General Manager, ZPWC Social Business

Job Description

General Manager, ZPWC Social Business

LOCATION: Tan An City, Long An province & HCMC, Vietnam


Zero Plastic Waste City is a program that enables sustainable municipal waste management systems based on a modular social business approach that will result in the creation of the ZPWC social business. The social business in Tan An (Vietnam) will be initiated by Grameen Creative Lab (GCL) in partnership with, and sponsored by, the Alliance to End Plastic Waste (AEPW).

The social business will focus on the establishment of a processing plant that produces high-quality products made of low-value plastics that can be used as input materials in the furniture and construction industry, as well as recycled plastic pellets. A social business is understood as defined by Prof. Muhammad Yunus as a non-dividend, non-loss organization that seeks to create social impact based on a viable business model. With this approach, the social business operates at a later stage of the waste management value chain. However, the envisioned impact touches on the entire plastic waste value chain. By creating local demand for low-value plastic, the segregation, collection, and sorting infrastructure is expected to improve in the mid-term. This effect will be supported through additional efforts of the social business in collaboration with local partners and with a particular focus on strengthening the most vulnerable players in the waste value chain, namely informal waste pickers.

The establishment of the social business has started with an initial pilot phase beginning of April, 2020.

Once the social business has been legally registered, the actual implementation phase will begin.

The General Manager will work closely with the GCL Project Manager of the social business who has been involved in the initial feasibility phase as well. Responsibility shall gradually be handed over from Project Manager to General Manager. The objective is to have a wellset-up social business that will be able to sustain and operate in a financially self-sustainable way in the long run.


The General Manager will be the top executive forthe social business,responsible forstrategy, overall operations, budgets, people, financial outcomes, and last but not least impact creation.

Responsibilities thusinclude:

  • Develop strategy and set growth objectives for the social business.
  • Oversee daily operations and the production processes including the sourcing of plastic waste as input material from local suppliers.
  • Ensure the development of tactical programs to pursue targeted goals and objectives regarding impact creation and financial viability.
  • Control budgets and optimize expenses, incl. evaluation and decision upon key investments in equipment, infrastructure, and talent.
  • Lead and manage a team of up to 20-50 people, incl. overseeing of recruiting and talentdevelopment.
  • Evaluate and improve operations to ensure the overall delivery and quality of the social businesses’ offerings to customers.
  • Ensure staff follows health and safety regulations.
  • Engage with GCL in broader organizational strategic planning and prepare regularreports.
  • Provide solutions to issues (e.g. profit decline, employee conflicts, loss of business tocompetitors).
  • Coordinate and manage local partners & stakeholders to contribute to systemic impact creation in waste management.

Specific Responsibilities during Pilot Phase (Months 1-4):

During the pilot phase, the General Manager will set up the social business in plastic recycling jointly with the Project Manager

  • Product: The products will be piloted to gain relevant insights about the exact product mix and product variations, overall user preferences and user acceptance, and a refined market potential assessment.
  • Business Model: The Business Case will be further validated taking into account the revenue potential, the pricing strategy, cost structures and scaling opportunities for the business model
  • Operations: The Pilot Phase aims to define and identify potential sites of operations, hurdles in operational processes, partnershipmodels(including contractualworkwith partner), aswell asregulatory requirements and constraints. In addition, the option to  order machines will be explored.

Responsibilities during Implementation – Construction Phase (Months 5-10):

During the construction phase, the General Manager will work closely with the project manager to set up the social business:

  • Set up of the facility: Based on findings of the completed pilot phase, the processing facility will be rented in a location that meets the requirements in terms of sourcing and distribution opportunities,space, available human resources, etc.
  • Ordering / set-up of machines: The production machinery that has not yet been purchased during the pilot phase will be ordered and put in place.
  • Permissions: Any necessary permission (e.g. security or hygiene certificates, Environmental Impact Assessment) that haven’t already been granted in the pilot phase will be applied for.
  • Sourcing: A critical measure during the construction and set-up phase is the establishment of sourcing structures. In this phase the social business will tap into the existing supply chain for recyclable plastic waste, mainly by establishing business relationships with aggregators and waste pickers and work on the supplier strategy as mentioned above
  • Distribution: Based on initial talks during the pilot phase, contracts and agreements with local and global purchasers from selected industries (particularly furniture and construction industries) will besigned.
  • Staff: Having assessed the human resources that needed to ensure well-functioning operations, staff for the social business will be recruited and trained.

Responsibilities during Implementation – Ramp-up Phase (from month 11 onwards):

During the ramp-up phase, the initial growth of the social business will be managed with a focus on the following activities:

  • Start of production: During the ramp-up phase, the objective is to have a steady growth of production capacity towards full production.
  • Products: The production will initially focus on the main product category chosen during the pilot phase, as well as additional complementary products.
  • Sourcing: Through strategic partnerships with aggregators and key players in waste collection, the objective in this phase is to significantly raise the demand for lower-value plastics that so far remained uncollected, as described in the supplier strategy mentioned above.
  • Distribution: A strong focus on expanding sales volumes, building new markets and thus creating additional demand for the products. Contracts with additional purchasers will be closed.


Overall, the General Manager should be a positive, hands-on and respectful leader who seeks to make a change on this planet:

  • Work experience in a similar role as a General Manager with 5-10 years of experience
  • Proven experience in the waste management & plastic recycling sector
  • Background in organization set-up and management, ideally with advanced degree (e.g. Master in Business Administration)
  • Entrepreneurial mind-set and hands-on mentality
  • Strategic and financial planning skills
  • Independent and reliable work style
  • Fluent in English and Vietnamese (Vietnamese nationality)
  • Proven leadership skills
  • Excellent communication skills & critical and analytical thinking
  • Strong in negotiations & contract management
  • Problem-solving aptitude


  • Attractive salary package (negotiable).
  • Work expenses & travel expenses are reimbursed.
  • Annual leave days up to 21 days.
  • Working time: Monday ~ Friday.
  • International working environment.


  • Please send your CV & Cover Letter (all in English) and/or enquiries to Ms. Hanh Tam at with the subject “ZPWC_GM_your full name”.
  • Application deadline: 20/6/2020
  • Review of applications will begin on May 30, 2020, and will continue until the position is filled or the search is closed.

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