Head of Market Development
Sindiso Bango-Dube sits in a relatively new team, created when the UK water market was deregulated, enabling businesses to choose their water supplier for the first time.
In his role as Head of Market Development at Waterscan’s Chichester office, his attention is focused on the supply side of the water market, managing contractual relationships between wholesalers and Waterscan’s customers and identifying risks and opportunities within the marketplace.
What first attracted you to Waterscan?
I had been working with a major facilities management contractor for eight years and, although I had risen up the ranks, I had got to a point in my career where moves would be horizontal rather than vertical. I also needed a change.
So, I took some time out of my career to complete my BSc in Economics, Banking and Finance and set about finding a new challenge. I am interested in microeconomics and regulatory spheres, and this led me to consider the water industry. I joined Waterscan in July 2018 as Contract Manager.
And what did that role entail?
It was the first role of its kind in the business. I had to learn the lay of the land quickly and know how to connect people together to make good things happen for our customers. I found myself working with household names like Whitbread, Greene King, Marstons, BT, John Lewis and Coca-Cola on their Self-Supply transitions.
My role evolved and I was promoted to Head of Market Development in September 2021. Now, I’m the key point of contact on the supply side, responsible for renegotiating on behalf of our customers and finding resolutions to matters where market frictions are hindering best-in class service for them; matters that have been neglected by the wider market, like credit and direct debit arrangements.
How have you personally developed as your role evolved?
Waterscan has always demonstrated confidence in me, and this has in turn given me greater confidence. This has helped hone my commercial acumen in tough negotiations and to challenge the status quo.
I do a lot of horizon scanning, always looking for the next opportunity and keeping an ear to the ground to ensure that we have the best market insight and the ability to share best practice for the benefit of customers, and increasingly, the whole market. Wherever there’s a problem on the supply-side of the water market, I go!
Coming from a corporate background, how do you find working for an SME?
From my first contact with Waterscan, it felt warm and welcoming. The managers were very forthcoming with information and so I knew this wasn’t somewhere that was constrained by corporate culture. It felt like, ‘come as you are, find your place and we’ll work with you’.
Since then, I have been shown nothing but support to build my skills. I was given patience to find my feet in an industry that was new to me, and the trust and freedom to act without micromanagement. My manager has helped me to create a career roadmap which will see me take on more responsibility and gain greater exposure in the water market.
On a personal level, the company is very family friendly. It’s healthfirst, you-first, family-first: I don’t know of any other business that extends this level of support. Waterscan has a close-knit feel – you don’t get lost in structures and you’re never too far away from the ear of people that can help.
What’s next for you?
There seems to be an acceptance across the water market that it must reflect the customers that it’s trying to serve. Waterscan is at the forefront of this and I’m glad to be playing a key role.
I have just been appointed onto the market Approved Code of Practice Design Group which will create a clear, unambiguous, standardised market codes framework. I’m looking forward to seeing how this, and my role develops.