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RD&A Lead

Durban Durban eThekwini, South Africa
Closing date
Apr 26, 2024

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Job Role
Contract Type
Full Time
Requisition ID 51066 Position Type FT Permanent Recruiter #LI-RG1 Posting Type LI

About Kerry

Kerry is the world's leading taste and nutrition company for the food, beverage and pharmaceutical industries. Every day we partner with customers to create healthier, tastier and more sustainable products that are consumed by billions of people across the world. Our vision is to be our customers' most valued partner, creating a world of sustainable nutrition. A career with Kerry offers you an opportunity to shape the future of food while providing you opportunities to explore and grow in a truly global environment.

About the role

We are looking for a RD&A Lead will lead the Research and Development function in South Africa. He/she must be the driver of change and progress in the region, and at the same time act as the “bridge” connecting the region to the rest of the global organization and developing a strong RD&A team focusing on End Use Markets.

Key responsibilities

To manage and deliver the execution of active projects to meet the strategy and growth targets.

To manage the innovation portfolio across the various technology groups, which entails:

Combining a clear understanding of customer needs and technical expertise in order to formulate innovation initiatives.
Determining how Kerry can gain competitive differentiation in the region through excellence in research and driving product development that will exceed the customer's expectations.
Evaluating the existing product portfolio; determine where enhancements may be made to create best-in-category products.
Recommend and screen all potential raw materials necessary to build portfolio
In alignment with the regional leadership team and global R&D stakeholders, appropriately select and prioritize projects that add the most value to Kerry's customers.
Assignment of resources - people and budgets.
Tracking of project progress relative to milestones and launch dates.

Build and develop the RD&A organization by hiring, coaching, training and providing regular feedback, particularly to the team of direct reports. Instill a high-performance culture across the RD&A function through leadership by example.
Ensure that Kerry is keeping abreast of cutting-edge science to drive efficiencies and effectiveness in the quest to develop new product solutions.

Work closely with the Supply Chain / Operations function to support:

Process improvements in the plants.
Business continuity.
Regulatory support for registrations of plants and inspections as needed.

Play a key role in as a technical lead for select key account and remain as the main contact to drive consistency in sharing and improved of service quality.

Help drive the business through active participation and contribution on the senior leadership committee.

Contribute to the regional RD&A strategy and how it can be aligned to business goals. Share a vision of excellence in R&D and create a road map for implementation.

Support & coordinate 1Kerry approach to Customers and adopt Kerry ways of working

Qualifications and skills

A Bachelor's degree in Food Science
At least minimum of 15 years work experience in RD&A various leadership roles within a regulated food / ingredients industry.
Exposure to multiple markets in the APMEA region.
Previous experience in preparing and managing budgets.
Demonstrated track record of successful innovations in the commercial marketplace.
Experience in transferring innovations into plants and an understanding of plant operations.
Experience in building and maintaining a highly talented, high performance R&D organization.
Ability to communicate a compelling vision for RD&A function to various internal and external stakeholders.
Strong understanding of the business environment, customers, competitors and especially government regulations.
Strong understanding of wider business focus, and impact RD&A can have on separate functions.
Ability to build relationships with, impact and influence effectively in a cross-functional highly matrixed environment.
Decisive, demonstrated ability to make difficult calls based on a combination of data, analysis and experience.
Understanding of company's near, mid and long term priorities, with a sense of urgency to adapt to changing business situations.
Up to date knowledge of key competitors and their activities within the region
Well-developed interpersonal and communication skills with the ability to lead, motivate and develop talent

Competencies Required:

An analytical thinker capable of conveying technical information in a user-friendly manner.
Self-starter who can manage fluctuating workloads and projects using a high degree of initiative.
Strong team player with a clear focus on stakeholder engagement and solution delivery.
Strong communicator in terms of excellent verbal and written communication skills, comfortable interacting with confidence across a wide range of stakeholders.
Takes personal accountability and ownership of actions to completion.

Beware of scams online or from individuals claiming to represent us. A Kerry employee will not solicit candidates through a non-Kerry email address or phone number. In addition, Kerry does not currently utilise video chat rooms (e.g., Google Hangouts) to conduct interviews. Refuse any request that asks you to provide payment to participate in the hiring process (e.g., purchasing a “starter kit,” investing in training, or something similar). Kerry will not ask you to pay any money at any point in the hiring process with the exception of reimbursable travel expenses. In addition, any payments made by Kerry will be from official firm accounts bearing the Kerry name.

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