President | Global Not-For-Profit
NGS Global sourced and secured the services of a distinguished leader responsible for two programs globally at an NFP.
Founded in 2000 by a Silicon Valley entrepreneur, our client was a global not-for-profit with the primary mission of accelerating economic development in emerging economies by driving large-scale job creation through entrepreneurship, innovation and skills development. Today, the foundation is scaling impact in 25 countries across Asia, Africa, and Latin America through their flagship programs in each of these areas.
In line with a recent organization redesign exercise, our client created a new role for a President to lead two of their flagship programs globally, which supported start-ups to be successful and helped small enterprises to grow to the next level, both of which in turn had the potential to drive large scale job creation.
The need was for an experienced and accomplished business leader to lead the strategy, development, and global scaling of these programs, reporting directly to the Chairman of the organization. The successful candidate had to be a hands-on, actively engaged, passionate leader willing to do elements of the job themselves; and hire, motivate and develop committed, experienced and competent leaders and their team members down the line, who were driven by the passion to give back to society.
Strategy and Approach
While our client was a not-for-profit, they were looking for an accomplished leader from the for-profit world with a drive and passion to give back to society, as the talent pool within the not-for-profit space was almost non-existent for a role like this. The leader was required to have had a track record scaling businesses, and an understanding of the challenges that start-up and small enterprise founders faced as they set up or scaled their businesses. S/he was also expected to have a strong grip on technology and platforms, as our client deployed technology extensively in scaling the impact of their programs.
The main challenge was to find accomplished corporate leaders, typically serving or former CEOs/ COOs of mid-sized to large technology companies, who understood emerging economies broadly and had some affiliation with growing enterprises. Add to that, we were challenged with the fact that while our client had budgeted this role in line with the best in the not-for-profit world, still, it was significantly less than what a typical target candidate would be earning at their current job.
Clearly, the role was meant for an accomplished leader who was now passionate about doing more meaningful work and giving back to society, along with the associated cut to their financial compensation that comes with working for a not-for-profit organization. After a deep and extensive market research exercise, wherein we reached out to over 200 candidates, we were able to shortlist four exceptional candidates, of whom one was offered the position.
Our NGS Global Value-Add
• A first-principles approach to drawing up the search strategy that was fully aligned with the client’s key asks
• Partner-led search execution to appropriately advocate the role to potential candidates, most of whom had not even thought of moving to the not-for-profit world
• Comprehensive evaluation of candidates who were interested in the opportunity, by Partners, to make sure that only those individuals who were really motivated by the desire to do meaningful work were shortlisted for the client to interview.