Ranja Rakotomahanina

Country of origin: Madagascar

Marketing, Ideaflip.net

After completing my undergraduate study, a higher diploma in Marketing and Management in Madagascar, I took a job with ORANGE Madagascar. My role was to develop and to manage the 'pre-paid brand'. After a year and half, I wanted not only to increase my area of responsibilities by having an overview of the whole business process, but also to take part in the development of my country, so I moved to Population Services International (PSI), the world leader in social marketing. PSI is an American NGO which distributes health products and services to low-revenue people, especially in remote areas. As the Brand Coordinator of the Safe Water System programme, I had the opportunity to deliver bottom-line results, to create new products, to undertake some capacity-building activity in the local community, and to deal with partners such as USAID, the World Bank, WHO, UNICEF and CARE.

After working for a few years, I decided I wanted to get an international qualification and I was successful in securing funding through the Chevening Scholarship Programme of the British Council.

I did not want a basic course in Marketing as I had already studied marketing and had some work experience. I wanted more than that - and the MSc in Advanced Marketing Management at Lancaster University Management School was definitely the right choice. The programme was worth more than I ever expected, especially the courses about marketing in practice, CRM and B2B. It was refreshing yet also incredibly practical.

On successful completion of the MSc, I returned to Madagascar, and I decided to do some consultancy activity within the marketing and management field. Firstly, I worked as a senior consultant with a leading consultancy firm in Madagascar. I took care of all organisation and marketing projects in the cabinet. During this contract, I completed three main studies: a comparative study of the factor costs of Madagascar with the countries of the area, the creation of the Authority which was to supervise the exportation of seafood in cooperation with the government, and lastly a market study prior to the installation of the institution of Microfinance within the area of Fort Dauphin.

After that, I worked with the UNDP as a Consultant Advisor in quality and operational research for activities relating to e-governance. My duties were to support the implementation and the finalisation of the activities included in the PAA (Annual Activity Plan) 2005 of the programme (financial planning, launch of several sector studies, etc).

I then worked within the field of strategic and marketing management. I was the National BCI (Business Centers Ivoharena) Coordinator for BAMEX, which is a programme funded by USAID and executed by Chemonics International, a leading American NGO.

In 2008 I became a Lecturer in Marketing and Management at the Institut National des Sciences Comptables et de l'Administration d'Entreprises (INSCAE), and from 2009 I have also taken on the role of Social Franchising Director for Marie Stopes International Madagascar, a charity organisation focused on sexual and reproductive health services.

Thanks to LUMS, I have a broad-based approach to marketing and management issues, not only at a corporate level but also from an international and academic point of view.

Ranja has since moved to work in marketing for Ideaflip.net