How to overcome the challenges of scaling a FinTech Pan-Africa

DPO Group launched operations in Kenya in 2006 and since then has expanded across East, West and Southern Africa through organic growth and strategic acquisitions.

The company is among the largest payment service providers in Africa following the acquisition of PayFast in July, serving some 100,000 merchants

In Sub-Saharan Africa, the growth of mobile money is playing a pivotal role in extending financial services to those people traditionally excluded from the financial system. In Ghana, Uganda, Rwanda, Kenya and Tanzania, where DPO Group has been operating since early 2006, its partnership with mobile
money operators such as M-Pesa, Airtel, Tigo, MTN and Orange has allowed consumers to pay their bills and shop online easily.

The Challenge of PanAfrican Expansion

After raising private equity funding from Apis Partners in 2016, DPO Group embarked on an aggressive expansion plan. The goal was simple; land, expand and hire the top talent in every market. The founders were insistent that in order to positively impact local markets, every hire they made should be from the local talent pool.

This in itself was going to present a challenge; as many of the markets DPO wanted to enter were virgin territory for online payments, therefore the talent pool was going to be extremely thin.

DPO’s existing suppliers were country-specific and did not possess the reach or experience to help DPO scale Africa.

Late in 2016, DPO’s executive team got in touch with TalentintheCloud and invited its leadership team to an intensive 3 day strategy workshop in Nairobi. After its conclusion, DPO’s leadership team had confidence that TalentintheClouds’ innovative approach to talent acquisition fitted well with their vision, and embarked on a 12-month project to hire the very best local talent for the business

TalentintheCloud created a bespoke solution for DPO designed to deliver the top percentile of candidates from each market and drive the success of DPO’s ambitious mission.

The solution initially included: digitized assessments, asynchronous video interviews, employee branding through a new careers site & programmatic advertising, the deployment of a state of the art recruitment system and a dedicated, robust account management team.

In order for the model to work so effectively, it was essential that TalentintheCloud understood the culture of DPO – what success looked like and why certain people excelled. During the discovery phase of the project, four of DPO’s top performers were interviewed and assessed resulting in a qualitative benchmark that was used to measure future candidates against.

Both DPO and TalentintheCloud refined and iterated the process by deploying new tools and strategies to deal with various nuances in specific countries. The recruitment process at DPO is now one of the slickest in Africa where the candidate experience, time to hire and most importantly the quality of hire is continually measured, analysed and improved.

Results

For the period December 2016 to December 2019 the following results have been achieved.

Talent from TalentintheCloud has generated millions of dollars in new business, new merchant accounts and strategic partnerships
57 hires across 15 countries
96.3% retention of TalentintheCloud’s candidates after 12 months
TalentintheCloud’s candidates are consistently top performers in the businessTime to interview has decreased by 80%
Offer to acceptance ratio up to 95.8%

After 3 successful years, DPO and TalentintheCloud renewed their contract and continue to work closely together on strategic markets and key hires across the continent.

Eran Feinstein, CEO of DPO Group adds “TalentintheCloud has played an important role in contributing to the success of DPO as a panAfrican payments company. The relationship we have with TalentintheCloud is a close partnership where we truly value their expertise in the FinTech sector. They deliver an unprecedented service, are always on hand to offer advice and are seen by our ExCo as an extension of our business. Their support, alongside the employee benefits and career development opportunities we offer, means that we have been able to attract and retain the most exciting fintech talent in Africa.”

Agnes Mwathi, Group Head of Talent added, “The TalentintheCloud team very quickly understood our hiring requirements and our corporate culture, consistently finding us the right people, not only to fit within our culture but also able to challenge us and help develop DPO as a business. They are professional, reliable, responsive and we look forward to our continued partnership”.

Founded in 2016, TalentintheCloud Group is a leading Executive Search firm focusing exclusively within the FinTech sector. The group has offices in London, Cape Town and Mauritius and has delivered assignments across 23 countries worldwide.

The firm plays an active role in developing and connecting the FinTech, RegTech and InsureTech eco-system across the globe with its Directors holding numerous Board positions with industry associations, NGO’s and Diversity & Equality communities.

To find out how TalentintheCloud can help your business scale by hiring business transforming talent, please visit www.talentinthecloud.io or contact us on +44 (0) 208 050 2454 / +27 (0) 82 669 8967.