Strategy and Product Architect

About Catalyst

CATALYST – Inclusive Cashless Payment Partnership, housed in IFMR LEAD, is an initiative seeded by an alliance between the Government of India & USAID, to to significantly expand and accelerate the use of digital payments by low income consumers and merchants across India.
In doing so, CATALYST aims to work closely with the private sector players and serve as an incubation platform to demonstrate innovative and viable business models in digital finance, targeting low-income populations.

CATALYST’s core belief is that the incubation of scalable business or delivery models that focus on low-income, financially underserved, communities remains the most tangible way of making impact. Technology and regulation are both rapidly evolving in the right direction in India and the lack of viable business models and use-cases for low-income communities are primary deterrents to the potential they carry. These regulatory and technology developments mean that organizations will need to test, iterate and refine new service offerings and business models.

With this in mind, CATALYST envisions a project incubation engine – supporting organisations in designing and testing innovative new projects is at its core. CATALYST envisions incubating projects that are relevant to its strategic objectives – (i) leveraging technology and regulations to accelerate merchant acceptance and enhancing consumer adoption of digital payments; (ii) creating direct impact on low income, financially excluded consumers through improved access to formal financial products and services, and (iii) creating scalable and sustainable business models built around digital payments. Learnings from these projects are captured robustly and disseminated widely to both businesses and policymakers.

Project Description

To achieve these ambitious goal we are committed to helping visionary entrepreneurs build new products, processes and interfaces that address the unique needs of the hundreds of millions of people that are currently underserved. Fintech innovation to date has almost exclusively focused on the top 100-200 million consumers who are urban, affluent, English speaking and internet-connected.

The Catalyst Incubator is designed to support businesses that can reimagine and reinvent fintech products in ways that optimise for the specific needs, behaviors, attitudes, and contexts of underserved market segments. To do so we plan to fund innovative businesses and provide them with the necessary mentorship, infrastructure, market access, and policy support. The nature of the support will be two fold: (a) enabling new startups to design products and reach markets by providing them with grant funding, (b) working with established businesses to run pilots to test various hypotheses around adoption of digital payments.

Catalyst is also embarking on a variety of strategic initiatives that require strong product vision and leadership. This includes the development of a Data Utility that will provide a platform for lenders to extend credit to financially underserved merchants. The Strategy and Product Architect will be instrumental in gathering requirements from customers while driving implementation of related pilots.

Job Description

Strategy and Product Architect will oversee four key areas:

   a.   All aspects of the Incubator program including partnerships, curriculum, events, startup experience, and more. This role requires an extremely flexible and self-starting personality to adapt to a quick moving entrepreneurial environment.
   b.   Assist the Implementation team in Jaipur to run pilots for the startup selected for the incubator
   c.   Assist the Associate Director – Strategy and Innovation in designing experiments, especially those centered around credit
   d.   Assist Data Scientist and Associate Director – Strategy and Innovation in design of Catalyst’s Data Utility and marketing it to potential customers.

Key responsibilities:

The Strategy and Product Architect will be responsible for the success of a variety of initiatives, including but not limited to:

•     Incubator
     •     Resource and budget planning for multiple program cycles
     •     Managing and developing partnerships with VCs, bank, and technology firms
     •     Recruiting and marketing the Incubator to promising fintech startups
     •     Overseeing the application process, including management of deal flow pipelines
     •     Ensure smooth collaboration between startups and Catalyst research and operations team to manage experiment logistics
     •     Develop a robust mentor network to guide incubated startups throughout their journey in the program
     •     Conceptualize and execute Incubator events and workshops
     •     Create sustainable business model for the Incubator
•     Credit and other Pilots
     •     Design experiments in collaboration with partners
     •     Maintain partner relationships and liaise with them on a regular basis during execution
     •     Gather rapid evidence to judge the effectiveness of a Pilot and course correct if necessary
•     Data Utility
     •     Gather data from partners and the market to define potential use cases for the data utility.
     •     Market the data utility to potential customers
     •     Maintain and develop relationship with potential customers of the data utility.

Qualifications and Skills

     •Experience working in fast-paced, execution-oriented environments
     •     Experience working at or founding a startup is a big plus
     •     Hands on product development and engineering also a plus
     •     Fintech or financial services experience preferred
     •Familiarity with the Indian startup and investment ecosystem
     •Degree in business, computer science, economics, or other related fields
     •Strong communication, presentation and analytical skills is a must
     •Flexibility and ability to deal with uncertainty. Adaptability to project needs and schedules.
     •Experience and maturity in relationship management
     •Ability to work independently
     •Willingness to travel required

Reporting structure
Manager (Strategy and Innovation) → Associate Director (Strategy and Innovation) → CEO

IFMR LEAD provides a highly competitive salary in the industry.

Estimated Start Date
September 2017

Mumbai, India with frequent travel to Delhi, Jaipur and Bangalore

To Apply
Please send your resume and cover letter to