Research and Development (R&D) Manager, BPC, West Africa at Unilever Nigeria Plc

Unilever Nigeria Plc – Welcome to Unilever, a global multinational and fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) company with products sold in over 190 countries and more than 2 billion consumers across the world who use our amazing products everyday!

We are recruiting to fill the position below:

Job Title: Research and Development (R&D) Manager, BPC, West Africa

Job ID: R-85708
Location: Oregun, Lagos
Category: Research/Development
Function: Research and Development


  • Unilever is currently hiring for Research and Development Manager, Beauty Well Being and Personal Care, West Africa

Category / Function Introduction

  • Our team of world-leading scientists, researchers and professionals creates innovations that drive growth for our business and deliver positive impacts for people, society and our planet.
  • For more than 100 years, we have been using our differentiated science and technology to create the superior products and experiences our consumers love.  R&D has always been a growth enabler for Unilever and now, more than ever, we have a critical role to play in driving our future-fit organizational strategy.

Our vision is to innovate boldly for people and the planet:

  • We deliver on this vision by developing superior products and experiences that improve people’s health, confidence, and wellbeing, and make a positive impact on our planet.

A truly global R&D:

  • We are a global team of scientists, researchers, and professionals responsible for translating the latest science and technology into cutting-edge innovations.
  • Every single Unilever product requires R&D expertise to thrive, so we must get as close as we can to our brand teams.  More than 80% of our R&D colleagues work within the Business Groups, with the remaining 20% forming our global Digital R&D, SEAC and Regulatory Affairs capabilities.
  • Our global R&D team spans 60+ countries and we leverage Global Innovations Centres and Regional Innovation Hubs.
  • To maximise our capabilities, we connect with a network of universities, start-ups, and partners through our innovation ecosystem.

Job Purpose

  • Find your purpose at Unilever. You will lead innovations, big and small, that will make our business win and grow.
  • You will learn from brilliant business leaders and colleagues in a truly global and diverse culture to ultimately become a better you.
  • If you are  If you are passionate about identifying consumer needs and creating solutions; conceptualizing ideas; product testing and design; new product development and brilliant execution of Technical Projects,  then this role is just for you.

What will your Main Responsibilities Be
Key tasks of the role holder will therefore be, but not limited to:

  • Responsible for execution of BWPC Nigeria R&D activity plans for innovation, Complexity Reduction & 5S, product superiority and sustainability, leadership for local initiatives Beauty Well Being and Personal Care across West Africa including globally led and local innovation projects, Supply Chain capacity building through onshoring projects, local supplier development (RM & PM), resilience initiatives, and 5S savings opportunities.
  • Bring R&D leadership into the BT Meetings and clarity with accountability on R&D deliveries in the key nosiness projects.
  • Support the regulatory compliance agenda in line with business and audit requirements for our operations in Nigeria in Collaboration with the Regulatory Team Lead.
  •  Product Compliance, Ensuring Regulatory compliance, and speedy delivery of new innovations.
  • Interrogation of R&D data systems.  Evaluation and visualisation of data analysis results.
  • Support data enhancements for the effective operation of PLM.
  • Responsible for the support provided for strategic business programmes requiring R&D input, e.g. Digital projects, Supply & MET operations, Project Flash.
  • Lead and manage a team of R&D colleagues.
  • Actively participate as a leader in the wider R&D organisation and actively engage as part of the extended R&D community.
  • Comply with all business polices, especially SHE/QA policies, and Code of Business Principles
  • Co Leading Innovation using internal and external partners.
  • Be the R&D “face” to the cross-functional team within the BWPC BT teams to land innovations with scale and impact.
  • Responsible for the BWPC (Beauty & Wellbeing/Personal Care) R&D program ensuring OTIF delivery.  Managing and business partnering local stakeholders as required.
  • Be an active and engaged member of the respective Business Team in West Africa.
  • Responsible for providing technical support for claims, compliance, and activation.
  • Provide market insights & as appropriate monitor specific developments/activities of competitors, Key Opinion Formers, etc.

What You Will Need to Succeed
Experiences & Qualifications:
R&D Program Leadership:

  • At least 7+ years of expertise in conceptualizing and bringing to market products that captivate consumers within the relevant FMCG sector (e.g., Beauty/Personal Care, Consumer Health, Food & Beverages). This includes hands-on involvement in:
  • Simultaneously overseeing a diverse portfolio of multiple brands, each catering to distinct consumer demographics.
  • Proven history of establishing robust collaborations, particularly with cross-functional partners and key stakeholders (SC, Marketing, CMI & Sales).
  • Proficiency in translating technical and scientific concepts into engaging communication suitable for diverse audiences, both internal and external.
  • Extensive experience in effectively contextualizing various levels of technical complexity.
  • Experience working with diverse teams – Global & Regional.
  • Leading & Driving Technical Risk Assessment & Crafting Mitigating Plan.
  • Managing both internally developed and externally sourced products/packs.
  • Developing and Deploying exciting Knowledge-Based Selling (KBS) and Demos for innovations to key stakeholders, trade and consumers.
  • Spearheading diverse innovation and project types, ranging from disruptive initiatives to cost optimization strategies.
  • Demonstrated leadership experience in managing a team of R&D professionals.

Talent & Organizational Development:

  • Proven history of recognizing and unlocking the capabilities of individuals and teams operating within the domains of Innovation, R&D, and Cost optimization.
  • Extensive background in shaping and building capabilities to align with the evolving requirements of the organization.
  • Acknowledged for building effective, successful, and contented teams, with expertise in guiding them through periods of change.

Consumer Focused:

  • Expertise in seeking out and transforming consumer data into valuable insights and utilizing community/human/consumer design to create distinctly unique product and/or packaging experiences.
  • Capability to convert consumer needs and aspirations into tangible technical elements in product/pack design.
  • Continuous appraisal of products (internal and external) aimed at insights generation (quantitative and qualitative research)


  • Strong Beauty and Personal Care category experience is preferred.
  • Relevant science-based education, preferably in Chemistry or Chemical Engineering.
  • Project management skills including engineering projects.
  • Strong team player with strong communication skills.  An ability to simplify technical jargon.
  • Project management, influencing & problem-solving skills.  Ability to work under pressure.
  • Team Leadership skills.
  • An ability to lead multiple people across multiple markets.
  • Personal accountability.  An ability & confidence to act as a Category R&D representative
  • Experience of process control, HAZOP, HACCP and safety management system.
  • Knowledge of data management, ideally specifications.
  • Good analytical skills.  Ability to distil information from multiple data sources.


  • You are an inclusive motivator of people. Your team deliver with real passion, growing and learning from each other whilst delivering quick wins.
  • You are still responsible for your own results and as a manager, you also need to motivate others to deliver with passion, creating an inclusive and engaging climate around you. You can balance challenge with support and coaching. You understand the wider business context and you are emotionally intelligent enough to motivate people to deliver what is needed.

Critical SOL (Standards of Leadership) Behaviors:

  • Personal Mastery: Sets high standards for themselves. Has emotional intelligence to take feedback, manage mood and motivations, and build empathy for others.
  • Passion for High Performance: Generates intensity and focus to motivate people to deliver results at speed. Takes personal responsibility and accountability for execution and results.
  • Talent Catalyst: Invests in people – coaches individuals and teams to realize their full potential. Creates an inclusive climate, empowering everyone to be at their best.
  • Purpose & Service: Has humility, understanding that leadership is service to others, inside and outside Unilever.
  • Consumer Love: Invests time inside and outside to understand the needs of consumers.
  • Bsuiness Acumen: Creates sustainable growth with purpose, engaging different partners across the system for change.


How to Apply
Interested and qualified candidates should:
Click here to apply

Closing date: Not specified