Tessa Plen

Growth Strategist & Activator

Tessa Plen is Globally Proven, with a track record of success:

  • Twice doubled operating profit at Colgate Palmolive
  • Associate Director of Innovation (Colgate Europe); Head of Global Export distributer development – Middle East (France, Israel)
  • Added US $100 million in Operating Profit in 2 years through rapid introduction of 22 product innovations into Israel Developed ISO 9000 Accredited 5 Stage Gate System of Innovation for a world leading Health Food Company in Australia
  • Lectured at the University of Sydney & UCT – in marketing, innovation, strategy. Strength in commercial skills transfer

Passionate about delivering your success by de-mystifying strategy and providing clarity, focus, and real skill, step-by-step

What I Stand For

I am passionate about helping others to build up their brand, bringing tangible business development improvements, business structure changes, and transformation for good. I transfer my own years of marketing and innovation know-how into a “can-do” growth achievement capability, which uplifts and equips others to realise their own personal potential. My name backwards is “ASSET”, and if you say Tessa Plen quickly, it sounds like “Discipline!” I embed this discipline, structure and clear thinking-into-action, using business process frameworks that deliver INCREMENTAL accelerated growth results.

My Story- A full circle

MADE IN SOUTH AFRICA: Born in Durban, I’ve lived and worked all over the world (South Africa, Paris, Israel, UK, Australia, NYC) during my 25+ year career in senior positions in blue chip multinational companies. After completing my B.Comm cum laude at Wits (Industrial Psychology & Marketing), I began my career in classical marketing at Unilever with their Management Development Program. Then I quit to follow my travel dream & had the most wonderful year backpacking around world. On my return, I joined Colgate Palmolive, where I launched the Sta Soft Refill Fabric softener, doubling our profits in 2 years.

PARIS: Colgate then sent me as their first international expat to Paris, to head up commercial export business development into their largest markets- Israel, and also Cyprus, Malta, working with Greece. The international markets had been declining 15% over 3 years but in 2 years I established and coached a team and together we grew grew sales 69% and doubled profits by rapidly launching 22 new global innovations. I researched and replicated the successful blueprint from lead markets, adapted to local markets. I transferred ongoing growth capability into our distributor network through coaching, planning and installing an annual growth planning system with templates.

LONDON: From Paris, I was promoted to Associate Director of Innovation within the newly established Oral care Innovation Centre in London. There I developed a patented product, along with Colgate Naturals and Sensitive Care.

SYDNEY: Then I emigrated to Australia in 2000, where I lectured 12 marketing strategy subjects over 6 years to MBA’s at the University of Sydney. I delivered Brand Growth and Innovation Strategy as a training & consulting for Australia’s largest health food company (owns Weetbix brand), Unilever Foods, Brita, Telecoms Orange for the launch of the 3G network, AAPT Telecoms, Banking and Financial services to name a few.

NEW YORK: Living and working in NYC had always been my dream and in 2012, I moved into the quaint West Village in the same street as the “Friends” building in Manhattan. Projects included Hills Pet Food 5 year innovation strategy plan; which led to the successful product launch of their canned stews. Also trained Novartis leadership in critical thinking and strategic presentation structuring.

CAPE TOWN, JOZI: Through all the years away, I never got South Africa out of my system, and in 2014, I travelled home. I bought a gorgeous cottage in Seapoint & did a stint lecturing Retail and Services Marketing to Grad. Dip students at UCT. Now I travel between Cape Town and Johannesburg for marketing & innovation projects for UCT Graduate School of Business, major research companies (KLA), Ad agencies (MH), & ABSA call centre cultural change. I also mentor SME’s in total company growth planning and embed growth capability across a range of industries.

My CORE STRENGTH is delivering Growth Capability during Change and Uncertainty.

Cell: +27 (0) 726464184
Email: tessa@totalpotential.co.za or tessaplen@gmail.com
Website: www.totalpotential.co.za
Linkedin profile: www.linkedin.com/in/tessaplen