Position: Project Director, Action Research on BC Network Model
Status: Full Time Employee (2 year contract)
Start Date: Immediate (October, 2020)
Location: Gurgaon, with Frequent travel (upto 50% time) to project sites and other locations globally
About GFI: Grameen Foundation India (GFI), a wholly owned subsidiary of Grameen Foundation USA works with the mission to enable the poor, especially the women to create a world without poverty and hunger. GFI’s program portfolio spans the sectors of financial inclusion and livelihoods and is particularly recognized for its work on deploying cutting edge digital platforms and solutions to solve the most pressing problems faced by the poor and vulnerable.
About the Opportunity: GFI is implementing a large scale Action Research Project to Strengthen the Business Correspondent Model (BC Model) in India. The BC Model has emerged as a key pillar to drive financial inclusion in India, particularly amongst women and low income populations in remote locations, with over 1 million BC agents spread across the length and breadth of the country. This project aims to address key challenges faced by the BC Agents and BC Networks, such as low productivity, profitability and customer stickiness by designing and implementing a number of action research pilot projects across the country with a vision that an effective BC Model will drive financial inclusion and financial well-being of low income populations in rural areas, particularly women.
Reporting and relationships: The position reports to the Chief Operating Officer.
Job Summary: The Project Director for this initiative will be a seasoned financial sector leader with deep domain knowledge in Business Correspondent model, banking and financial services and Digital Financial Services. S/He will use comprehensive experience, skills and knowledge to direct the project towards deepening financial inclusion. S/He will work with Grameen Foundation’s global and country-level teams to design and roll out initiatives to build capacity of BC Agents, broaden the product basket offered by the BC Networks and empower the end customers with financial education, digital financial literacy and customer protection and grievance redressal mechanisms, which leads to increased efficiency, productivity and profitability of the BC agents and BC Networks. S/He will have deep knowledge and understanding of the policy framework, innovative technology solutions and experience in providing leadership and developing and managing partnerships with BC Networks and lead project team members. The role requires the person to engage closely with senior leadership in financial sector organizations, convene and lead meetings and workshops, prepare high quality reports and documentation of best practices. S/He will oversee multiple DFS projects and manage a team of Project Managers who will be directly in-charge of different pilots.
Essential Job Functions
- Provide Leadership in Program design and implementation, team recruitment, develop and manage partnerships, research and documentation of customer centric financial services design day to day operations monitoring and stakeholder engagements. .
- Use strategic thinking to translate ideas and concepts from research and/or practice/policy into concrete actions and plans, and anticipate long term challenges and trends to develop appropriate strategies
- Keep up to date on relevant research, policy and best practice related to financial and digital financial services and facilitate learning and dissemination activities to create wider sector-level impact.
- As a member of the Senior Leadership team of GF, contribute to strategy development, representing the organization at external fora and strengthen organizational reputation.
- Develop detailed project plans with associated milestones and work with internal and external stakeholders to ensure goals are met using Project Management tools.
- Adhere to the Project Management methodology and use the project planning tools for project implementation including but not limited to a Risk Management Plan, Partner Engagement Plan, Grants Compliance & Legal Agreement Plan, Communication Plan, Project Schedules and an M&E Plan.
- Conduct regular weekly project updates with key team members and/or stakeholders to ensure relevant stakeholders are updated on all relevant details of the project. Updates on high risk events should happen immediately. Conduct kickoff meetings for each new project with both internal teams and partner teams.
- Hire and manage resources needed to support the projects
- Create and manage budget and ensure all spend is within guidelines. Manage internal budget review process on a monthly basis and donor reporting.
Digital Financial Services expertise
- Provide leadership and expertise in designing and deploying delivery channels product innovations and effective customer engagement strategies to deliver digital financial services – especially the Business Correspondent channel and develop ideas on how to strengthen these channels to deliver services to the underserved communities.
- Apply the GF innovation process to the workstreams, including identifying key research questions, deploying innovative research techniques, and leveraging resulting insights to drive Digital Financial Services usage and adoption.
- Provide subject matter expertise on industry and technology trends and opportunities to leverage DFS for the underserved communities specially women.
- Deep understanding of the agent network and technology backbone of channels and products that are eventually chosen by GF for implementation.
Partner Relationship Management
- Act as primary contact for the partner FSPs where the DFS innovation and integration will take place.
- Proactively recognize and address concerns/issues and use established communication protocols to maintain an open, transparent and trusting relationship.
- Prepare reporting documentation and lead regular stakeholder discussions with FSP, including but not limited to Monthly Updates and Quarterly Reports. Ensure FSP is involved throughout the process to create shared ownership of deliverables.
- Prepare donor reporting in compliance with grant terms well thought out content for the institutional relations team to finalize and publish.
- Actively participate in internal Knowledge Exchange to share lessons learned and key findings of project with external stakeholders (industry conferences, blogs, case studies, etc.) and support other GF representatives in internal and external communication.
Required Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities
- Deep commitment to eradication of poverty and alignment with Grameen Foundation’s mission.
- Outstanding project management skills with proven track record of achievement under challenging situations and multi-stakeholder arrangements. Managing a team of Field Project Managers who are deployed at various project sites, providing guidance on approach, structure & managing client expectations.
- Deep experience in India and elsewhere on deploying digital financial services, specific experience of working with agent networks is mandatory
- Ability to act as a representative of the project in public forums.
- Excellent written and verbal communication skills in English and Hindi.
Education and Experience
- 12-15 years of relevant professional experience
- Master’s degree in a relevant field such as MBA, or Banking and Finance
Additional Comment: The above job description is not intended as, nor should it be construed as, exhaustive of all responsibilities, skills, efforts, or working conditions associated with this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made in appropriate circumstances. GFI offers a competitive compensation package.
How to apply: GFI is an equal opportunities employer. Interested candidates may apply by sending their updated resumes and letter of motivation to firstname.lastname@example.org mentioning “Project Director- BC” in the subject line and confirming the current and expected compensation and earliest joining date.