Product Development Specialist at Kenya Wine Agencies Limited (KWAL) Nairobi, Kenya

 Product Development Specialist

Kenya Wine Agencies Limited (KWAL) 
Nairobi, Kenya

Responsibilities and Accountabilities
Area 1 - New Product Development
• Management of Intrinsic NPD functional unit in alignment with KWAL Strategy to deliver and contribute to sustainable growth through execution of world-class intrinsic development and sensory insight-led solutions
• Manage annual NPD OPEX and CAPEX budget requirements as well as maintenance schedules
• Move to Competencies and Attributes section
• Compile & present reports for EXCO, month-end reporting and business planning/strategy planning
• Define NPD KPI’s and address NPD team hurdles to ensure execution of NPD KPI’s OTIF
• Analyses situations at both a strategic and operational level. Identifies the key issues, and solutions and makes recommendations on complex problems (risk and mitigation management)
• Provide clarity on individual NPD employees’ roles and responsibilities in reference to the established product development and sensory insight frameworks
• Embed NPD, Sensory and Innovation Stage Gate frameworks with supportive documentation that is fit for company purpose and drives first-time-right new product development and project management
• Move to competencies and attributes section
• Cross-functional internal product training on cider; wine; brandy; whisky; vodka and gin to empower employees (sales and non-sales) with knowledge in support of future innovations & consumer education.

Area 2 - Intrinsic Product Development:
• Execution of world-class liquid research & development from receipt of brief through to implementation of production documentation for briefed innovations and continuous improvement of existing formulations
• Use technical and consumer research experience to support commercial team in formulation of appropriate consumer research design methodology to ensure outputs remain objective and targeted for further Stage Gate approval decision-making
• Identification, development, testing and execution of new supplier/ raw material/ formulation changes to support profitability and sustainability pillars
• Custodian of accurate product documentation (formulations, specifications, ingredient lists, blending & processing methods, shelf life reports, processing parameters etc)
• Risk indication and mitigation proposals during application of intrinsic developments

Area 3 - Innovation
• Together with Innovation Manager, manage Front-End Innovation through FEI Garage forums (inputs; workshops; outputs analyzed; reporting and actioning) to inform future KWAL Innovation Strategy.
• Continuous trend insights scanning and analyses to identify opportunity gaps for ideation and exploration in support of Innovation Pipeline through SG Process.
• Capacity to translate trends, insights and intelligence (market/customer/consumer/competitors) into innovative, cost effective, regulatory compliant, consumer preferred, winning solutions.
• Leveraging external networks and ecosystems (and capabilities within) during the ideation process
• Rapid prototyping of intrinsic ideas to assess opportunity/viability

Interpersonal/Relationship/competencies and Attributes
• Build effective relationships with internal and external stakeholders and cross-functional teams
• Optimal utilization of external networks and ecosystems (and capabilities within) during the intrinsic product development process.
• Continuous close collaboration with procurement, commercial & finance on identifying opportunities for cost engineering to support brand profitability and future resource sustainability.
• Collaboration with external Suppliers, Quality, Cellar, Production, Procurement to ensure first-time-right product development execution and adherence to quality requirements & during problem-solving
• Close collaboration with respective Distell COE’s to continuously build on capability improvement within KWAL and to standardize operations to global company standards
• Change adaptability: Integrate strategic thinking and agility, to improve NPD processes and services
• Maintain and continuously up-skill self in terms of R&D technologies, ingredients, competitor activity, insights, innovations, trends and external networks’ capabilities in area of expertise
• Drive own development to ensure leadership & EQ skills remain strong to support and motivate teamwork
• Continuous skills transfer to team members and cross-functional teams
• Actively execute decision making, address and/or highlight hurdles for success, drive effective communication with all key stakeholders relevant and share leanings.
• Strong commercial & business acumen
• Strong coaching capability to support and motivate team performance
• Strong leadership capabilities with demonstrated capability to lead change management
• Strong Innovative and Strategic thinking skills
• Strong financial acumen
• Strong presentation skills to multiple levels (cross-function, external & EXCO reports)
• Strong understanding of alcoholic beverages, raw materials, product formulation technologies
• Positive attitude and willingness and agility to work in a fast-paced team environment
• Good understanding of Innovation Stage Gate process and with the required project management principles
• Good understanding of sensory science practices and insights as it applies to FMCG
• Good understanding of intrinsic manufacturing processes and FMCG value chain
• Takes ownership and implement actions
• Detail orientated and problem-solving skills
• Able to make decisions under pressure and influence/negotiate effectively with stakeholders
• Strong communication & interpersonal relationship development skills

Minimum Requirements
• Bachelors’ Degree in Food Science, Food Technology, Consumer Science, Oenology or related field
• Masters Degree in food science is an added advantage
• Minimum 8 years’ experience in related field within FMCG
• Strong understanding of alcoholic beverages, raw materials, product formulation technologies.

Kenya Wine Agencies Limited (KWAL)

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