FMCG African subsidiary – get to growthBritish American Tobacco


A blue chip international FMCG subsidiary in Africa required complete portfolio development, rationalisation & turnaround in face of changing international marketplace. Project was in 3 phases: firstly define strategic company objectives and develop credible business plan and achieve sign-off. Secondly, re-design entire product portfolio (local and imported products) with accompanying marketing plan. Thirdly re-design trade marketing and distribution strategy.

Ability to Integrate into Client Company

The initial investigation required numerous internal and external discussions and meetings.  Significant market analysis and customers insights to deliver credible market map and financial business case. The action plan was agreed with the UK parent company and regional teams.

Recommendations were presented to Regional Board detailing strategy, costs & time scale. Regional sign-off was achieved and local project team set up to deliver plan. This involved global discussions on sourcing, branding and supply chain. Local project teams set up to develop both trade marketing support and distribution strategy, with revised channels, pricing, infrastructure to support new roll-out. Also included significant training and recruitment.

Impact on Business

Revised business plan was launched on time and to budget. Initial sales were above budget and market share/ customer acquisition targets were achieved. Logistics and distribution costs and targets were also achieved in first three months. After 1 year, business had increased sales by 35% and profit by 65%. Market share was increased 6% points. The revised supply chain was established in Africa, Vietnam, UK, Europe and Argentina/Uruguay.


Achievement of Objectives

Initial plan was agreed and signed-off in 3 months. Roll-out achieved on plan in 9 months.

Working Style

Engaged all employees in very challenging circumstances and was able to motivate all to ensure move was completed without major disruption to business, utilising the skill set afforded by the project team.  Brought regional and local organisation closer together and removed some of mistrust by working more closely to resolve identified issues.

Leadership/Management Skills

Focused on achieving market, time scale & budgets through pragmatic and collaborative management style, supported by tenacious focus on deliverables where necessary.