The ClientCopia Global is the best of Amazon, Fedex and a healthy dose of BoP expertise. With a network of agents country-wide, Copia are making accessible a wide range of trusted, reliable consumer goods to consumers at the middle and base of the economic pyramid. Founded in 2013, Copia started its operations in Kenya and were rapidly expanding, serving 2000 locations in Kenya and growing at a rate of 10% per month.
The ChallengeWith the company growing exponentially and plans to open up in Uganda and Rwanda in the next 2 years, Copia needed an exceptional CFO to help set up the financial frameworks to support expansion. The CFO needed to be a strong support for the CEO, provide financial information and business analytics to help drive decision-making, and lead investor relations with current and prospective investors.
The ResultsCopia needed a high-level strategist, an exceptional leader, and an analytic financial mind. On the other hand, however, they needed someone with the creative problem solving skills of an entrepreneur; someone not be afraid to roll up their sleeves while the company was in early stages of growth. Dominic’s experience working in Kenya and the UK with multinationals and a growing local business, as well as his dynamic personality made him the perfect fit. This opportunity with Copia was just what he was looking for; the chance to work with a high-growth organization and not just lead the finance function, but partner with the CEO to drive strategy, growth and innovation within the business.
The ClientTelkom was established as a telecommunications operator in 1999, with 60% being owned by Helios Investment Partners, and the remaining stake held by the Government of Kenya. With a recent rebrand and a presence in 47 counties in Kenya, covering both data and voice channels, Telkom were ready to make a comeback and take on the market.
The Challenge As the company looked to develop and implement strategic initiatives to regain market leadership, they needed a highly analytical and experienced Head of Revenue Planning and Insights. S/he would need to have deep understanding of the local markets, as well as the telecommunications industry trends and opportunities.
The ResultsKCH searched the Kenyan market for an individual that offered exceptional experience with business planning, project management, and data analytics. The right candidate would need to ensure development, maintenance and reporting of relevant company wide and marketing performance measurements in order to guide and influence decision making across the company on a tactical level. Fredrick, a Kenyan who had Come Home, had played similar roles and offered deep telco expertise both locally and across markets such as Afghanistan and Papua New Guinea. He was working in insurance but was keen to re-enter the telco space, and was excited to work with Telkom as Helios led them through their turn-around strategy.
The Client Future Hotels owns and manages the award winning, luxury Safari lodge Finch Hattons based in Tsavo West National Park. The lodge is part of the Mantis Collection, a collection of privately owned luxury boutique hotels and eco-escapes spanning all continents. Established in 1992, the camp was refurbished in 2015 and has earned an outstanding reputation for luxury and service, both locally and internationally.
The ChallengeWith Finch Hattons recently refurbished, Future Hotels were looking to bring on board a dynamic and passionate COO to manage general operations of the lodge, with a focus on sales and marketing both locally and internationally. As a boutique, luxury lodge, the COO needed to have a deep understanding of high-end properties, the opportunities and challenges present, and marketing strategies to target the right clientele.
The ResultsKCH searched and assessed candidates to find that magical combination of passion, experience and understanding. Future Hotels needed someone who was hands-on and able to execute, but still able to take a step back and look at the overall picture; someone who understood what luxury meant, and how to position the brand correctly in international markets to drive revenues. Grace, a Kenyan who had come home, was the perfect mix of passion and smarts. She had worked internationally for several exclusive golf clubs, and already had a few years of translating that experience to the local market. She was excited to join a smaller team, where she could really drive change and see the impact of her efforts, without the long decision-making process and bureaucracy of a larger organization.
The ClientVillage Capital is a seed-stage investment fund that is democratizing entrepreneurship. The team recruits entrepreneurs solving specific problems in agriculture, energy, education, financial inclusion and health, then puts the power of investment in their hands. VilCap operate training programs to support founders, investors and communities, and then use a unique peer-selection model to determine which entrepreneurs will receive funding.
The ChallengeVillage Capital were seeking an Africa Lead to design and execute their investment strategy for Sub-Saharan Africa. This was a challenging role and required an individual that was entrepreneurial and could build something from the ground up. S/he needed to understand start-ups and seed investment, be able to operate across multiple countries in Africa (each with their unique challenges), have strong networks and relationship building skills, be an exceptional team leader, and ideally have some experience with fundraising.
The ResultsKCH conducted a global search, assessing a range of candidates from investment professionals to program directors to entrepreneurs that had built or sold their companies. Adedana, a Yale Graduate of Ethiopian heritage, offered the right mix of skills and the potential to pick something up and run with it. She had built from scratch the Africa Business Fellowship program for The African Leadership Network, working independently and coordinating logistics across multiple markets, managing complex stakeholder relationships, and leading communications and brand building for the program. For her, stepping into the Africa Lead role presented a greater challenge, the chance to work with a fantastic global team and the opportunity to impact and support entrepreneurship in Africa which she was passionate about.
The Client Azuri Technologies is delivering a revolutionary PayGo solar power technology and business model to off-grid emerging markets, enabling users to benefit from clean renewable energy and simultaneously reduce their energy spend. Headquartered in Cambirdge, UK, Azuri has successfully set up in multiple countries in Africa, and is now in expansion phase.
The ChallengeWith the company in expansion phase, Azuri needed a dynamic PR & Marketing Manager to develop and execute on a marketing strategy for East Africa. S/he needed to have experience with BTL and ATL marketing, strong media contacts and PR experience, digital marketing knowledge, and the ability to work independently in an entrepreneurial setup where they not only developed marketing plans but rolled up their sleeves and implemented them as well.
The ResultsKCH approached and assessed candidates from agency and industry, trying to find someone with the right mix of PR and Marketing experience, but more importantly someone that could apply their skillset to a new and fast-changing environment. Margaret was the perfect fit, with her passion, focus and ability to execute. As a Kenyan who had Come Home, she had international experience in digital marketing and brand strategy, but had also worked in the local market and built up her networks on the ground. After a few years in an agency setting, she was excited to work with a small but talented team, gain regional experience, and help further the success of a company whose mission she was passionate about.
The ClientThe African Leadership Network (ALN) is a community of the most dynamic and influential leaders working to create change in Africa and our community aims to contribute towards Africa’s prosperity by strengthening relationships between leaders to encourage collaboration.
The Challenge ALN’s vision is to be the pre-eminent community of dynamic and influential new generation leaders in Africa, and serve as an institutional platform for building relationships, forging substantive collaborations, and for mobilizing the collective influence of its members to build entrepreneurship, unlock transformative opportunities, and overcome challenges to building wealth in Africa. To realize this vision, they needed an influential, well-networked and effective COO to drive membership, develop partnerships, and drive funding across the continent.
The ResultsKCH worked closely with ALN to identify a candidate with exceptional communication and execution ability, as well as a passion for driving change within Africa. Rakhee was a Kenyan who had returned home after gaining consulting experience in South Africa and the UAE, bringing with her strong operational skills, carefully honed regional networks, and the energy and passion necessary to drive forward ALN’s vision.
“Kenyans Come Home takes the time to understand their clients’ needs and have a refreshingly analytical approach to placements…something I appreciated.”
Isaac Kwaku Fokuo, VP Strategic Relations, African Leadership Network
“Kenyans Come Home founder and CEO Farah has developed a recruitment framework like no other! It’s not simply about matching skills with a CV and hoping for the best outcome. KCH thoroughly understand what culture an organisation needs and the type of individual who is ideally suited so that turnover on new placements will be minimum. For those of you looking for a recruitment firm with a difference… this is it!”
The ClientCatalyst Principal Partners is a regional private equity investor focused on mid-market growth capital investments in East Africa. Their team of highly experienced, seasoned investment professionals offer a depth of regional and international credentials and expertise of private equity investing in Africa and across emerging markets.
The Challenge Catalyst was in the process of raising its second fund and needed to build up their team and increase capacity to help manage their portfolio. They were a small, hands-on and highly effective team, so they needed an Investment Analyst that would fit right in. S/he had to have exceptional financial modeling and analysis skills, be a strong presenter and communicator, and be able to manage multiple projects effectively.
The ResultsKCH reached out and assessed numerous candidates to present Catalyst with a strong shortlist of smart, capable and ambitious candidates. Doreen had 6 years of finance and sell-side investment experience, with a strong academic background. A high performer with exceptional analytical skills and the ability to learn quickly, Doreen had risen through the ranks quickly and was looking to move into Private Equity where she felt all the action was.
The ClientMallForAfrica is Africa’s global e-commerce solution. Founded in 2010 by Nigerian brothers Chris and Tope Folayan, it provides a platform through which African consumers can purchase items directly from international online retailers that would otherwise be inaccessible. In 2017, MallForAfrica set up operations in Kenya, serving as a hub for East Africa.
The Challenge E-Commerce is a new and growing industry in East Africa, but MallForAfrica needed a strong Country Manager with an understanding of e-commerce and a track record of successfully setting up a business. S/he needed to be highly entrepreneurial and able to build something from scratch, as well as someone that could take an analytical approach to understanding the different East African markets and their customer needs.
The ResultsKCH conducted a comprehensive mapping of the e-commerce space across East Africa, as well as reached out to our networks and referral sources from the industry. Naomi came through a referral, and offered all the skillsets MallForAfrica were looking for. She was a serial entrepreneur, having worked with the Naspers Group to set up a newly proposed e-commerce business, as well as having built and managed several online businesses of her own. After having taken some time out to focus on her family and volunteer her skills within the social entrepreneurship and education space, Naomi was now ready for the next challenge.
Requirement:Business Development Manager, East Africa
The ClientCQS Technologies is one of South Africa’s leading software houses, specializing in the design, development and deployment of software products and the provision of professional services for the audit, risk management, financial services and corporate performance management markets.
The ChallengeAs CQS looked to drive their presence and revenues within the East African market, they needed an experienced Business Development Manager on the ground. The BD Manager would need to identify business opportunities, manage Partner Programs, roll out and manage their current channel model, and personally drive direct business in the region.
The ResultsThe role required a BD Manager that understood the East African software market, how to drive revenues through effective channel management, and could work independently. Most importantly, the BD Manager needed to be an exceptional salesperson, driven by results and a passion for success. KCH conducted a thorough search throughout the East African market, and found Jacob, a Kenyan who had a successful track record working with global software firms across East Africa. Jacob had been looking for an opportunity where he could have more autonomy and growth, and CQS presented just that.
The ClientM-KOPA Solar is the global leader of “Pay-As-You-Go” energy for off-grid customers. Since its commercial launch in October 2012, M-KOPA has connected over 400,000 homes (and counting) within East Africa to affordable solar power. The company has won numerous global awards and recognitions for its innovation and impact, and is one of the fastest growing social impact organizations within the region.
The ChallengeTo support its rapid expansion and business growth, M-KOPA were seeking to bring on board an analytical and strategic Head of Business Intelligence, to help lead data analytics and inform business decisions.
The ResultsAs M-KOPA roll out their innovative model and operate in a new space, they require talent as bold, adaptive, and forward-thinking as the business itself. Assessing talent for potential, not just for past experience, KCH were able to work with M-KOPA to identify and interest a smart, highly analytical Kenyan returning home to join an exciting and fast-growing company. Martin brought with him international experience with a local understanding, as well as a strong background in IT and banking analytics. M-KOPA trusted our ability to evaluate his transferrable skills that were applicable to the role.
The ClientOrbit Chemical Industries Ltd. is amongst the leading industrial companies in the region, having evolved from a trader of chemicals to a state-of-the-art outsourced manufacturing model that is vertically integrated to provide high quality finished products, packaging and labeling to global multinational companies and leading regional players of fast-moving consumer goods.
The Challenge The company is focused on strengthening their product development and innovation capabilities, and have ambitious plans for strong growth and regional expansion. They also brought on investment partner Catalyst Principal Partners in 2016, and needed a sharp-minded, business savvy Head of Legal and HR to provide in-house legal counsel to the business, and strengthen their HR function. More specifically they needed a Kenyan with a JD/MBA within a few weeks.
The ResultsWithin a week, KCH sourced and interested an experienced corporate/commercial legal and business consultant with experience working in both Kenyan and North American markets. Farah was a Kenyan MBA and Law School graduate, who had moved home to offer her legal and business skills set to fast-growth, highly-regulated and multi jurisdictional startups.
“KCH has carved a niche in assisting the people in the diaspora to get opportunities that are suitable for them. They are contributing positively in bringing talent back home and fighting the brain drain syndrome”
The ClientSecurex has grown from a small investigations company in 1970 to one of the leading Security Solutions providers in the East African region. Operating in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and Rwanda, the firm offers a total security solution to both businesses and their executive employees.
The Challenge With the vision of being East Africa’s premier security solutions provider, Securex was looking to drive forward its product development, customer service and operational standards to support its growth and delivery. They were looking for an experienced and effective individual capable of leading large teams, managing complex operations, and delivering working solutions to address East Africa’s security challenges.
The ResultsKCH conducted a comprehensive global search of local and international candidates with deep expertise within the security space, experience within emerging markets (preferably East Africa), and a track record of successfully managing complex operations from both a strategic and day-to-day perspective. Daniel offered 25 years of versatile and effective leadership within security management, as well as excellent experience working with a top tier employer, GE.
“My experience with Kenyans Come Home was very pleasant. I particularly appreciated the fact that I was given the time to choose who appealed to me and most importantly, I was not rushed to make my decision. I have no hesitation in recommending KCH to other organizations.”
Tony Sahni, Group MD, Securex
“KCH managed to turn a nerve-wracking experience into an easy passage. The processes they have in place and obviously perfected over the years ensured that I and my family, were never stressed. The information shared were timely, accurate and in the right format. The time spent with me prepared me for any eventuality. From the first day of contact till the successful completion they were by my side. The fact that KCH is well respected in East Africa also assisted a lot and is something that should not be underestimated. All I can say to the team is thank you.”
The ClientAcumen is a non-profit venture fund with a vision to help build a world beyond poverty through investing in companies that deliver critical goods and services in water, health, housing, energy, agriculture, and education. Their commitment to East Africa began in 2004, and they now have over $23M in approved investments in the region.
The ChallengeAcumen East Africa is well-resourced, has a strong foundation, and was ready to take their mission to the next level. Core to their success, was identifying a passionate and experienced Portfolio Manager to help identify, resource and build a world class portfolio within the region.
The ResultsKCH reviewed and assessed several candidates who could offer both the technical skills and the passion that Acumen Fund were seeking. We placed a Kenyan Harvard Business School graduate from our diaspora database, who had chosen to return home to make his impact in the region. Technically strong with solid operational skills and exceptional relationship building ability, Lawrence was the perfect fit for our client.
The ClientThe Gatsby Foundation and UK DFID established Msingi, an ambitious and innovative new initiative, looking to deliver structural transformation of East African economies by catalysing the growth and increased competitiveness of new and existing high-potential industries.
The Challenge Msingi is a new organization with a unique mission to transform and catalyse high potential industries and projects across East Africa. Its remit is to invest in areas of high growth across the region and deliver innovation, technology and skills transfer. As they put together their initial team, Msingi needed a highly analytical Head of Sector & Prioritation to lead the team responsible for identification and selection of these industries and opportunities.
The ResultsThrough our strong networks, KCH was able to quickly identify a candidate with the right analytical, consulting and operational skillset. Amee was a Kenyan Cambridge graduate with excellent training and experience in the UK, as well as operational experience in and deep understanding of the East African region.
“KCH has a strong network across industries in Kenya. They were very effective at helping me find a role that both interested me and one I was well suited for. Kenyans Come Home offers an efficient, well-networked and friendly service”.
Amee Devani, Sector & Industry Prioritisation Lead, Msingi
Requirement:Chief Officer, Corporate and SME Banking
The ClientEquity Bank is one of the region’s leading Banks with a strong footprint in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, South Sudan and the DRC. Equity Bank is now home to more than 10.3 million customers – the largest customer base in Africa.
The Challenge Consumer and agricultural lending had been Equity’s main market for loans, but recent reports had indicated this being surpassed by SMEs. With this a new focus for the bank, they were looking to recruit an experienced banker to transform and build their Corporate and SME credit business. The right candidate would need to grow and mentor their leadership team, and have an exceptional understanding of SME Banking.
The ResultsThrough our extensive networks, KCH identified and interested a highly successful and experienced banking executive, with experience as a Deputy Head of Group Strategy for the largest bank in the UAE. In an international career spanning 18 years, Rohit offered experience working in the developed economies of North America and Europe as well as the emerging economies of Africa, Asia and the Middle East.
The Clientd.light is a global leader in solar-powered solutions for people without access to reliable electricity. They are also the largest distributed solar lighting brand for households and small businesses in off-grid communities, with an expanding product range distributed in over 15,000 retail outlets in over 60 countries to over 50 million customers.
The ChallengeThe company’s newest area of expansion was in solar home systems that can be paid for over time using “Pay As You Go” technology. d.light needed to find a dynamic COO capable of developing the required infrastructure, driving execution and leading multi-country expansion within a fast-paced, entrepreneurial environment.
The Results d.light had been searching for months for the right candidate with little success. Within two weeks, however, KCH was able to share high caliber profiles and source a candidate with a demonstrated track-record of successfully building out local sales teams and operational infrastructure across multiple countries. An approachable and passionate leader, Jacob had grown and nurtured talent within his teams, and understood the challenges and requirements of building rural distribution networks.
“I have worked with many placement and recruitment firms over the years with varying degrees of success, and KCH has been hands down the best. We had been working on recruiting for a critical COO role for months and had engaged other search firms to no avail. Within the first two weeks, KCH already gave us several excellent quality candidates and we found our COO. KCH is wonderful to work with, and I would highly recommend them for any placements in Africa.”
The ClientInnscor Kenya is a market leader within the F&B industry, having operated in Kenya for more than 20 years and currently operating 11 brands and 110 outlets. It is part of Innscor Africa Ltd., a diversified Pan African Management Holding Company with interests in a number of sectors.
The Challenge Innscor Kenya had an ambitious growth agenda, with plans to set up and operate 400 outlets by 2020. To make this happen, they needed an exceptional Financial Director to work with the MD, ensuring the right financial controls were put in place to support this rapid expansion within a cash-heavy, dynamic business environment.
The Results Financial Directors may be plenty, but to find the right one can be tricky. KCH sourced for a technically strong candidate, who understood the industry and its challenges. Solomon offered the right mix of strategic and operational abilities, with a keen eye for detail and a passion for structuring finance operations. He had proven experience operating in a fast-paced, entrepreneurial environment and the ability to look at the business as a whole and see how finance could help support business goals.
Testimonials “KCH are interested in not only finding out about the candidate’s profile but also their preferred moves. They were able to guide me through various potential employers and worked to understand the needs of both parties.”
The ClientDalberg Global Development Advisory is an international strategy and policy advisory firm operating from 14 worldwide locations. Committed to global development and innovation, it offers a variety of advisory services across the international development sector, and set up offices in Kenya in 2010 to serve the East African region.
The Challenge With offices in Johannesburg, Nairobi and Dakar, Dalberg’s work in Africa covers a number of categories and has them deploying teams to almost 30 countries. A key priority for the firm as they continue building their presence in Africa is the recruitment, assessment, training, and retention of top talent. For this, they needed an exceptional Africa Talent Manager to lead their Talent Strategy for the Continent.
The ResultsKCH searched globally for the right individual, who had experience managing and developing talent within a diverse, global environment. The right individual had to understand the requirements and challenges of various African regions and tailor solutions to fit each market. Meena brought with her strong leadership, talent management, and HR strategy experience, as well as a passion to work in Kenya and help shape Africa’s changing talent needs.
The ClientNovastar is a venture catalyst firm assisting the next generation of exceptional entrepreneurs who are designing and executing innovative business models to profitably serve East Africa’s aspiring mass market.
The Challenge As Novastar were building up their team, they needed a strong Associate with experience structuring, undertaking and interpreting market research / financial models. Outstanding analytical skills, the ability to break down complex problems quickly and experience with start-ups as an investor, entrepreneur or team member were essential.
The ResultsKCH worked tirelessly with Novastar, assessing and sourcing numerous candidates before finding the right fit. Brian, a Yale Graduate, was a Kenyan who returned home to help develop entrepreneurial businesses in the region, with a passion for innovation and strong analytical, operational and relationship building skills.
“We gave Kenyans Come Home a very difficult task – we were looking for very specific skills and experience and were not willing to compromise on quality. They found us many candidates and, even when we rejected many, the team kept working away at it. In the end, they brought us an excellent candidate. KCH did not give up even when we proved to be a more difficult client that they probably anticipated. I would (and have) always recommend them – KCH is committed to finding the right people and will not stop until they do.”
“Working with KCH was a great experience. The period between getting in touch with them, getting matched with the right position and eventual placement was the shortest I’ve ever experienced. KCH were also able to find the right fit for me, which is more important than the speed in which it happened. I’m glad we worked together and I’d recommend them to anyone looking for exceptional recruitment services.”
The ClientKhosla Impact Fund is an early stage equity fund that focuses on tech startups that help improve the standard of living at the BoP around the World. One of its key investment is Kopo Kopo, a company dedicated to improving access to financial products in resource-poor countries. Kopo Kopo created a world-class platform enabling small and medium business to accept mobile payments, build relationships with customers, and use technology to grow and prosper. In partnership with Safaricom, they brought the M-PESA Buy Goods Service (Lipa Na M-Pesa) to thousands of small and medium businesses throughout Kenya.
The Challenge In August 2015, Kopo Kopo launched their merchant cash advance service “Grow”, designed to provide flexible cash to retail businesses by accommodating their daily, seasonal and cyclical cash flows. This type of service is new in Africa, and Kopo Kopo required a entrepreneurial CEO capable of scaling an on-balance sheet loan book using a technology platform that generates substantial payments data. KCH worked closely with Kopo Kopo’s team of international investors on this key recruit.
The ResultsKCH conducted a comprehensive search for talent in the region, trying to identify a candidate with the unique mix of skillsets that Kopo Kopo needed. A strong understanding of technology, credit/lending experience, an understanding of data analytics, the ability to lead and motivate a young team, and experience with fundraising and interacting with international donors and board members. Ken brought with him strong financial and technical abilities, fundraising experience, and the passion for moving forward Kopo Kopo’s exciting vision.
“We selected Farah and Kenyans Come Home after screening half a dozen different search firms in Kenya. We were making a critical executive hire for a unique startup that combined elements of banking, technology and telecom. Success depended on us finding the right person. Farah was the first person we talked to who immediately “got it,” and understood what the challenge of the search would be — finding a person who could mesh in 2-3 different industries, and had early stage leadership and fundraising experience. This is still rare in Kenya. We worked with her and her team and were able to find a series of candidates, and ultimately, hired the best candidate on our aggressive timeframe. I’d highly recommend Farah. She knows how to work with entrepreneurial organizations and how to deliver under pressure.”
Mark Straub, Director, Khosla Impact
“It was a pleasure to work with KCH. They have an engaging team, open and flexible whilst being extremely professional. They articulate their assignments and requirements concisely, and make it easy for the employer and candidate to enjoy a world-class experience in the recruitment process. The firm’s style allows for a well-run process, keeping things time bound and ensuring the employer and candidate don’t feel pressured to act or tired by an unending process. They mediate extremely well between employer and candidate expectations and facilitate solutions that work well for both. KCH is definitely one of the best in their industry, and is on top of their game.”