ACCION Hiring Experienced Project Lead @ Mumbai

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Job Description

Headquartered in Mumbai, Swadhaar is among the earliest urban micro finance initiatives in India. The associate companies under Swadhaar are Swadhaar FinAccess (SFA) which provides financial education and Swadhaar FinServe Pvt Ltd (SFPL), an MFI NBFC. Swadhaar Information and Management Services (SIMS) is a wholly owned subsidiary of SFPL, engaged in micro finance as a Business Correspondent. SIMS currently operates in the states of Maharashtra, Gujarat, MP and Rajasthan through 46 branches. It is in the process of rapidly expanding this network. As of Dec 2014, SIMS manages INR 200 cr of group lending portfolio as a BC.

Swadhaar’s largest shareholder is Accion, a global nonprofit dedicated to building a financially inclusive world, with access to economic opportunity for all, by giving people the financial tools they need to improve their lives. A world pioneer in microfinance, Accion has helped build 63 microfinance institutions in 31 countries reaching millions of clients on four continents. Please see for more information on Accion.

Swadhaar intends to set up a division to provide financial services to the MSME segment under the Business Correspondent model. Accion is working closely with Swadhaar on this project, and will also provide technical assistance in the project planning and pilot stages.

About the job
Swadhaar is looking for a person with micro/small enterprise lending experience including strong startup experience, who is innovative, creative, and will take ownership of developing, implementation and overall management of the MSME division, as an independent business vertical. S/he will be the business head for this vertical. Based on the business needs, the division will be housed in either SIMS or SFPL. The business is proposed to be built using a robust automated workflow, digital channel and payment infrastructure.

The MSME Head will work closely with the Accion TA team, particularly the product specialist, in design of the project and pilot. Initially the position will be located at the site of the early pilots for 9-12 months. Pilot sites to be selected by the project team. Thereafter travel to various branch locations is envisaged and would extend to 40-50% of the time as a pan India business is built.
Reporting initially to the Founder & Chairperson of Swadhaar, this person will be responsible for leading
and managing the Swadhaar MSME division.

Oversee the development of the new MSME division including delivery on portfolio targets and quality parameters.
Create and implement a solid framework for the operation of an effective management team.
Hire and lead a high performing team
•Provide effective leadership to the MSME division by being actively involved in the development of products and services.
Implement and lead a continuous quality improvement process, focusing on systems and process development.
Initiate and promote regular and ongoing opportunities forstaff to give feedback on program operations.
Create a corporate culture that embodies creativity, innovation, high integrity, performance orientation, and commitment to the organization’s work.
Develop and/or strengthen loan products and processes for the MSME market segment, incorporating credit scoring methodologies, innovative sales mechanisms, new distribution channels, and appropriate technology solutions.
Effectively manage the relationship of the MSME division with third parties and technical advisors.
Ensure the organization follows best practices for internal control and risk management.
Ensure the continued financial viability of the MSME services programmatic leadership and input forstrategic planning processes with the Managing Director and MSME staff.

• At least 12 to 15 years of professional experience overall, with a minimum of five years of direct experience in small and medium enterprise lending with a financial institution, providing senior-leadership experience supervising seasoned staff.
• Professional educational background including a masters or equivalent advanced degree.
• Strong sense of creativity and innovation with the ability to create buy-in and enthusiasm for the implementation of the MSME products and services.
• Proven ability to assess and build systems to help identify opportunities and risks early on.
• Flexibility and tolerance for ambiguity and tenacious about achieving goals.
• Passionate about MSME’s mission and able to promote and communicate the philosophy, mission, and values of the MSME division to external and internal stakeholders.
• Demonstrates integrity, strives for excellence in his/her work, and has experience of leading others to new levels of effectiveness and programmatic impact.
• Advanced understanding of international best practices in MSME lending in emerging/developing economies, including individual lending methodologies in microfinance. Ideal candidate will possess experience in multiple areas of lending.
Successful experience with startups, with a focus on new technologies, the creation of new distribution channels, and product development.
• Demonstrated experience in the area of credit and operational risk management.
• Strong relationship builder and communicator with experience leading work teams, developing an organization-wide strategy for program excellence, engaging community partners, and partnering with the Managing Director and the board of directors.
• Comfortable in a fluid environment, guided by social objectives, self-directed, flexible and creative.

How to apply:
Interested candidates can send resume to


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