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ekaterra - Area Sales/ Distributor Manager

Customer Development
Kuala Lumpur, Kuala Lumpur

Who we are…and what we do 

With an annual turnover of around €2bn, ekaterra is the world’s largest tea business, with world-class, purpose-driven brands such as Lipton, Pukka, Tazo, T2 and PG Tips. ‘eka’ is a word taken from the Sanskrit language which means unity and one purpose, while ‘terra’ represents the earth and nature. As ekaterra we are truly united in one purpose: growing a world of wellbeing through the regenerative power of plants.

In July 2022, CVC Capital Partners Fund VIII took over the full ownership of the ekaterra business from its previous owner, Unilever. As a standalone entity with a dedicated single-category focus, ekaterra is even better positioned to lead the tea industry, delivering higher growth and value, and a greater impact on the wider world. With 11 production factories in four continents and tea growing estates in three countries, ekaterra is a profitable and growing business whose brands reach hundreds of millions of consumers. It has a presence in over 100 countries.

Under the ownership of CVC, ekaterra has an exciting future ahead with opportunities for increased investments in our iconic brands, our people, and our capabilities.  Combining the strength and scale of our brands with a focus on speed and agility, ekaterra is brewing a corporate start-up mindset that’s opening-up new opportunities for its people to flourish every day.

At ekaterra, we put consumer love at the heart of every decision. We celebrate diverse thinkers who take personal ownership to connect ideas and make impactful things happen; people who share our values around humanity and courage and give their commitment to nurturing the wellbeing of all. In return, we offer a working culture that gives our people freedom and flexibility, and where they can grow both personally and professionally to master their field.

Be part of our amazing blend. Come and grow yourself and, in turn, help us to grow a world of wellbeing.

Your Role

The purpose of the role is to maximize key commercial KPIs within your assigned geographical region, Central Kuala Lumpur and Perak, through management of selected distribution partners, identifying and executing growth opportunities and driving best in class activation.

Key responsibilities include the following:  

  • Management of distributors in the assigned area, with respect to infrastructure, process and overall operations to ensure outstanding implementation channel specific of brand / category and Point of Purchase (POP)/ Outlets vision, while ensuring agreed ROI and distribution objectives

  • Develop and train the distributor operation managers and the distributor sales representatives

  • Carry out strategies formulated by line manager in assigned area

Your Key Tasks

  • Understand the impact of geographic, demographic etc. factors on retail environment and assess customer and channel attractiveness

  • Assist in determination of channel priorities based on brand / channel objectives and implement action plans

  • Interpret findings of shopper insight into local context / activity and identify trends, provide inputs to category managers to identify new opportunities

  • Identify opportunities and develop a business plan by distributor each year

  • Align distributor business plan with company’s strategy into action plan

  • Identify resources and infrastructure gaps and correcting them as per schedule

  • Monitor implementation of business plan; volume, value, growth, infrastructure and resources.

  • Review performance against target of resources. Recommend capability development initiatives through coaching, sharing best practices

  • Monitor customer for achievement of target and maintenance of agreed ROI and suggest alternatives

  • Build and maintain relationships with key customers in the area

  • Understand the POP vision by channel and evaluate quality of implantation and suggest / drive corrective action

  • Analyze category / brand / SKU performance and prepare customer specific sales plan to achieve brand objectives

  • Monitor implementation of channel specific activities and report performance. Take initiative for improving efficacy

  • Make recommendations to improve availability, visibility (initiatives at distributor end)

  • Roll out and monitor visibility improvement initiatives

  • Motivates and leads the team and activates relevant network to assist in achievement of objectives. Ensures implementation of appropriate company guidelines

  • Identify, plan and implement actions to assist in performance improvement of team through; coaching, guidance, delegation, recommendation to training, projects etc.

  • Manage resources such as territory managers, distributors, distributor managers, sales representatives and 3P’s (Merchandising)

Stakeholder Management and Key Interfaces


  • Line manager

  • Marketing

  • Trade Marketing

  • Supply Chain

  • Category Management

  • Finance


  • 3rd party merchandiser and field sales agencies (if applicable)

  • Customer buyers and Category Managers

  • Distributors

Skills and Experience

Educational Background:

  • Commercial degree, preferably in sales and marketing

Must haves:

  • Minimum 3 years of experience in distributor/ customer management

  • Proven track record of delivery topline and bottom-line results

  • Proven track record of managing multiple stakeholders and delivering operational excellence

  • Communication and presentation skills

  • Problem solving skills

  • Synthesis of data and insight

  • Crisis management skills

  • Proficient in English language

Nice to have:

  • B2B experience - Food Solutions 

  • Experience within the beverages/ tea category 

Who we are looking for

  • Leadership – ability to enable, envision, energize direct and indirect team – and drive for results

  • Bias for action, drive for results

  • Networking and influencing

  • Confidence and fearlessness to take decisions, exercise autonomy.

  • A strong sense of ownership and accountability

  • Organizationally and analytically strong

  • High level of resilience and problem solving.

  • Ability to inspire and motivate.

  • A dot connector.

  • Curiosity: A customer centric mindset.

  • You love to win, and have fun doing it.

  • Ability to perform under pressure.

  • Relevant values, drivers for this role

    • Performance and growth mindset

    • Agility to thrive in a volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous world

    • Flexibility to drive change

  • Transparency and openness

  • Passionate about Tea

What we can offer you

We believe that growth is for everyone, we believe in growing leaders and making space to grow an owner’s mentality and like nature we adapt, we change and we grow. We believe in connections over hierarchies and work levels. We have a 'corporate start-up' approach; we act with speed and agility and we have the strength and scale of a large corporation. We are building a better world of wellbeing and a better you.

Excited about the Role?

Please apply online by clicking on “Apply” below. Your application will be reviewed against our requirements. Should you not meet our immediate requirements, your profile will be registered in our talent pool system and we will match your profile to suitable future vacancies.

You will be able to access your status update through the candidate tracking link.

Thank you for your interest and application. Should you require additional information, please contact Min Jie Lee via this email: Min-jie.lee@ekaterratea.com

ekaterra is an organisation committed to equity, inclusion and diversity to drive our business results and create a better future, every day, for our employees, global consumers, partners, and communities. We believe a diverse workforce allows us to match our growth ambitions and drive inclusion across the business. We are interested in every individual bringing their whole self to work and this includes you! Therefore if you require any support or access requirements, we encourage you to advise us at the time of your application so that we can support you through your recruitment journey.

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