Company Overview is building the first fully-mobile Artificial Intelligence platform for traditional retail, beginning in Africa. We are headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya and San Francisco, CA. We share a collective desire to utilize technology to transform the lives of billions of people who continue to lack access to it. DukaConnect started its prototyping journey in 2016 and we are now fine-tuning our neural networks ready for product launch in early 2018. We are united by our dream of transforming trade in emerging markets to bring out its full potential. Our founding team consists of Harvard, Stanford and MIT alumni who together have previously built successful companies in Africa and the US and have deep expertise in the traditional retail and machine learning. We are backed by top-tier European, African, and US VC investors as well as the Stanford StartX accelerator.

Role Description

We are looking for a Commercial Director based in Nairobi to start ASAP. As the Principal Commercial Director, you will be in charge of driving forward our product deployment. You will lead our field operations and be our eyes and ears as we bring our products to shops and manufacturers. You will guide our design process in the field, working closely with small mom and pop shops, our corporate partners, and our technology team. You will develop partnerships with fast moving consumer goods companies, both multinationals and local players, as well as other potential partners.

You are a visionary leader as well as an entrepreneurial spirit who thrives equally in executing day-to-day and driving forward the overall vision of the company together with the co-founders. You feel comfortable and energized in the boardroom and in the heat and dust of Africa’s informal settlements alike. You excel at building strong relationships with the corporate world and with a diverse group of mom and pop shop owners in the field. You derive energy from your excitement for making a difference in Africa and beyond and inspire your team with your passion.


  • Be our ear and eye on the ground co-leading the iterative design process with shopkeepers
  • Lead operational product roll out and customer support teams
  • Develop commercial opportunities and partnerships with fast moving consumer goods players and other potential partners
  • Lead business development team for ongoing relationship management with key partners
  • Identify product needs from shopkeepers and corporate partners and work with CTO to turn ideas into products
  • Work closely with the co-founders to develop a strong culture at DukaConnect

Ideal candidates likely fit into one of these two profiles:

1. You are a senior executive in the fast-moving consumer goods industry with >10 years of experience, ideally in the area of sales, marketing and/or strategy. You have been with more than one FMCG player, know the industry inside out and have established strong networks. You are looking for a new challenge and the idea of fundamentally transforming the industry with technology excites you. Ideally, you have been exposed to a fast-paced startup environment and its challenges in some form.

2. You have a successful track record in building and scaling up products in a startup environment. You have had senior management roles and experienced building (tech) products from early stages to financial viability. In your previous endeavors, you have dealt with both building corporate partnerships as well as actively operated in a field setting with either consumers or SMEs. Ideally you have a good understanding of the retail and FMCG industry.

In either case, candidates should have the following experience:

  • Work and life experience in Africa (ideally fluency in Kiswahili)
  • Experience in leading field and business development teams
  • High level of intrinsic motivation and a clear track record of excellence
  • Strong team player
  • Passion to make a difference in Africa and beyond

Reporting: The role reports directly to the CEO and works closely with the CEO and CTO on a daily basis.

Compensation: This is a key role in our executive team with cash and significant equity compensation.

Expected Start Date: ASAP

Application Instructions: Email