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CLIENT: Dalberg

SECTOR: Consulting

REQUIREMENT: Africa Talent Manager

The Client Dalberg 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 Results KCH 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.

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CLIENT: Novastar Ventures

SECTOR: Private Equity / Venture Capital

REQUIREMENT: Associate

The Client Novastar 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 Results KCH 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.

Testimonials

“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.”

Niraj Varia, Investment Director, Novastar Ventures

“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.”

Brian Odhiambo, Associate, Novastar Ventures

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CLIENT: Kopo Kopo (Khosla Impact Fund)

SECTOR: Mobile Lending

REQUIREMENT: CEO

The Client Khosla 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 Results KCH 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.

Testimonials 

“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.”

Ken Kinyua, CEO, Kopo Kopo

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Client: Equity Bank

Sector: Banking

Requirement: Chief Officer, Corporate and SME Banking

The Client Equity 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 Results Through 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.

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Client: d.light

Sector: Renewable Energy

Requirement: Chief Operating Officer

The Client d.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 Challenge The 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.

Testimonials

“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.”

Ned Tozun, Co-Founder & CEO, d.light

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Client: African Leadership Network

Sector: Development

Requirement: Chief Operations Officer

The Client The 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 Results KCH 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.

Testimonials

“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!”

Rakhee Mediratta, COO, African Leadership Network

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Client: Securex

Sector: Security

Requirement: Chief Operations Officer

The Client Securex 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 Results KCH 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.

Testimonials

“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.”

Daniel Lemmer, COO, Securex

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Client:  Acumen Fund

Sector: Private Equity / Venture Capital

Requirement: East Africa Portfolio Manager

The Client Acumen 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 Challenge Acumen 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 Results KCH 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.

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Client:  Innscor Kenya Ltd.

Sector: Food & Beverage / Retail

Requirement: Financial Director

The Client Innscor 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.”

Solomon Mathenge, Financial Director, Innscor

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Client:  Innscor Kenya Ltd.

Sector: Food & Beverage / Retail

Requirement: Financial Director

The Client Innscor 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.”

Solomon Mathenge, Financial Director, Innscor

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Client: M-KOPA Solar

Sector: Renewable Energy

Requirement: Head of Business Intelligence

The Client M-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 Challenge To 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 Results As 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.

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Client: Orbit Chemicals

Sector: Manufacturing

Requirement: Head of Legal and HR

The Client Orbit 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 Results Within 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.

Testimonials

“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”

Farah Esmail, Head of Legal & HR, Orbit Chemicals

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Client: Gatsby Charitable Trust

Sector: Development

Requirement: Head of Sector & Prioritisation Lead

The Client The 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 Results Through 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.

Testimonials

“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

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