Finding Business Leaders for emerging sectors – Read our Case Study on how we searched globally for a Modern Retail CEO for a Nigerian Retail Start-up

Finding Business Leaders for emerging sectors – Read our Case Study on how we searched globally for a Modern Retail CEO for a Nigerian Retail Start-up

Case Study – Finding a Modern Retail CEO for Nigeria

A Private Equity backed Retail start up business required a CEO from a leading multinational to create a new African brand for grocery Retail.  The initial business was to be opened in Nigeria with the long term vision to roll out stores across the African Continent.

The Situation

With significant financial backing from Investors, and land acquired for the first site in Victoria Island, Lagos, the Client was seeking an experienced professional from a leading European Retail Brand to be their CEO for this exciting start  up.  With Modern Retail being such a new sector in Africa, securing an individual with a strong ability to create a model based on one of these multinationals was a key aim of the Search.

Our Goal

Our In House Research Team mapped CEO, CCO and COO candidates for all the key European retail multinationals in their Emerging Markets locations.  Our Consulting Team then had to approach these candidates to assess both interests, but critically ability, to deliver a start up in Nigeria.

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Our Solution

With CEO candidates from these multinationals being significantly out of salary range of the initial budget, we had to work closely with the client throughout the Assessment period in order to find the required skills with the least amount of compromise.


Within 6 weeks we had identified and approached 389 candidates culminating in a face to face presentation in Nigeria of the 8 Short Listed candidates.  We advised closely on recommendations of best fit to the ability to deliver on the ground in Nigeria and the successful candidate was offered in time for opening the first store.


  • The tight brief to find an individual from Tesco, Waitrose, Carrefour and Sainsbury’s internationally gave our  Research Team a very clear steer on the mapping required
  • Critical to the Assessment Process was our Consulting Team’s thorough understanding of the challenges which the operating environment in Nigeria poses, and therefore the ability to assess this for candidates who had not worked in Africa previously
  • Close and constant updates with the Client was important throughout the Search in order to understand where flexibility could be made
  • Two candidates, both from Tesco, had a very close fit to the original specification, and after in-country visits, an offer was made.

More of our Case Studies are available on our Resources Page.  We would welcome the opportunity to discuss how we can identify critical business leaders to deliver the successful business growth within your organisation.  Please contact Sarah Fitzgerald, Managing Director, at or Richard Putley, Managing Director, at

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