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Technology, Media and Telecommunications

Network Director

Poa Internet is a multiple award winning, Kenyan based Internet Service Provider at the forefront of providing internet connectivity into underserved communities throughout Africa. The business started 5 years ago in Kibera Nairobi and has seen rapid growth making it already the 4th largest ISP in Kenya.

Nairobi, Kenya
The Role

Ultimately, Poa’s goal is to facilitate internet services into every home in Africa, and as such they have developed a proprietary platform that revolutionises Internet delivery to provide reliable, pre-paid, home and public internet services at an incredibly affordable price.

At the heart of Poa lies their core values, CONNECT:

C reate a better world for the people we serve
O pen our eyes to problems and opportunities
N ever stop learning, never stop moving forward
N ame it, own it, solve it
E ngage with the big picture, even in the details
C are about each other
T ujienjoy kazini (enjoy yourself at work)

Thanks to this ongoing success and further investment, Poa plans to scale its Kenyan operations, which will see an increase from the current 12 networks to over 400 networks within the next three years. They now require a Network Director who will be critical to reach this objective.

Mission Statement for the Role:

To own the end to end technical and operational aspects of the company's network in Kenya, to ensure the business can rapidly scale in line with the business plan. The role covers all aspects of planning, designing, building, optimising, supporting and maintaining the company's network. Ensure that the networking department utilises the most cost-effective quality strategies at all times and delivers the greatest "bang for the buck". Make sure the technical delivery of the Kenyan business is in line with Group architectural guidelines.

Overall Responsibility:

The Poa network, which covers all hardware, planning, build, deployment, maintenance and support of all Network assets managed nationally across Kenya.

Financial Responsibility:

All Network Capex, Network Opex, IP Bandwidth, Network Headcount, Outsource Network Partner Opex, Network Systems Opex

People Responsibility:

Currently 8 people, across Design, Planning, Build, and Support. Will require design and scale-up hiring to deploy nationally as well as potentially looking at outsourced deployment capabilities

Key SMART Results for A-Player Success:

1. Design and build a world-class Network Engineering function, hiring and building the capability to achieve growth targets of 200,000 customers within 5 years

2. Build a national Fixed Wireless Access network of ca 200 towers to accommodate over 30,000 home internet customers and 50,000 street Wi-Fi customers by 2Q22

3. Expand the national Fixed Wireless Access network of circa 750+ towers in year 2, with the capability of supporting, ca 100k home internet customers and over 200,000 street Wi-Fi customers by end 4Q23

4. All new Network areas are built on time and within Cost budgets of the Business Plan by the end of 4Q21

5. Industry-leading Service Availability in Kenya to our customers with fully aligned and accountable supplier partners by end of 1Q22

6. All Networks are Operated within SLA's and adhere to ongoing network cost budgets by the end of 1Q22

7. All networks built and operated to approved architecture, working closely with CTO to translate architecture into operational delivery, being fully documented and trained out across the organisation by the end of 3Q21

8. Implement a strategy for 24/7/365 pro-active real-time monitoring, maintenance and reporting of service status and availability across all Network assets by the end of 4Q21

9. Implement a rolling process of Network optimisation to proactively predict, plan and execute on areas of contention and growth in order to deliver and operate the plan by End 3Q21

Level of Management Experience required (Mandatory & Nice to Have):

Mandatory - senior experience of building and operating successful Telecom Network Engineering functions in Africa, ideally in fast-moving consumer ISP and ideally utilising at least some wireless technologies.

Department stage of development where this role sits (starting, preparing for scale, scaling, mature)

Prepare for Scale / Scaling / Systemisation / Team Building / Coaching / Mentorship

Core energy required for this position (e.g. Sirdar Profile Type)

Cultivator / Conductor

Key Competencies and Criticality (H,M,L):

1. Build High Performing Telecom Network Engineering Teams that can collaborate and work together and work across functions - Highly Critical

2. Operated a national (or international) Telecom Infrastructure Network and can demonstrate understanding of the critical links between delivering ultra low cost, yet high-quality services and unit economics to scale - Highly Critical

3. Has systemised an operation from start-up to scale up, across multiple functional departments, to drive cost reduction and an ability to rapidly scale while reducing risk - Medium Critical

4. Has been involved in the planning and execution of a nationwide telecom network in Africa (ideally Kenya), of which a significant technology element was wireless - Highly Critical

5. Designed and Deployed business models that have succesfully operated with both insource and outsource partners to optimise cost of quality Platform deployment across Kenya - Highly Critical

6. Build and Operate a rolling network expansion strategy aligning with Supply Chain Logistics and Business Planning to ensure optimal deployment - Medium Critical

7. Strong collaborative interaction across multiple parts of business, especially around customer experience, capacity planning, forecasting, and procurement - Highly Critical

8. Experience of operating at a senior level in a consumer technology service business- Medium Critical

9. Experience managing and operating networks and people across multiple geographies with majority of workforce and partners in the field- Medium Critical

Mandatory Criteria:

1. Must have operated in a business with similar Values and DNA to Poa to ensure cultural alignment
2. Must have built and supported and directly been part of hiring for rapid large scale growth organisation including countries in East Africa
3. Must have worked with multicultural leadership/investment groups
4. Must have joined a company and worked with a CTO co-founder and transitioned from startup to scaleup
5. Must have built a significant scale Telecom infrastructure in a developing market, ideally using multiple technologies

Since 2007 Millar Cameron has specialised in sourcing leadership and keyperson talent across a number of industries, including agribusiness, international development, industrial, consumer, financial and professional services, private equity, and technology, media and telecommunications. Our mission and purpose is to positively contribute to the development of Africa, and other emerging markets, through the provision of people.

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