Vacancy – Djbouti – Business Development Manager


The Steder Group is a privately owned company with a solid track-record of more than 35 years in providing high quality, reliable and personalized services in the field of logistics and shipping.

The group’s corporate headquarters is in Rhoon (close to Rotterdam) where we employ around 90 people. Steder Group also avails of offices in Amsterdam, Antwerp, Aberdeen, Glasgow, Constanta, Djibouti, Dubai and Singapore. Overall the group employs 200+ people.

The group has 4 divisions:

Forwarding & Logistics

  • Ocean transport (incl. cross-trades)
  • Air Cargo
  • Warehousing & Distribution
  • Customs brokerage

Project Logistics

  • Global Projects Logistics
  • Heavy Lift and Exceptional Transport in Horn of Africa


  • Coastal / shortsea
  • Inland navigation

Port Services

  • Port Agency
  • Liner Agency
  • Ship’s spares logistics

More on:

Steder Group in East Africa:

The Steder Group’s development in East Africa:

1990 – 2004 Steder Group starts the distribution of Aid & Relief goods for the EU in Zimbabwe

1990 – 1992 Distribution of Aid & Relief goods for the EU via Assab/Massawa

1993 Independence of Eritrea, necessitating a shift of operations to Djibouti

2001 Food aid from the EU is stopped due to change of politics & strategy

2003 – today Steder Group becomes agent for Ethiopian Shipping Lines (ESL) in The Netherlands (since 2016 also the agent for Belgium)

2004 – 2014 Steder Group starts up a liner service from Turkey/Black Sea to Djibouti on behalf of ESL

2004 – today Steder Group becomes shipbroker for Ethiopian Shipping Lines (ESL) , chartering ships

2009 – 2011 Steder Group sets up and manages Modjo Dry Port

2011 – today Establishment of Steder Group in Djibouti. Activities: ao. Transport of project, oversized and heavy cargoes + transit formalities.

Today one of our main activities is the road transportation of project cargo from the port of Djibouti to various inland locations in East Africa. This we do as Steder Group Transport SARL.

Although the Ethiopian Government has made great efforts and investments over the recent years to develop an efficient and sustainable road network, there are still remote locations that are not easily accessible. Our mission is to provide the best logistic solution for every type of cargo (oversized and/or heavy) to any location (whether easily accessible or not).

The transport and handling of special cargo in East Africa requires special care, the right equipment and professional staff. These are the crucial elements of a good service and a pre-requisite to execute transport in a safe way. During our market survey in 2010 (“how to provide our customers with a better service in East Africa”) we reached the conclusion that there was in fact no capable logistic services provider in the area. In addition, Ethiopia is a land-locked country – depending on Djibouti as its main gateway to the sea and connectivity to ocean transport. For Steder Group these were the main reasons to establish a physical presence in Djibouti.

As a next step, we heavily invested in equipment like specialized trucks, trailers and cranes to handle such cargo. To complement our comprehensive service package, we decided to only work with our own well-trained and experienced (mostly local) personnel. In-house training, knowledge transfer and staff development are the key elements to develop our business further.

Next to the transport (and handling) of special cargo we also perform customs and transit services for cargoes moving from Djibouti to Ethiopia. This is executed by Steder Group Djibouti SARL (transit).

Steder’s next steps in East Africa:

As a next logical step, Steder now wishes to establish itself in Ethiopia. Ethiopia is one of the fastest growing economies in the world and one of the most populous and buoyant countries in the region. By setting up our Representative Office in Addis Ababa we wish to capitalize on: our existing knowledge of Ethiopia, our existing activities, our partnerships and our local network.

We are therefore looking to recruit an experienced Business Development Manager

Location: Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (and regularly commuting to Djibouti)
When: As soon as possible

The position of Business Development Manager (BDM):

The BDM’s objective is to improve Steder Group’s market position and achieve financial growth. The BDM formulates and executes the long-term strategy with regard to: organizational goals, building key customer relationships, identifying business opportunities, negotiating and closing business deals and maintaining extensive knowledge of current market conditions and developments.

The BDM’s role is to work as senior commercial person within the Steder Group. It is the BDM’s job to work with the relevant Steder Group’s teams, marketing staff and other managers to create and convert sales opportunities – thereby maximizing revenue for the Steder Group.
To achieve this, the BDM needs to find new customers, present value propositions to them, convert them into becoming actual clients and ultimately continue to grow business with them in the future.

The BDM will also assist to manage existing clients (key account management) and ensure they stay satisfied and loyal. The BDM calls on clients, often being required to make presentations on solutions and services that meet or anticipate on the clients’ future needs.

The primary role of the Business Development Manager is to identify and approach new clients through networking, cold calling, advertising or any other means of generating interest. The BDM must prepare persuasive pitches and value propositions that will convince potential clients to do business with Steder. The main, but not limited to, target market segments are:

  • Power generation and transmission including Renewables and Hydro
  • Mining
  • Construction

The BDM must develop a report with new clients, set sales targets and provide support to the customer in order to create a lasting and mutually beneficial relationship. The BDM is also required to retain and grow existing accounts by presenting new solutions and services to them. The BDM works with medior and senior level management, marketing and technical staff.

Recapitulation of tasks:

New Business Development:

  • Prospect for potential new clients and turn this into increased business.
  • Cold call as appropriate within your market or geographic area to ensure a robust pipeline of realistic opportunities.
  • Identify potential clients and the decision makers within their organization.
  • Market research
  • Build relationships with new clients.
  • Identify New Business opportunities in the region: eg. Ethiopia, Djibouti, Somaliland, South Sudan and where possible in other countries
  • Take the lead in large RFQ’s or ITB’s for potential projects in the area.

Client Retention:

  • Present new products and services and enhance existing relationships.
  • Work with technical staff and other internal colleagues to meet customer needs.
  • Arrange and participate in internal and external client debriefs.
  • Business Development Planning
  • Attend industry functions, such as association events and conferences, and provide feedback and information on market trends.
  • Present to, and consult with, medior and senior level management on business trends with a view to developing new services, products, and distribution channels.
  • Identify opportunities for campaigns, services and distribution channels that will lead to an increase in sales.
  • Using knowledge of the market and competitors, identify and develop the company’s unique selling propositions and differentiators.

Management and Research:

  • Submit weekly progress reports and ensure data is accurate.
  • Ensure that data is accurately entered and managed within the company’s CRM or other sales management system.
  • Forecast sales targets and ensure they are reached.
  • Track and record activity on accounts and help to close deals to meet these targets.
  • Ensure all team members represent the company in the best light.
  • Present business development training and mentoring to business developers and other internal staff.
  • Research and develop a thorough understanding of the company’s people and capabilities.
  • Understand the company’s goal and purpose so that will continual to enhance the company’s performance.

The candidate:

The ideal candidate is a strong, passionate, entrepreneurial and experienced commercial individual with a proven trackrecord of 5-10 years in a relevant environment of project logistics, heavy lift transport. Overseas, preferably (East) Africa, experience is a plus.

Required professional skills:

– Strategic insight
– Good negotiating skills
– Good oral and written communication skills in English
– Assertive when it comes to business challenges
– Able to work in an entrepreneurial environment
– Culturally sensitive

Required personal skills:

– Energetic, result driven, getting things done
– Well balanced, even under stress and pressure
– Self starter
– Flexible
– Pragmatic
– No 8 to 5 mentality
– Creative
– Open and direct

A comprehensive compensation package will be made available to attract the right candidate and same will reflect the importance of this appointment to the Steder Group.