Lauren Filen has held CEO positions at multinationals, and mid-tier local businesses, giving her unique insight into leveraging data-led opportunities for sustainable business growth.
The leading advisor in business-to-business engagement, Advantage Group International, announces that Lauren Filen joins Advantage Group as Customer Director for Africa. As Customer Director, Lauren will be responsible for retailer engagement and coverage, market revenue growth and key account management in South Africa and the rest of the continent.
Based in Johannesburg, South Africa, Lauren holds over 30 years of experience across innovation, logistics, sales, marketing and general management in the FMCG sector. During this time, Lauren has led small, medium and large businesses in leadership roles, including holding the title of Chief Executive Officer (CEO) at several companies.
Lauren is the first woman and South African to lead the Simba snacks business as CEO (PepsiCo). Lauren then became the CEO of IFFCO, an FMCG conglomerate based in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. In 2018, Lauren started Baobab Nutritional Brands, which involved significant investment in a greenfield manufacturing site, and, most recently, served as Commercial Director for The Natures Choice Group.
This experience gives Lauren a specialized understanding of the challenges affecting businesses in the FMCG, retail, distribution, and manufacturing industries. She has broad experience in the private label arena, having worked with almost all the key retailers (Woolworths, Pick n Pay, Shoprite, Spar, Clicks etc.) on private label projects. Lauren has broad African experience, having worked across sub-Saharan Africa.
Lauren is looking forward to her journey with Advantage, “At my core, I’m a collaborator, so I am looking forward to connecting with my team to drive the potential that I know exists in the South African business landscape. The work is exciting—not just with the larger companies but having the opportunity to arm our small companies with data that can really make a difference in their business partnerships. In the highly competitive and challenging business environment we find ourselves in, partnering and communicating better is essential to drive competitive advantage, and Advantage Group facilitates and drives these partnerships.”
“I have no doubt that Lauren will be able to channel her expertise and experience into accelerating customer development in Africa. We are all excited to have someone with her expertise, people skills and business acumen on our team,” says Dylan Piatti, Managing Director for Advantage Group Africa.
About Advantage Group International
Advantage Group International is the leading advisor in business-to-business engagement solutions globally. Trusted by many of the world’s leading brands, Advantage ReportTM has become the gold standard for improving performance between suppliers and retailers in over 40 countries. Established in 1988 and headquartered in Canada, Advantage Group acts as an integral link between supplier and retail partners, using data, feedback and strategy consulting to illuminate opportunities for mutual growth, strengthen relationships and provide invaluable insight. Advantage Group helps people and organizations work better together.