Accion is a global nonprofit committed to creating a financially inclusive world, with a pioneering legacy in microfinance and fintech impact investing. It catalyzes financial service providers to deliver high-quality, affordable solutions at scale for the three billion people who are left out of – or poorly served by –the financial sector. For more than 50 years, Accion has helped tens of millions of people through its work with more than 90 partners in 40 countries.
Accion’s Global Advisory Solutions (GLAS) team provides experienced operational and management support to help build sustainable and scalable companies focused on serving the financial needs of underserved individuals and small businesses. It strengthens its partners and maximizes their impact by leveraging innovations in technology and financial services to lower costs and increase quality at scale.
About the Job:
GLAS is looking for an Operations and Technology (OT) Director to represent Accion as a technical expert in the areas of technology and operations to our partners in the Asia region. Based in India, working as part of a global, cross-functional team, s/he will advise Accion’s partners on the planning and implementation of strategies that leverage technology and automation to transform their business processes to drive customer growth and operational efficiency. The OT Director will need to have strong business acumen, excellent people and project management skills, and experience in financial inclusion serving low income markets.
This position will be a key member of the advisory team, helping plan for and implement a range of technology solutions that underpin GLAS’s core service offerings to its clients. Collaborating closely with project team members, the position will understand the needs of and advise FSPs on establishing their technical vision and leading all aspects of technology solutions development, according to their strategic direction and digital maturity goals.
Tasks and Responsibilities:
Contribute to GLAS strategy and leadership:
Contribute to the overall strategy and operations of GLAS, particularly providing insights and guidance on trends, new business models, and innovations in technology solutions from which Accion’s partners could benefit;
Support regional management teams with business development activities, including sourcing new opportunities for GLAS to help FSPs define and achieve their technology strategies and digital maturity goals;
Advise and support Accion’s investment officers with due diligence of potential investee targets with particular focus on digital technologies and distribution channels.
Lead project delivery, change management and technology implementation:
Provide hands on, in-country project management support to GLAS clients in the delivery of technology projects, the most critical being the selection and implementation of core banking systems and building optimal secure network topologies. Additional projects may include selecting and implementing enterprise mobility tools such as loan origination systems (digital field applications), alternate channels work such as agency banking and mobile banking, and the implementation of data warehouse and business intelligence platforms, etc. Specific advisory services may include:
Digital strategy development: developing a roadmap of digital tools and infrastructure to help drive business growth and planning using a business value addition approach;
Technology infrastructure: building a robust core banking system that provides the foundation for an infrastructure vision that leverages IT trends to create business value consistent with the client’s requirements and expectations;
IT capacity assessments: conducting an assessment of IT staff, budgets, funding, policies and procedures to ensure they are well equipped to support the business goals and operations from an IT perspective;
Change management: working with partners in change management such that projects are owned by and deliver change through the business, rather than being seen as something ‘done’ by IT;
Business resilience: ensuring business resiliency through the implementation of comprehensive disaster recovery and business continuity architectures, protection against security threats such as malware and cyber-attacks, and effective risk monitoring and management;
Pre-implementation: Supporting pre-implementation plans which include development of business requirements, detailed functional requirements, review of change management business impact, human resources and risks;
Vendor management: advising in the due diligence and software selection process for new software and tools;
Implementation and follow-up: Supporting project implementation and post implementation reviews, including issue-resolutions, vendor management, and any other work resulting from findings and recommendations.
Define project scopes and accurately set expectations to ensure client satisfaction. Ensure alignment with partner management teams and Boards on implementation approaches and plans;
Effectively manage budgets and timelines and ensure sustainability of technology projects;
Communicate project progress, keeping team members, clients and other stakeholders updated throughout all stages;
Assess outputs ensuring the highest standards of quality for GLAS clients. Ensure that projects translate to measurable outputs aligned with project and business goals;
Support the development and presentation of project proposals to clients and/or donors, providing inputs in the area of technology and operations.
Knowledge Sharing and Capacity Building:
Build Accion’s capacity by documenting and sharing project results and disseminating useful information and tools through a variety of knowledge exchange mediums such as brown bags, team meetings/debriefs, workshops, blogging, webinars, etc.;
Collaborate effectively across other areas of Accion and leverage relationships in the industry to enhance our knowledge and capabilities in technology trends and solutions;
Actively participate in conferences, discussion forums, and other knowledge sharing and networking spaces to promote Accion and further our position as an industry thought leader.
Generally ten to 12 years of relevant experience working in financial services in emerging and/or low income markets through a combination of consulting/advisory services and positions with FSPs or technology providers;
Experience leading technology and operations projects in financial services for low income populations including conceptualization, piloting and scaling, and change management;
Excellent knowledge of and expertise in digital financial services and have hands on experience in core banking systems and two or more of the following: mobile money, digital payments, POS/cards, mobile banking, agent banking, digital field application, data and business intelligence platforms;
Excellent project management skills; ability to prioritize multiple tasks, set objectives, lead and motivate others and meet deadlines;
Excellent people and team management skills; ability to use different styles to communicate, influence and negotiate consensus among diverse groups in order to achieve impact;
Ability to think strategically and holistically and to appreciate the systemic impact of different technology solutions and operational policies;
Strong verbal and written communication and presentation skills; comfortable interacting with senior managers;
Effective negotiation and vendor management skills;
Bachelor’s degree in relevant field, master’s degree preferred;
English fluency required; proficiency in other languages relevant to GLAS’s work (Spanish, French, Mandarin, etc.) a plus;
Willingness to be based in India and travel up to 50% of the time;
Demonstrated commitment to Accion’s values of excellence, respect and passion for social change.