Product Manager, Catalyst Fund
BFA Global is a research, product innovation and strategy consulting firm that aims to improve the lives of vulnerable and underserved communities around the world. BFA Global works at the frontier of applied research and innovation using finance, data, and technology to craft solutions for more sustainable and equitable societies. Founded in 2006, BFA Global is headquartered in Boston and Nairobi, with additional offices in Medellín and New Delhi. We have a presence in Johannesburg, Lagos, Madrid, Mexico City and Paris.
Catalyst Fund is BFA Global’s flagship tech accelerator. Catalyst Fund supports early-stage inclusive tech startups focused on creating solutions for emerging market underserved consumers. The program has two mandates: accelerating pre-investable inclusive tech startups and accelerating the innovation ecosystems that enable them to scale. To date, Catalyst Fund has supported 31 fintech companies by resolving their specific capital, talent, and skills challenges so they can deliver accessible, affordable, and appropriate solutions more efficiently, more quickly, and with greater impact.
BFA Global is an exciting and rewarding place to work offering a range of opportunities to have an impact. The BFA Global and Catalyst Fund team is curious, collaborative, agile, and risk-taking, constantly seeking to improve to better support startups and innovation ecosystems around the world. We are a global team of highly-skilled, socially-motivated thinkers and doers working together to achieve the best value possible for our clients and partners, and ultimately improving the conditions of global poverty. We foster an entrepreneurial environment where we can learn, work with purpose and autonomy, help each other, and grow, while also having fun! To learn more, visit www.bfaglobal.com
About the Product Manager Role
We are looking for a Product Manager who can support fintech startups to improve their product offering based on identified users’ needs and problems, to define product strategies such as roadmaps prioritization or potential partnerships, to analyze and understand the viability and sustainability of the product, and ultimately, to move fintech startups closer to product-market fit. At Catalyst Fund, we run bespoke and hands-on venture building projects with our startups and become extensions of their team. In this role, you will get a chance to work with a number of innovative founders across several business models and sectors, and build the next generation of solutions for underserved consumers living in low-data, low-trust and low-bandwidth environments in emerging markets.
What You’ll Do
As a Product Manager, your responsibilities will include:
- Support fintech or digital commerce startups in the creation of a product development roadmaps and contribute to their overall product strategy.
- Successfully kick-off product development, including setting and testing hypotheses, doing customer research to understand users’ needs and validate ideas, managing sprints and backlog grooming.
- Participate at any of the Product Life Cycle stages from discovery to ideation and/or idea validation, collaboratively with researchers, designers, and engineers, and translate user needs into product solutions.
- Analyze the viability and sustainability of various products and their features and appropriateness given local markets and user preferences.
- Manage the execution of the product development roadmap, ensuring that milestones are met, and progress is made in an ongoing iterative fashion.
- Lead projects with startup teams together with other Catalyst Fund experts such as growth hackers, UX designers and researchers, and data analysts.
- Use analytics platforms to monitor and understand product metrics such as engagement and retention, funnels, or conversions (i.e Firebase, Mixpanel or Amplitude). Analyze customer journeys and identify areas for optimization. Use data insights that can ultimately improve the product.
- Design and run experiments to validate hypotheses in a cost-effective manner.
- Proactively incorporate cutting-edge theoretical and practical methodologies while implementing technology-driven solutions
- Create and disseminate knowledge products (presentations at high-profile industry events, blog posts, focus notes, case studies, white papers, best practice documents etc.) through appropriate channels
- Keep up with the upcoming trends in technology and constantly strive to learn and improve on the same
Additional tasks will depend on project requirements determined by our client-driven work.
Qualifications & Requirements:
- Advanced degree in Computer Science, Statistics, Mathematics, Engineering or equivalent, MBAs are also a plus.
- Experience serving as a product lead with a team of engineers and data scientists, as well as UI/UX specialists and designers.
- Demonstrated success defining, launching and managing e-commerce or digital financial products (fintech) such as credit, savings/investments, or insurance among others.
- Expertise in lean product management, including design sprints, value proposition design, hypothesis-driven experimentation, roadmaps prioritization, etc
- At least 5+ years of experience managing digital products (USSD, SMS, mobile apps, web apps, data products) and should have experience doing so in areas of low connectivity.
- Must demonstrate the ability to think on your feet, i.e. a “hacker” mentality
- Ability to work in a fast-paced, startup environment, with strong attention to detail for all tasks
- Ability to complete tasks in a timely manner while balancing several assignments with inputs from multiple team members
Any of the following will be considered a plus:
- Familiarity with financial inclusion and digital financial services innovation for low-income populations, economic development or social business sector.
- Familiarity working with different cultures and languages
- Experience with product management for low-income populations and/or in low-connectivity environments (i.e USSD or SMS based products)
- Spoken and written language proficiency other than English
Applicant need to succeed in technical or financial skills, but you also need to build a strong portfolio of soft skills to achieve long-term success at BFA Global
- Emotional intelligence, Communication & Empathy – You need to have a strong ability to collaborate effectively with others and work in teams, build relationships, share ideas, and manage conflict.
- Creativity & Problem-Solving Skills – You are required to have analytical and critical thinking skills that can help them find creative solutions to problems.
- Adaptability & Flexibility – You need to be agile and adaptable to effectively deal with the rapid changes (both financial and technological) occurring in the industry.
Anticipated Start Date: September 2020
The position can be based in London, Boston, Nairobi, New Delhi, Accra, Lagos, or Johannesburg. Candidates must have local work permits. Compensation will be commensurate with experience.
Only shortlisted candidates who provide the required information will be contacted for follow-up.
*BFA will not sponsor for work permits.
**BFA will not pay for relocation expenses.
At BFA, we are committed to providing an environment of mutual respect where equal employment opportunities are available to all applicants and teammates without regard to race, color, religion, sex, pregnancy (including childbirth, lactation, and related medical conditions), national origin, age, physical and mental disability, marital status, sexual orientation, military, and veteran status, and any other characteristic protected by applicable law.
BFA believes that diversity and inclusion among our teammates is critical to our success as a global company, and we seek to recruit, develop and retain the most talented people from a diverse candidate pool and to best carry out the inclusion work we undertake.