Cluster Country Manager - Southern Africa

  • Cape Town, South Africa
  • Full-time

Company Description

As the world's leader in digital payments technology, Visa's mission is to connect the world through the most creative, reliable and secure payment network - enabling individuals, businesses, and economies to thrive. Our advanced global processing network, VisaNet, provides secure and reliable payments around the world, and is capable of handling more than 65,000 transaction messages a second. The company's dedication to innovation drives the rapid growth of connected commerce on any device, and fuels the dream of a cashless future for everyone, everywhere. As the world moves from analog to digital, Visa is applying our brand, products, people, network and scale to reshape the future of commerce.

At Visa, your individuality fits right in. Working here gives you an opportunity to impact the world, invest in your career growth, and be part of an inclusive and diverse workplace. We are a global team of disruptors, trailblazers, innovators and risk-takers who are helping drive economic growth in even the most remote parts of the world, creatively moving the industry forward, and doing meaningful work that brings financial literacy and digital commerce to millions of unbanked and underserved consumers.

You're an Individual. We're the team for you. Together, let's transform the way the world pays.

Job Description


General management of all aspects of local business within the cluster including business strategy, business development and portfolio management, matrixed management of functions to ensure each is aligned with global and regional strategies (in conjunction with global function heads), government officials, central banks and other regulatory institutions, people leadership (in-line sales team and dotted relationship of function teams), compliance & control. The role will report into the Group Country Manager of Sub Saharan Africa (SSA).

·       Responsible for the Southern Africa cluster consisting of around n markets i.e. Angola, Botswana, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Sao Tome and St Helena.

·       Develop and lead both short and long term cluster business strategy with critical success factors for all areas relevant to country/region; ensure plans align with enterprise strategy (as needed), and achieve intended results.

·       Oversee all client and business development activities for country(s); develop customer specific strategies and innovative solutions to drive incremental revenue/ new business growth; work with global functions in matrixed environment to ensure services support activities.

·       Accountable for optimizing resources to achieve volume and revenue targets and P&L within defined market(s) and country(s). Maximize value of investments in markets/country(s).

·       Line responsibility for sales and sales support teams

·       Lead talent initiatives including attracting, retaining and developing high performing teams and ensure organization is staffed and structured to deliver strategic objectives (both line and matrixed roles).

·       Serve as key spokesperson for the region. Monitor the development of banking, financial services and payments industry, analyze trends and understand factors affecting current and potential business results of region.  Lead Visa's strategy with Governments, Central Banks and regulators. 

·       Build and maintain productive working relationships with all key stakeholders to achieve exceptional business outcomes.

·       Ensure adequate controls are in place and actively manage compliance, regulatory and reputational issues (external and Visa internal) to mitigate business, operational, people and brand risk.



Strategic Leadership/General Management:

·       Manage financial performance, forecast and budgets.  Grow the business by developing solutions using Visa's products and services that address clients' business needs.  Identify metrics and success factors for business growth.   

·       Set and deliver on the cluster priorities to achieve the strategic goals of the SSA region.

·       Cultivate close relationships with decision makers and senior leaders of merchants, issuers, acquirers, financial institutions, governments, central banks, regulatory institutions, Fintechs / emerging digital ecosystems and partner companies (as relevant) to stay abreast of their strategies, priorities and business issues. 

·       Influence Visa leadership outside the region as appropriate to ensure adequate support and approval, ensure maximum cooperation, liaison and communication across country/market.

·       Represent Visa within markets across sales, regulatory affairs, corporate and social responsibility by speaking at conferences and business meetings and undertaking media/public relations activities to shape perceptions of Visa.  Work with global functions to maximize utilization of Visa resources.

·       Take the lead in managing and maximizing return on all resources applied to the country(s) including sales, product, marketing and operational resources to ensure highest levels of service excellence are achieved.

·       Proactively work with SSA Region functions (finance, product, marketing, corporate relations, merchants, digital, compliance, risk, HR) to ensure that each function is aligned and actively supports the strategic agenda of the cluster.

·       Provide integral feedback loop to global functions and other regions on client related issues to help shape and address client needs and develop meaningful solutions.

·       Balance growth and innovation with risk.  Take appropriate calculated risks to innovate while ensuring Visa's brand and reputation remain above reproach.

·       Develop and grow local market share by both identifying, developing and securing new business opportunities and expanding existing business.


Client Leadership:

·       Provide oversight on country(s) strategies and key account plans, prioritize and coordinate product, client and brand marketing initiatives in conjunction with global and local marketing team.   Ensure Playbooks are developed as required by each client segment and achieve intended goals and results. 

·       Lead client sales function; ensure enterprise/country specific targets and objectives are met or exceeded (direct line responsibility for client sales).

·       Adapt business strategy to protect existing business as well as capitalize on new opportunities.

·       Understand and influence product positioning and pricing of Visa and competitors' products in clients' product portfolios.

·       Develop a pipeline of innovative and differentiated product and service capabilities that are targeted at delivering enterprise objectives/strategies.


People Leadership:

·       Manage a geographically disperse team to achieve agreed business and function priorities, develop and communicate strategic objectives for the country(s) that inspires commitment.

·       Serve as role model for leadership team; hold individuals accountable for commitments, promote transparency and healthy debate on key issues and demonstrate ethical behavior, act with integrity.

·       Develop collaborative cross-functional teams – to ensure optimal end-to-end deployment of new Visa products and services. 

·       Ensure development and succession (where appropriate) plans are in place for leadership team.   Work with other counterparts in Visa to develop country manager successor candidates.

·       Serve on Sub Saharan Leadership Team.

·       Hire, select and develop best in class talent; set high standards of performance and coaching and developing leaders to achieve success.

·       Mediate conflicts among teams to help them find integrative solutions.


·       10+ years industry experience, preferably in global payments

·       Prior Country Manager experience of 1- 5 years

·       Languages needed: English-speaking

·       Country of origin/Culture fit: Globally aware individual, adaptable to local environment

·       Academic credentials: BA/BS required; MBA preferred   

·       Growing a business in a high-growth / fast-paced environment would be advantageous.

·       Leading key client relationships and growing significant sales portfolios.

·       Track record of leading businesses in the capture, expansion / extension and retention of client relationships.

·       Strong B2B2C experience, with knowledge of expanding into new customer distribution channels.

·       Robust decision-making and analytical skills.  Strong command of financial, market and consumer data with the ability to grasp complex and detailed issues.  Financially literate with an excellent understanding of risk management.

·       Demonstrated success developing strategy and leading it through to execution and delivery.  Consistent record of having met challenging financial and business targets.

·       An appreciation and resonance around political, governmental and regulatory environments in the Southern Africa markets would be desirable.

·       Commercially astute with experience of working in a global matrix organisation with the ability to navigate complex structures and empower decision-making locally.

·       Proven success managing large client relationships and developing new business opportunities with key partners in the market.  Leads and inspires the team with a growth mindset and a real passion for digital and innovation.

·       Experience of working in a multi-national, multi-cultural, diverse and highly-matrixed organisation with the ability to make an impact and gain immediate respect and credibility.

·       An intellectually curious but humble leader with a high degree of compassion, able to engage, enable and inspire others.

·       A hands-on approach to all activities with real passion and high levels of energy.  Agile and comfortable adapting to different environments.

·       Creative and resourceful in overcoming barriers and unexpected roadblocks.  Courageous in spirit, driving change through innovation.

Additional Information

Common Purpose, Uncommon Opportunity.  Everyone at Visa works with one goal in mind – making sure that Visa is the best way to pay and be paid, for everyone everywhere. This is our global vision and the common purpose that unites the entire Visa team.  As a global payments technology company, tech is at the heart of what we do: Our VisaNet network processes over 13,000 transactions per second for people and businesses around the world, enabling them to use digital currency instead of cash and checks. We are also global advocates for financial inclusion, working with partners around the world to help those who lack access to financial services join the global economy. Visa’s sponsorships, including the Olympics and FIFA™ World Cup, celebrate teamwork, diversity, and excellence throughout the world. If you have a passion to make a difference in the lives of people around the world, Visa offers an uncommon opportunity to build a strong, thriving career. Visa is fueled by our team of talented employees who continuously raise the bar on delivering the convenience and security of digital currency to people all over the world. Join our team and find out how Visa is everywhere you want to be.

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