Implementation Associate Director

Overview

Catalyst (www.cashlesscatalyst.org) is seeking an exceptional Implementation Associate Director to drive project ideation and development for the organization focused on increasing the use of digital payments between consumers, merchants, and suppliers, especially low-to-mid income segments. The Implementation Associate Director will be responsible for ideating new projects, designing end-to-end solutions, developing key stakeholder partnerships, as well as pilot testing and scaling of successful projects. He/she will head the Implementation and Operations team.

The Initiative

Catalyst is working to help India’s small business and low-income consumers to unlock the power of digital payments to gain access to broader financial services like credit, savings, insurance and investment. Catalyst’s primary focus is on resolving coordination and market facilitation gaps to accelerate digital payment adoption and usage at the ‘last mile’, i.e., across consumers, merchants, and suppliers, which will be critical to India’s success in the next phase of its financial inclusion journey. Since its launch, Catalyst has entered a formal agreement with the Government of Rajasthan to set up a “digital payments lab” in Jaipur to transform it into a less cash city. The plan is to design and implement scalable solutions and templates to catalyze the last mile using a “test-learn-iterate” approach. In addition to the Lab, Catalyst has three additional programs centered around new knowledge creation, policies & partnerships for change, and scalable strategic innovations, each having a strong linkage to the Lab. Catalyst has established a broad partnership of nearly 150 Indian and multinational organizations across the private, pubic and knowledge sectors as a convening platform to influence key business and policy decisions. The Initiative is working with a shortlist of anchor partners — solution providers, knowledge partners, and channel/mobilization agencies — to incubate, analyze and support scale-up of promising business and delivery models related to digital payments among low-income merchants and consumers.

The Role

The Implementation Associate Director will play an important role in identifying and testing new business models and approaches for advancing the objectives of the organization. He/she will be responsible for building and managing Catalyst’s Digital Payment Lab program in Jaipur and beyond – encompassing all on-ground experiments and initiatives focused on ecosystem digitisation. The Associate Director will serve as a key liaison with key Government of Rajasthan representatives as well as other implementation partners and experts. The Associate Director reports directly to the CEO, and works closely with the Senior Management on broader organizational priorities. He/she will focus on goal setting, solution design, partner development, execution oversight, and business case development to assure sound business growth and future sustainability. The Director will share responsibility for the success of the organization.

The Responsibilities

The Implementation Associate Director will own the following accountabilities:

Innovation Leadership and Solution Design

•     Play a critical role in advancing innovation and creating impactful and relevant projects for Catalyst to pursue;
•     Provide the necessary critical thinking to evaluate different strategic options, and determine the approaches/ solutions/ business models that best drive program and project goals;
•     Facilitate effective brainstorming with internal and external stakeholders, and visualize how potential ideas may play out in the marketplace;
•     Conceptualize and define project goals, success criteria, theory of change, strategic approach, key partnerships, execution components and timelines, and key risks as well as mitigation strategies for operations team to execute;
•     Detail project components, spanning technological, institutional, operational and financial aspects, in tactical implementable terms;
•     Bring relevant technical and domain knowledge to build effective solutions in digital payments and finance, and keep the organization abreast of the latest developments in the sector.

Partner Relationship Management

•     Identify, prioritize, manage and collaborate with solution and implementation partners during all stages – from concept design through implementation;
•     Coordinate with all parties involved to obtain clear commitments to ensure milestones are met;
•     Liaise with key implementation partners and manage these relationships to maintain interest, troubleshoot issues, and assess partner capacity to participate in and contribute value;
•     Engage with broader strategic stakeholders to share progress/ learnings from the Lab, generate new ideas for implementation, and improve existing ideas to drive scalability.

Execution Leadership

•     Supervise implementation design team as well as ground level operations team to ensure clear and effective roles and accountabilities, and that appropriate alignment/ utilization is in place to achieve programmatic and organizational goals;
•     Ensure high-quality project decision making processes and project level metrics & documentation (e.g., key progress indicators, project concept notes, learning plans, progress reports, etc.) are in place and are internalized;
•     Manage a portfolio of multiple fast-moving execution tracks under a rapid “test & learn” iterative approach grounded in data-based insights, demonstrate and document validation of successful initiatives, and initiate course corrections as needed;
•     Define and track performance metrics (impact and process) at project and program level: co-create the instrumentation to track these metrics, continuously monitor them, and link them to individual and team incentives;
•     Strategically invest in validated solutions to drive scale, and secure linkages with Catalyst’s own sustainability goals.

Organizational Leadership

•     Build and manage a high performing team of strategy and execution managers, associates and analysts to design and implement projects in the Lab;
•     Initiate and lead cross-functional organizational initiatives to build broad organizational capabilities, morale and credibility in the broader digital financial services ecosystem;
•     Contribute to Catalyst’s future organizational path including new strategic initiatives and business models linked to financial and operational sustainability;
•     Represent Catalyst at key events and forums to enhance its reach and relevance;
•     Mentor other key leaders and employees to build a high performing, unrivalled institution.

The Person

The right candidate will have a minimum of 10 years of experience with the following attributes:

•     A strategic, charismatic and inspiring leader who can inspire, build and lead teams along challenging paths, navigate uncertainty and challenging circumstances, and manage complex and multi-dimensional programs;
•     An exceptional problem solver in conceptual and analytic terms, who can think deep, fast and across multiple dimensions to identify/articulate right problems and solutions, break down complex problems into their logical parts, and bring creativity and innovation in solutions;
•     A strong and pragmatic executor who can quickly move strategic blueprints to feasible execution, instill rapid iterative learning cycles (i.e., practice lean startup models), track/monitor/drive to deliver at quality and speed, and identify and balance trade-offs to make executive decisions;
•     Excellent interpersonal skills including oral and written communications, ability to demystify complex technical aspects, comfort across a wide range of cultural/ geographic/ operational situations, ability to motivate people and teams,
•     Relevant work experience involving varied responsibilities in formulating, developing, implementing and managing projects of various levels of complexities, Entrepreneurial experience/experience with start-ups preferred;
•     Demonstrated track record of successfully achieving big goals, and being a consistent top performer;
•     Significant experience in establishing strong relationships with external partners such as Private sector players, Government, Industry bodies, and multi-lateral donor organizations;
•     Deep domain experience/ understanding of fintech, including different digital payment types and models, as well as other financial services like lending, insurance, and investments;
•     Understanding/ experience working with MSMEs and low income underserved populations would be an asset.

Location and Travel

The role will be based out of New Delhi or Jaipur, with 35% travel expected.

Application Instructions:

     •     Deadline: Applications are being accepted until September 20th.
     •     Please submit: Resume and cover letter.
     •     For questions and application submission, please contact email address: meenakshi.g@ifmr.ac.in