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Job Details: Market Engagement Manager, M4D Agritech

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Market Engagement Manager, M4D Agritech
Mobile for Development
Department: Mobile for Development
Department detail: AgriTech
Location: Nairobi
Reporting to: M4D Regional Head or AgriTech Director of Market Engagement

About the Team

Globally, 500 million households depend on agriculture for their livelihoods. Smallholder farmers produce and sell nearly 70 per cent of the food consumed worldwide but remain financially excluded and increasingly vulnerable to changing climate patterns affecting their yields. Digitisation of procurement from smallholders presents a significant opportunity to enable the transition from cash to digital payments and from paper to digital records - to enhance transparency in the agricultural value chain. Combining digital records and digital payments with information services on best agricultural practices, weather forecasts and climate smart advice will result in a radical shift in productivity and incomes for smallholders.

Funded by UK aid (the UK Department for International Development, DFID), the GSMA AgriTech programme targets the development of equitable and sustainable food chains that empower farmers and strengthen local communities. To fulfil this vision, the programme brings together and supports the mobile industry, agriculture sector stakeholders, innovators and investors in AgriTech space to launch, improve and scale impactful and commercially viable digital solutions for smallholder farmers in the developing world.

The GSMA Innovation Fund for Digitisation of Agricultural Value Chains
In June 2019, the AgriTech programme launched the GSMA Innovation Fund (“Fund”) for Digitisation of Agricultural Value Chains, which aims to scale digital solutions for the agricultural last mile and improve smallholders’ financial inclusion, livelihoods and climate resilience. The Fund prioritises enterprise services targeted at organisations (e.g. agribusiness, cooperatives, etc.) procuring from smallholders with the focus on those living on less than USD 2 per day.  Up to eight grants of £220,000 each are available to support projects of 24 months duration.  In addition, the GSMA will provide in-kind support and consultancy to assist the development of business plans, and service implementation through market research, user-centric design, business intelligence, user-testing with agribusiness staff and smallholders.  Grants are available across two categories of application:
  1. MOBILE MONEY DRIVEN CATEGORY - Open to mobile money providers in partnership with AgriTech vendors who are developing, implementing, launching and/or scaling enterprise services (B2B2C) which digitise the agricultural last mile procurement and communication with smallholders.
  2. DATA DRIVEN CATEGORY - Open to AgriTech organisations who have already scaled a last mile agriculture digitisation service and established a model for generating digital farmer records and explored linking farmer records with financial service providers.

What the hiring manager says

“This is an exciting new role leading the team to fundamentally transform rural regions by enabling financial inclusion of farmers through digital data and tools.  The successful candidate must be able to quickly develop substantially new skills, experiences and expertise to compliment those of an overachieving team and deliver even greater impact.”

About the Role

The GSMA AgriTech Programme seeks an accomplished Market Engagement Manager (MEM) knowledgeable in both scaling mobile money services in rural areas and working with Financial Service Providers (FSPs) to extend services (credit, savings, insurance, etc.) via mobile channels.  The MEM will work closely with the GSMA AgriTech team to support contracted Innovation Fund partners with the design, development, launch and scale of cutting-edge AgriTech products and services ranging from last mile agribusiness enterprise services (B2B2C) to financial services (B2C).  This particular MEM will also need to focus on supporting Innovation Fund partners with key priorities in each of the two categories.  In the Mobile Money Driven category, the MEM will need to focus on supporting the innovation fund partner with scaling mobile money networks (of the associated agribusiness enterprise services).  In the Data Driven category, the focus will be on striking product development partnerships with FSPs to develop associated financial services.

It will be a complex and continuously changing environment across many cultures. The incumbent must possess a unique blend of business acumen with an understanding of the markets that they will be working in, a big-picture vision, and the drive to make that vision a reality. They should enjoy spending time in the market to understand needs and work proactively to find innovative solutions and own drive their implementation. 

The role will encompass:
• Project Consultancy Support (70%) – Work directly with contracted Innovation Fund partners (from both categories) and support them as their chief consultant to help strengthen their service and achieve key milestones and contracted KPIs.  Your role as their consultant is to advise them on development and implementation of their service strategy, robust business and operational plans, share lessons learned in other markets, and troubleshoot key challenges.  Ensure the agricultural service is designed and implemented to provide a high-quality of service and impact to farmers and agribusiness clients; and can be scalable and sustainable.  Develop and manage key stakeholders relationships critical for the programme’s success, including mobile network operators, potential agribusiness clients, FSPs/Fin-techs, value added service providers, agriculture institutes and donor agencies.  Key to this role is providing actionable recommendations to operators based on deep analysis of consumer insights and supporting them with implementing the recommendations resulting in continuous service evolution and improvements.

The Sr. MEM will also need to provide speciality support in the following three areas:
  1. Scaling rural mobile money agent and liquidity networks (Mobile Money Driven category):  Mobile money payments form a foundational use case for agribusiness enterprise (B2B2C) services.  Scaling the enterprise service will be dependent on the ability of the mobile money agent and liquidity network to equally scale. 
  2. Establishing commercial product development partnerships with financial service providers (Data Driven category):  Delivering derivative mobile financial services (credit, insurance, savings, etc.) will require product development and commercial partnerships with FPSs.
  3. Farmer credit risk scoring (Data Driven category):  Delivering mobile financial services will also require credit risk scoring derived from both conventional and alternative data sources

• Best practice and knowledge sharing (15%) – Extract key learnings and analytics from each AgriTech project deployment and raise advocacy for mobile agricultural services more broadly within the industry, by ensuring that key industry developments, learnings and best practices are appropriately packaged and shared. This could be in the form of writing case studies and online reports and conducting knowledge sharing sessions via working groups, webinars and workshops (in collaboration with the other AgriTech team members). 

• Programme and project monitoring (10%) – Define project plans, milestones and success measures; prepare timely and comprehensive analysis of progress against metrics and milestones. Prepare progress and financial reports, as required. Manage third party monitoring and evaluation services. Liaise with a third party grant management organisation to contract grants and ensure contractual obligations are met.

• Support alignment between GSMA Mobile Money and AgriTech teams (5%) – Because of this role’s focus on mobile money and financial services, the Market Engagement Manager will need to support efficient knowledge sharing between the two teams (emerging best practices and latest insights), consistent messaging to the industry and stakeholder engagement. 

About You

- Experienced in:
  • telecom sector in emerging markets 
  • digital financial services and mobile enterprise (B2B) services
- Experienced or knowledgeable in:
  • scaling mobile money agent and liquidity networks
  • partnering with financial service providers to design, develop and launch derivative mobile financial services (use cases and products)
  • leveraging conventional and alternative data sources to generate credit scores and financial products
- Demonstrable consultancy and business development expertise and outstanding general and project management skills coupled with analytical acumen
- Excellent interpersonal, communication and presentation skills
- Proven track record of achievement under a range of challenging situations (ideally in multiple countries, especially developing countries)
- Awareness of agricultural value chains and the agribusiness / farmer relationships
- Able to engage effectively in both a CEO board room and a village of rural smallholder farmers

What We Offer

Working at the GSMA offers you unparalleled access to the mobile industry. We offer a chance to truly shape the direction of mobile, whatever your role. By joining the GSMA, you will be exposed to a fast-paced rapidly evolving environment, working on global solutions, genuinely fascinating and industry-changing projects and a stimulating and dynamic environment designed to enable you to flourish.

In addition to architect-designed offices and competitive compensation, our benefits include fantastic learning & development opportunities, generous holiday allowances, four additional days off for professional development and many others.

We offer a working environment that reflects our organisational values. We also hire in line with our values and recruit candidates who demonstrate a strong affinity with these 7 principles:
  • DREAM BIG - Demonstrate vision and insight to lead the industry forward
  • BE BOLD - Have the courage to take risks and make tough decisions
  • OWN IT - Take full accountability for your decisions and actions
  • WORK AS A TEAM - Collaborate to deliver impactful results
  • DO THE RIGHT THING - Conduct yourself with honesty and integrity at all times
  • SHOW RESPECT - Treat others as you would expect to be treated
  • LOVE WHAT YOU DO - Bring passion and pride to your work

To learn more about the GSMA, visit our careers site, our LinkedIn page and our Twitter page.

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