Manager - Projects and Partnerships

Consulting and Research · Nairobi, Nairobi
Department Consulting and Research
Employment Type Full-Time
Minimum Experience Manager/Supervisor

Position:  Manager - Projects and Partnerships

Location: Nairobi, Kenya / Remote

Preferred start date: As soon as possible 

About Pula: 

We work in 13 countries across Africa and Asia, and in 2020, we facilitated crop insurance cover to over 1.7 million farmers across Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda, Nigeria, Mali, Senegal, Zambia, Ethiopia, Madagascar, Tanzania, and Malawi. Since raising our Series A our operations have expanded globally including now Asia and Latin America.

Pula is fast-paced, constantly adapting to new opportunities and challenges. We are a high-performance, multi-cultural team. We expect our team to value performance, results and professionalism.

At Pula, we are: 

  1. We are customer obsessed and for us it's not done until it's done. Pula’s insurance protects those who feed the world, and we are obsessed with delivering value to smallholder farmers as we build the systems that protect them against catastrophic risks together with global insurers, businesses and international NGOs. 
  2. We have each other’s back: we recognize that building real sustainable businesses for agriculture in Africa are rare, and we have each other's back as we build this new Africa. 
  3. We are groundbreaking: In most countries where we work, agriculture insurance has never been done before and so as we have to stretch the limits of what’s possible, bringing agricultural insurance to places where it has never been before. 
  4. We make it happen: We execute at a high level, even in complex circumstances and with tight seasonal deadlines, with the goal of building a sustainable and profitable enterprise

The Pula Manager - Projects and Partnerships

Pula is seeking an experienced Projects and Partnerships Manager to build our insights into smallholder farmers. She/he must have a love for building partnerships across commercial and public sector, profits and nonprofits, probing into data, solving challenging problems, and structuring complex processes, while also being comfortable building a cutting-edge ag-tech startup.

She / he will have full accountability for a set of projects and works with the Pula business units and external stakeholders to ensure the timely, successful and high quality delivery of grant-funded projects and initiatives at Pula. Such initiatives are supported and supervised by non-commercial partners, such as NGOs, IGOs, UN agencies, government bodies, research organizations and other third sector stakeholders, to expand Pula’s market reach and impact, create growth and revenue opportunities and meet business and social impact goals.

The Projects and Partnerships Manager will report to the VP - Strategy & Research, and work in close collaboration with the partnerships, product, commercial, actuarial and operations teams.

A detailed job description and roles & responsibilities for the position is as follows: 

Aligning projects with Pula’s strategy and objectives

  • Work with Pula department heads and team leads to ensure that projects align with and contribute to the company’s strategy and goals
  • Work with different departments to understand their priorities and find ways to leverage grant projects to achieve them
  • Proactively discuss project prioritization, business drivers, and potential or actual risks with the Partnerships team and senior management
  • Offer recommendations for changing prioritization, required escalations, and suggestions for new project initiatives

External relationships management

  • Manage stakeholder relations, including donors and private/public sector partners
  • Plan and lead regular meetings with donors and other stakeholders to discuss progress
  • Identify and manage project risks, issues and remediation and ensure these are communicated and coordinated with the donors
  • Hire and manage external consultants as needed to execute to specific project deliverables

Project planning and execution

  • Independently lead the planning, scheduling and implementation of Pula’s grant-funded projects
  • Define project scope, goals, deliverables, tasks and resource requirements
  • Develop full-scale project plans, including task sequences and interdependencies
  • Work with team leads and management to ensure sufficient project resource allocation
  • Track project deliverables and performance of teams using appropriate tools e.g. Gantt charts, task lists, workflow management software
  • Keep relevant staff informed about upcoming deadlines, milestones and deliverables
  • Host project meetings and drive task completion to meet delivery timelines with project teams (Tech, Sales, Actuarial, Operations), including progress tracking, risk management, initiating changes to the original scope of work and reviewing checkpoints or milestones

Thought leadership

  • Take lead in authoring insights and research reports that may need to be delivered as part of the project
  • Coordinate with other departments to gather data and support them in producing analysis that may need to be part of the insights and research reports
  • Work with external consultants and agencies who may be contracted to work on research initiatives and ensure there is a clear scope of work, research questions, etc
  • Organize presentations, webinars and other events to communicate the insights externally

Reporting and budget management

  • Monitor and report on progress to external stakeholders (donors, partners)
  • Author or contribute to project reports (evaluations, assessments, mapping exercises)
  • Assure quality and compliance in deliverables by editing/proofreading
  • Create and/or share project documentation with team leads and staff
  • Provide information/training to staff on grant deliverables and reporting requirements
  • Oversee invoicing, accounting, financial reporting, paperwork, grant records and other administrative functions to ensure successful execution of the grant process
  • Any other duties required to support the delivery of grant-funded projects, including preparation of funding proposals

The right applicant would have the following skillset:

  • At least 7-10 years experience managing complex, multi-stakeholder projects
  • Skills and experience in working with diverse set of stakeholders and building strong relationships with clients
  • Strong team management skills, ability to work with multi cultural and multi disciplinary teams to deliver to our clients
  • Strong quantitative and data analytics skills, as well as report writing and presentation skills
  • You have the ability to translate complex and challenging concepts into detailed action plans
  • Good command of core project management tools and methodologies
  • Strong presentation and speaking skills (articulate, concise, engaging, persuasive)
  • Strong interpersonal skills (diplomatic but firm)
  • Ability to prioritize work, meet inflexible deadlines and produce timely, high quality results 
  • Exceptional work ethic and integrity: the ability to self-manage assigned tasks/deliverables
  • Bachelor’s degree with an outstanding academic record in the area of economics, mathematics, finance or similar relevant field
  • You are willing to speak up independently when there is a problem to be solved
  • You have the ability to professionally and respectfully dissent, and logically debate challenges
  • You are comfortable with GSuite applications (Google Sheets, Google Docs, G-Slides, etc.) and are able to adapt to new systems easily (e.g., ClickUp, Slack, Jira, Metabase, CommCare)
  • You are comfortable working in a dynamic, fast-paced environment and can manage multiple projects in parallel
  • You are comfortable and willing to travel (30-40% of the time) to customer sites across Africa, Asia and Latin America
  • Fluency in French, Portuguese and/or Spanish is a plus
  • Experience with business models providing last-mile insurance and financial services 
  • Experience working in rural farming contexts and knowledge of business models providing last-mile insurance and financial services to smallholder farmers is a plus

Benefits and compensation

Pula will offer a competitive remuneration package to the right candidate with benefits such as pension, health and life insurance as standard. For expatriate candidates we facilitate work permits.

To learn more about Pula:

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  • Location
    Nairobi, Nairobi
  • Department
    Consulting and Research
  • Employment Type
  • Minimum Experience