improvement of the business processes required for an efficient and effective market operation and distribution system.
– In collaboration with the marketing team, create the agent and management tools, training materials and processes needed to drive distribution growth
– Ensure that field teams have the tools and processes to deliver quality customer data necessary to provide ongoing support to customers and to facilitate the financing of working capital
– Collaborate with in-country call-centres, field operations teams and IT teams to develop an effective and scalable customer care solution and organisation that can handle and expeditiously resolve customer issues
– Troubleshoot and create action plans to quickly and effectively address problems
– Identifies process improvement opportunities to drive efficiencies through the market operations
Note: this is a “hands-on” role where the leader will be running a small, high calibre team and interacting closely with the local country operations. The successful candidate will be required to have a detailed understanding of the processes and contribute directly to their implementation on the ground, while at the same time being able to contribute actively to the Senior Management Team and other parts of the organisation.
– 10+ years of international experience with increasing operational responsibility within the consumer services sector
– Extensive proven experience in building and managing consumer service distribution systems in rural emerging markets, ideally Africa
– Ability to manage a small distributed team of highly qualified subject matter experts and build an effective organisation
– Gravitas to be able to interact comfortably at Board level, both in Azuri and partner organisations
– The self-confidence to operate as an effective team player across the senior management team
– Strong interpersonal and leadership skills to maximize effectiveness
– Strong persuasive communicator with demonstrable business acumen
– Excellent interpersonal, written and verbal communication skills and strong presentation skills
– Problem-solving, decision making and organizational skills
– Strong customer service skills
– Ability to manage multiple programs requiring attention to detail
– Flexibility and versatility in problem analysis and resolution
– Ability to communicate across functional lines
– Ability to analyse and interpret qualitative and quantitative data
– Degree educated and possibly a higher business degree (e.g MBA)
– Prepared to relocate to Nairobi, Kenya
– Expectation of significant travel, primarily in Africa, averaging 2 weeks per month