Vice President, Head of Nairobi Lab, Mastercard Labs at Mastercard

The Nairobi Lab is the cornerstone of Mastercard’s financial inclusion innovation agenda. With a particular focus on Africa and developing markets, the Nairobi Lab will lead Mastercard’s work on developing and delivering products and services that address major social and economic issues in a commercially sustainable way, requiring our team to develop novel approaches to serve new verticals and segments and become an indispensable partner to financial institutions, private sector partners, governments, and nongovernmental organizations around the world.

The Nairobi Lab is part of the Mastercard Labs organization. Mastercard Labs is the innovation engine of Mastercard, responsible for investigating emerging technology trends and de-risking the introduction of new products and services for the company.

Key questions for an ideal candidate include:
• Are you passionate about using innovation to drive societal impact at scale?
• Do you want to work for a world-class technology company with a focus on “doing well by doing good”?
• Do you want to a lead a team of high-performing innovation and delivery professionals?

As the Head of the Nairobi Lab, you will play a pivotal role in directing our innovation and delivery work and overall management of the Lab. You will lead, empower and motivate a team with a wealth of experience in innovation, product, and technology who are passionate about making a difference.

Key responsibilities include:
• Provide day-to-day leadership of the Nairobi Lab, including its team, objectives and outputs
• Manage and evolve the innovation program, leveraging best practices and learnings to ensure we are maintaining a healthy pipeline of new concepts
• Lead teams in the robust and structured piloting of new products / services with customers in the field
• Lead the transition of products from the Nairobi Lab to the appropriate Mastercard product team responsible for commercializing the product
• Represent the Nairobi Lab at internal and external events, including with senior private and public sector stakeholders
• Oversee and manage the Nairobi Lab’s budget and resources
• Anticipate, define and help capture opportunities for Lab to partner with local start-up companies or other external entities to drive financial inclusion focused solutions.

All About You
• Strong management skills: Experience providing guidance and growth opportunities to a high-performing cross-functional team.
• Deep understanding of new product development and innovation: Experience developing and delivering innovative scalable products in emerging markets by de-risking technology, client value props, and business cases
• Strong people skills and effective communication skills: Experience presenting internally and externally to senior stakeholders.
• Strong organizational skills: Experience working effectively work across a matrixed organization and ensuring alignment of focus and objectives.
• Experience working in Africa is required
• Bachelor’s degree required
• MBA or other relevant advanced degree is desirable.

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