Job Title: Head of Customer Finance - Benin
Department: Customer Finance 
Reporting line: Country Director - Benin
Location: Benin

About ENGIE BU Africa ENGIE Energy Access (EEA)

ENGIE Energy Access is a leading Pay-As-You-Go (PAYGo) and mini-grids solutions provider in Africa, with a mission to deliver affordable, reliable and sustainable energy solutions and life-changing services with exceptional customer experience. The company is a result of the integration of Fenix International, ENGIE Mobisol and ENGIE PowerCorner; and develops innovative, off-grid solar solutions for homes, public services and businesses, enabling customers and distribution partners access to clean, affordable energy. The PAYGo solar home systems are financed through affordable installments from $0.14 per day and the mini-grids foster economic development by enabling electrical productive use and triggering business opportunities for entrepreneurs in rural communities. 

With over 1,700 employees, operations in nine countries across Africa (Benin, Cote d’Ivoire, Kenya, Mozambique, Nigeria, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia), over 1 million customers and more than 5 million lives impacted so far, ENGIE Energy Access aims to remain a leading clean energy company, serving millions of customers across Africa by 2025.

Job Purpose/Mission  

EEA is seeking a highly motivated, experienced and energetic Head of Customer Finance to be a part of revolutionizing credit and financial inclusion for the base of the pyramid. To improve affordability and accessibility of our energy products, EEA provides products like solar home systems (SHS) to customers on a pay-to-own basis in the form of a loan or a lease-to-own contract, with minimum daily installments to be paid over mobile money.  This role is responsible for the management of the strategy for Customer Finance within Benin, and execution of action plans to manage or improve the customer journey and overall portfolio performance against commercial targets, towards the achievement of our mission, and in line with Group standards.

The role will report to the Managing Director and work in close coordination with and with support from the Central Customer Finance team. The role will also work cross-functionally with the Benin Commercial, Customer Experience, Product, Operations, Marketing, and technical teams on the ground to develop, scale and manage a best-in-class credit operation, to manage credit risk, to develop and manage financial services such as cash loans and insurance, and to provide an exceptional experience to our customers.

This position offers an incredible opportunity to make a direct impact on the lives of a largely unbanked customer base with limited access to traditional finance and clean energy. The right candidate will be a fierce team player and committed people manager, with a passion for seeing new approaches through from idea, to testing, to scale, and an ability to build out the systems and processes to ensure high performance over time in accordance with Group best practices.

As Head of Customer Finance, you will be based in Cotonou, Benin with regular travel to the field. You will develop and manage a Customer Finance (Credit) team and

Key Responsibilities 

  1. Lead strategy, analytics & innovation for credit risk management
  2. Proactively and sustainably manage and monitor credit risk at both a portfolio and a customer account level in line with the company’s risk appetite and targets
  3. Build and manage a best-in-class credit operation, with efficient and effective organizational structures, tools, standards and systems and methods of effectively monitoring and ensuring compliance
  4. Develop and manage Benin’s portfolio of financial products and services, including the underlying payment plan for energy purchases, as well as other products like cash loans or insurance
  5. Ensure EEA Benin’s culture reflects an understanding of and passion for responsible financial services, and shared accountability for credit risk management.
  6. Provide strong leadership and management for your Customer Finance team and coaching and capacity development for EEA Benin team members involved in the credit process.

Deliverables and Activities

In close collaboration with and with support from Central Customer Finance and under the direction and management of the MD, the Benin Head of Customer Finance will manage the following:

  • Customer Finance Strategy, Analytics & Innovation
    • Lead development of the cross-functional Customer Finance Strategy, Customer Finance Performance Management Dashboard and action plans
    • Consolidate quantitative and qualitative inputs from our customers and other sources to fully understand the repayment performance of our customers.
    • Design and implement A/B tests to identify the most powerful ways we can improve customer repayment behavior
    • Structure and implement customer insight research projects, such as mapping the financial lives of households, to deepen our understanding of what drives repayment behaviors
    • Use the data insight from the above to scale any that are effective in improving customer repayment patterns
    • Inform pricing and product strategies to support EEA’s strategic objectives regarding Credit and customer repayment
  • Credit Risk Monitoring & Management
    • Monitor, assess, and anticipate credit risk across the portfolio, and proactively and sustainably manage credit risk exposure in line with EEA’s strategy and targets. 
    • Identify key contributors to low performance and create action plans for improvement.
    • Lead the Credit Risk Committee and ensure credit risk is accurately reported, and adequately provisioned.
  • Scalable Credit Operations
    • Envision, implement and manage the systems, tools, structures, team and processes needed to support a highly effective and efficient credit operation that can serve hundreds of thousands of customers, localizing EEA standards wherever possible
    • Build effective, user- and field-friendly systems, processes, and tools that the teams need to make the largest and most cost efficient impact possible on customer repayment patterns
    • Coordinate with Commercial and Customer Experience teams to define protocols for how different teams interact with customers so that we encourage good repayment behavior in an inclusive and customer-friendly way
    • Create and maintain Customer Finance policies and procedures in line with EEA standards, ensure their compliance, and seek out ways to improve their effectiveness and efficiency.
    • Improve the way we collect ongoing quantitative and qualitative data for each customer interaction to gain richer insight into their experience and repayment behavior
    • Monitor and optimize the cost of loan servicing to strike the right balance between effectiveness and cost efficiency
  • Financial Services
    • Manage the development, scaling, and performance of Financial Services (paygo plans, cash loans, insurance, etc.) within EEA in line with agreed strategic and commercial objectives and Group guidelines
    • Lead product design, pilot and commercial launch, partnership and stakeholder management, policy and process, performance review as well as customer-facing and back-end operations related to Financial Services.
  • Responsible Credit Culture
    • Ensure a responsible, engaging, and customer-centric approach to financial services at EEA at all points in the customer journey, and across all areas of the business.  
    • Collaborate with partners in other functions (Call Center, Service Center, Commercial Team, etc.) to establish performance standards and create accountability for results
    • Ensure there are timely and effective mechanisms for feedback to teams and team members on issues related to performance or compliance to policy and procedure, including retraining or other measures as needed
    • Be an outspoken advocate for responsible financial services and credit risk management by providing strategic leadership, ongoing training and communication to the entire EEA Benin team. 
  • Team Building & Management
    • Build a team that is passionate about our mission and embodies EEA values.
    • Manage the team and day to day operations related to Customer Finance
    • Mentor the team to continuously build their critical thinking and execution skills so that they can maximize their contributions to EEA and grow with the company
  • Global cross-pollination
    • Collaborate with other EEA market teams & EEA Central team to leverage best practices from EEA Benin, implement best practices from the EEA network and brainstorm solutions to common challenges.

At EEA, we have high expectations for our managers. Each manager plays a key role in creating an exceptional experience not only for our customers but for every person on our team. Our managers help EEA realize our ambitious goals while developing their own leadership skills and facilitating growth for their direct reports. 

We believe that great managers:

  • Deliver ambitious results: As a high-performing and accountable leader, you create an enabling environment for effective action and bold decision which contribute to successful delivery of results.
  • Act with integrity: As an ethical leader you are honest, respectful, objective, and transparent. You create and build upon a foundation of trust and openness.
  • Inspire and mentor the team: As an inspirational leader you walk the talk. You empower and coach your team with trust and humility.
  • Are accessible: as an accessible leader, you develop and maintain deep connections with stakeholders through approachability and active listening.
  • Ensure diversity and inclusion: as an inclusive leader, you ensure diversity and foster a sense of belonging.

Knowledge and skills 

 Required Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s Degree
  • 8 years minimum work experience, at least 2 of which was in a role which involved strategy development and managing others on execution against plan
  • 3 to 8 years work experience experience in a senior or technical role in related sectors such as microfinance, digital financial services, telecommunications consumer lending, project management, data analysis, or field team management in a market context similar to that of Benin
  • Very good knowledge of operations, mechanisms, regulations, customer repayment behaviour and risk management concepts related to consumer lending in developing countries, and in particular in French-speaking sub-Saharan Africa 
  • Demonstrated ability to manage projects and teams, especially in a high-growth and performance-driven environment requiring cross-functional collaboration
  • Great ability to compile, manipulate, analyze, synthesize quantified and qualitative data, with the ability to translate analysis to insights, and insights to action
  • Ability to train and dialogue with Beninese teams, mostly from the field (villages)
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills in both French and English
  • Ability to deal with both operational and strategic subjects
  • Microsoft Office proficiency (Word/Excel/PowerPoint in particular)
  • Demonstrated ability to master required
  • Commitment to spending time in the field to support and mentor field teams
  • Passion for EEA and our customers!

Highly Desired Qualifications

  • Master’s degree / BAC+5 Training in a related field
  • Experience with customer segmentation and customer profiling / personas
  • Experience working with and implementing projects through field staff in an emerging market
  • Experience in financial service product development
  • Experience in process development and improvement (Six Sigma, etc.)
  • Experience in design thinking (a.k.a. human-centered design)
  • Prior experience living and working in Southern, West or East Africa, particularly in Benin
  • Data systems: strong experience with SQL, Python Tableau, Power BI or other data analysis and visualization software is highly desired.

Personal Profile

  • Ability to work both in a team and independently
  • High level of emotional intelligence
  • Critical thinking skills (ability to think outside the box)
  • Excellent problem-solving skills (solution oriented)
  • Strong capacity for influence and complex negotiations
  • Flexibility and ability to work under pressure to meet deadlines
  • Willingness and desire to learn

ENGIE is an equal opportunity employer, promoting diversity and committed to creating an inclusive environment for all. All applications are screened based on business needs, job requirements and individual qualifications, without any regard to origin, age, name, sexual identity, orientation or preference, religion, marital status, health, disability, political opinions, union involvement or . Our differences are our strengths! 

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