CEO – Atal Innovation Center Catayst-IFMR

Posted By: IFMR LEAD


Top Mgt (CEO, President, MD, Country Director/ Regional Representative, Executive Director)

Programme Execution/Management

Social Sector

Job Description


A tried and tested Entrepreneurial Leader to drive a new, distinctive ‘Social Enterprise Development’ program from its conceptualization to scale for the IFMR Graduate School of Business at KREA University with program locations in Jaipur and Chennai. The CEO will be responsible for designing long term program strategy, including the definition of key innovation areas, development of products & services having strategic and long-term value, establishment of key operational & funding partnerships, as well as setting up and managing an execution team to achieve defined goals. The role will be initially based in Jaipur, Rajasthan.

Context: Atal Innovation Center CATALYST-IFMR

Catalyst was set up in 2016 as a donor funded program focused on investigating coordination and market facilitation gaps to accelerate digital payment adoption & usage in micro merchant ecosystems as a stepping stone for access to broader financial services such as savings, credit, and insurance. It was set up in Jaipur under an anchor partnership with the Govt. of Rajasthan, and has advised the Ministry of Finance, National Digital Payment Mission and NitiAayog. Since its inception, it has worked in the areas of (i) supply chain payments, (ii) digital payment acceptance by fixed store as well as roving businesses, and (iii) digital finance for the urban poor households. As part of these efforts, it also set up a product incubator ‘Fintech for the Last Mile’ to promote new solutions and entrepreneurs specifically addressing last mile pain points of traditionally underserved communities. It is now keen to extend its product innovation efforts to micro enterprises in peri-urban and rural geographies, linking these initiatives more tightly to ongoing programs to strengthen livelihoods and promote market linkages.

Recently, Catalyst was selected for a five year grant by the Atal Innovation Mission at the NitiAyog to set up an Atal Incubation Centre (AIC) in Jaipur as a separate legal entity under IFMR. The primary goal of this Incubator is to identify high quality startups from across India to help them design and implement scalable solutions to catalyze last mile financial inclusion. It will build on Catalyst’s previous efforts and scale its successful initiatives. It will also tap into synergies with the broader IFMR university ecosystem. Over a five-year horizon, the scope of the program may also extend beyond fintech to other priority inclusive technology domains such as education, health, agriculture, etc. Catalyst intends to leverage strategic partnerships to enable additional sponsorships to support & grow the program, tap venture funding for participating and promising startups, drive new industry relevance, and support policy advocacy for innovative business models to emerge and scale.

Catalyst’s parent organization, IFMR, under new and dynamic leadership is itself undergoing a transformation with the launch of KREA University to set up a new paradigm in immersive education. Organizationally, the Catalyst incubator will fall under the ambit of the IFMR Graduate School of Business at KREA University, which will contribute resources to advance its mission as well as enable synergies with its own curricula and student body.

The Role

The CEO will be the single point of leadership for the Atal Innovation Center CATALYST-IFMR, and its product incubation program. In consultation with relevant IFMR leadership, she/he will be responsible for designing a long-term program strategy, including innovation areas to prioritize, a roadmap of offerings, startup selection and engagement strategies, etc. She/he will define the value proposition offered by the incubator for startups as well as additional stakeholders, lead the development and deployment of its

Desired Candidate Profile

Post Graduation - Post Graduate-Other

•  Intrinsically motivated change agent with the passion and mindset to drive large scale impact;
•  Strategic problem solver and creative thinker who can articulate multiple strategic options and their relative merits/risks and engage the right expertise to prioritize solutions;
•  Outcomes-oriented management style that balances empowerment with performance accountability;

•  Structured, data-driven and detail oriented in decision making;
•  Strong analytical capabilities – able to assess different business models, understand what is working / not working in different contexts, and identify potential solutions;
•  Innovative, out-of-the box thinker who is hands-on and willing to go as deep or broad as necessary to achieve outcomes;

Organization Details

  • Organization Name:IFMR LEAD
  • About Organization:

    IFMR LEAD is an India based non-profit research organisation. Through our rigorous research efforts, we provide practitioners and decision-makers scientific evidence to devise effective solutions for pressing development challenges in South Asia.Our work addresses vital socio-economic objectives to foster the economic growth of individuals, low-income households, and small enterprises. We collaborate with leading academics, development specialists, government agencies, and industry experts for research design, implementation and dissemination, in areas that are integral to accelerate the socio-economic and financial development of poor households.