Alariss Insights

Top Skills Companies Look for in a Country Manager

June 29, 2021

In the face of the wave of global business expansion of multinational companies, a new job position appeared in the recruitment market, which is Country Manager, or National Managing Director. So what is a Country Manager? What is the job description of a Country Manager? 

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What is a Country Manager?

According to JobHero, Country Manager is a title only available in multinational companies. These companies do business in at least two or more countries and are an important link in globalization. The Country Manager’s primary responsibility is to be in charge of business development in a particular country or region. This is an important position for companies that are oriented to expand their business internationally. They handle a wide range of tasks such as launching, developing, and managing the production and distribution of a business’s products or services in a given country.

Main job duties of a Country Manager?

A Country Manager holds a particularly important role and requires a high degree of autonomy. This is also one of the senior management positions, usually reporting directly to the CEO.

According to ZipRecruiter, The following are some of the main job duties of a Country Manager:

  1. Manage all business activities in one country

The Country Manager will be the person responsible for the highest management for all business activities of the enterprise in a country. This means they will be responsible for revenue, profit, working capital, and product quality goals.

  1. Operational budget management

The Country Manager’s job is to establish operating budgets and create detailed annual business plans. At the same time, it is also necessary to ensure that the monthly, quarterly, and annual targets are met in terms of revenue, profit and finance.

  1. Employee Management

The Country Manager is responsible for recruiting and managing all employees under his/her headquarter. In addition, it is also responsible for monitoring the performance of subordinate employees, advising them on professional skills, and organizing training programs to improve employee productivity.

  1. Working with partners and agents in the country they are in charge of

In the role of the business representative in a country, the Country Manager will have to regularly work with the partners and agents of the business in that country. Therefore, the Country Manager is required to be able to communicate effectively.

  1. Report

Another important task of the Country Manager is to provide complete and timely business results reports on a monthly, quarterly, or yearly basis.

What skills and qualifications do Country Managers require?

A Country Manager should meet the following qualifications and skills requirements:

  1. Professional qualifications

Country Managers usually require a general degree with an aptitude for learning more things given the changing nature of the role. Flexibility and willingness to keep learning and the ability to adapt with humility and resilience are a must because of the rapidly changing business environment. A Country Manager needs to have data-driven decision-making qualifications and be able to manage projects effectively while working on multifaceted projects with many different stakeholders. 

In addition, Country Managers need a deep understanding of how a business works and a keen business mindset. At the same time, they must have knowledge and experience of the field in which their company operates and understand the company’s products and services. In terms of personal skills, a good Country Manager will need to be a good interpersonal communicator and possess leadership skills to lead the team toward success. 

Country Manager | Profit Point EU

Source: Country Manager | Profit Point EU

  1. Skills

According to the article “7 science-backed skills that will make you better at your job” and information collected from JobHero, to take on the role of a Country Manager, you need to have the following skills:

  • Strong organizational management skills: being a Country Manager, you need to have good management skills to manage the company in all aspects. For example, an Uber Country Manager needs to lead the market expansion and will require strong organizational skills to represent the company in another country while liaising with HQ. You have to deal with 360-degree management with a big picture of the overall business. 
  • Excellent people and stakeholder management skills, as well as strong written and verbal communication capabilities. The Country Manager must operate in diverse environments and across time zones, which requires a high level of coordination and thoughtful communication. 
  • Strong critical thinking skills:  Country Managers are essentially starting a new company from scratch, which requires management, planning, and decision-making. To practice critical thinking skills, you need to look at the problem from many angles and always ask the question: What if it went the other way? Why choose option 2 instead of option 1? This mindset will help you have many different ways to handle situations and help you improve your problem-solving skills.

Along with the aforementioned skills, it is recommended to have experience living abroad. Country Managers in particular need to be sensitive to cultural differences. You should be adaptive to different cultures, ready to learn and adapt yourself, adopt a learner’s mindset, and be empathetic.

Although a Country Manager’s job is filled with challenges due to the specifics of the business, market, or business sector, it is certainly an extremely interesting and rewarding position. It is also a job that has inherent uncertainty, as there is no guarantee a company will succeed in a new market.  Therefore, if you love this job, take the initiative to learn new things and actively train yourself to become a flexible and responsive person.

We hope the above article has provided you with useful information about the Country Manager role. If you would like to hire or to become a Country Manager, please do not hesitate to reach out at [email protected]. We would love to be your global expansion partner and to help make your dreams come true.

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