[Vacancy]: R&D Manager, BPC, West Africa Needed at Unilever

March 14, 2024

Job Description


Find your purpose at Unilever. You will lead innovations, big and small, that will make our business win and grow. You will learn from brilliant business leaders and colleagues in a truly global and diverse culture to ultimately become a better you. If you are  If you are passionate about identifying consumer needs and creating solutions; conceptualizing ideas; product testing and design; new product development and brilliant execution of Technical Projects,  then this role is just for you.


Key tasks of the role holder will therefore be, but not limited to:

  • Responsible for execution of BWPC Nigeria R&D activity plans for innovation, Complexity Reduction & 5S, product superiority and sustainability, leadership for local initiatives Beauty Well Being and Personal Care across West Africa including globally led and local innovation projects, Supply Chain capacity building through onshoring projects, local supplier development (RM & PM), resilience initiatives, and 5S savings opportunities.
  • Bring R&D leadership into the BT Meetings and clarity with accountability on R&D deliveries in the key nosiness projects.
  • Support the regulatory compliance agenda in line with business and audit requirements for our operations in Nigeria in Collaboration with the Regulatory Team Lead.
  •  Product Compliance, Ensuring Regulatory compliance, and speedy delivery of new innovations.
  • Co-leading innovation using internal and external partners.
  • Be the R&D “face” to the cross-functional team within the BWPC BT teams to land innovations with scale and impact.
  • Responsible for the BWPC (Beauty & Wellbeing/Personal Care) R&D program ensuring OTIF delivery.  Managing and business partnering local stakeholders as required.
  • Be an active and engaged member of the respective Business Team in West Africa.
  • Responsible for providing technical support for claims, compliance, and activation.
  • Provide market insights & as appropriate monitor specific developments/activities of competitors, Key Opinion Formers, etc.
  • Interrogation of R&D data systems.  Evaluation and visualization of data analysis results.
  • Support data enhancements for the effective operation of PLM.
  • Responsible for the support provided for strategic business programs requiring R&D input, e.g. Digital projects, Supply & MET operations, Project Flash.
  • Lead and manage a team of R&D colleagues.
  • Actively participate as a leader in the wider R&D organization and actively engage as part of the extended R&D community.
  • Comply with all business policies, especially SHE/QA policies, and the Code of Business Principles


Experiences & Qualifications

R&D Program Leadership:

  • At least 7+ years of expertise in conceptualizing and bringing to market products that captivate consumers within the relevant FMCG sector (e.g., Beauty/Personal Care, Consumer Health, Food & Beverages). This includes hands-on involvement in:
  • Simultaneously overseeing a diverse portfolio of multiple brands, each catering to distinct consumer demographics.
  • Managing both internally developed and externally sourced products/packs.
  • Developing and Deploying exciting Knowledge-Based Selling (KBS) and Demos for innovations to key stakeholders, trade and consumers.
  • Spearheading diverse innovation and project types, ranging from disruptive initiatives to cost optimization strategies.
  • Demonstrated leadership experience in managing a team of R&D professionals.
  • Proven history of establishing robust collaborations, particularly with cross-functional partners and key stakeholders (SC, Marketing, CMI & Sales).
  • Proficiency in translating technical and scientific concepts into engaging communication suitable for diverse audiences, both internal and external.
  • Extensive experience in effectively contextualizing various levels of technical complexity.
  • Experience working with diverse teams – Global & Regional.
  • Leading & Driving Technical Risk Assessment & Crafting Mitigating Plan.

Talent & Organizational Development:

  • Proven history of recognizing and unlocking the capabilities of individuals and teams operating within the domains of Innovation, R&D, and Cost optimization.
  • Extensive background in shaping and building capabilities to align with the evolving requirements of the organization.
  • Acknowledged for building effective, successful, and contented teams, with expertise in guiding them through periods of change.

Consumer Focused:

  • Expertise in seeking out and transforming consumer data into valuable insights and utilizing community/human/consumer design to create distinctly unique product and/or packaging experiences.
  • Capability to convert consumer needs and aspirations into tangible technical elements in product/pack design.
  • Continuous appraisal of products (internal and external) aimed at insights generation (quantitative and qualitative research)


  • Strong Beauty and Personal Care category experience is preferred.
  • Relevant science-based education, preferably in Chemistry or Chemical Engineering.
  • Project management skills including engineering projects.
  • Experience of process control, HAZOP, HACCP, and safety management systems.
  • Knowledge of data management, ideally specifications.
  • Good analytical skills.  Ability to distill information from multiple data sources.
  • Strong team player with strong communication skills.  An ability to simplify technical jargon.
  • Project management, influencing & problem-solving skills.  Ability to work under pressure.
  • Team Leadership skills.
  • An ability to lead multiple people across multiple markets.
  • Personal accountability.  An ability & confidence to act as a Category R&D representative


  • You are an inclusive motivator of people. Your team delivers with real passion, growing and learning from each other whilst delivering quick wins.
  • You are still responsible for your own results and as a manager, you also need to motivate others to deliver with passion, creating an inclusive and engaging climate around you. You can balance challenge with support and coaching. You understand the wider business context and you are emotionally intelligent enough to motivate people to deliver what is needed.

Critical SOL (Standards of Leadership) Behaviors

  • PERSONAL MASTERY: Sets high standards for themselves. Has emotional intelligence to take feedback, manage mood and motivations, and build empathy for others.
  • PASSION FOR HIGH PERFORMANCE: Generates intensity and focus to motivate people to deliver results at speed. Takes personal responsibility and accountability for execution and results.
  • TALENT CATALYST: Invests in people – coaches individuals and teams to realize their full potential. Creates an inclusive climate, empowering everyone to be at their best.
  • PURPOSE & SERVICE: Has humility, and understanding that leadership is service to others, inside and outside Unilever.
  • CONSUMER LOVE: Invests time inside and outside to understand the needs of consumers.
  • BUSINESS ACUMEN: Creates sustainable growth with purpose, engaging different partners across the system for change.

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