Head of Business Operations

Yangon, Myanmar
Apply by 13 October 2018
Senior-level , Full-time staff position
Posted on 13 September 2018

Job Description

Redesign the agricultural landscape in rural Myanmar

We are looking to appoint an entrepreneurial and dynamic leader as Head of Business Operations Manager of Farm Advisory Services, an innovative farm extension business in Myanmar.

This is a unique position for a leader who is passionate about improving Myanmar’s agricultural system for the development of the country.

Here’s your opportunity to:

  • Join an award-winning and growing social business.
  • Provide visionary leadership to a large team of emerging Myanmar leaders.
  • Design and bring innovative agricultural services at scale to a large, underserved frontier market.
  • Pioneer the use of technology and seize big opportunities to leapfrog.
  • Engage with thought partners, supporters, innovators and investors from leading global institutions.

Established in 2004, Proximity Designs is a social business focused on the agriculture sector in Myanmar; we have developed a unique platform composed of three businesses – financing, farm technologies and agronomic advice – that are delivering products and services to small farm families in their journey out of poverty. Proximity Designs’ total operations serve over 500,000 rural people annually and have reached over 9,000 villages. Our products and services have helped 2.7 million people increase their income by US$250 or more per year. We are the largest and oldest social enterprise in Myanmar. Our strong team of Burmese and international talent has a proven record of successfully operating in Myanmar’s challenging environment, a passion for impact and empathy for our rural customers.

We are looking for an exceptional individual, motivated to grow a high performing agricultural advisory business that directly serves farmers. Our Farm Advisory Services team redesigns farm extension services to delivery critical farming knowledge to Myanmar’s small farmers, currently not provided by the public or private extension system. We curate and offer cropping services and advices that are “best-fit” for the constraints and needs of small farmers. Our services are designed to boost farm productivity and incomes in affordable and environmentally sustainable ways. Currently, Farm Advisory Services operates in 29 paddy growing townships across the Delta and the Dry Zone, advising over 100,000 farming households annually.

This is a unique position for a business leader who is inspired to reshape farm extension to make it more impactful. There will be significant opportunity not only to grow our current advisory services, such as soil health diagnostic services and digital extension services, but also to introduce new advisory services around crop protection and farm mechanization. There will be opportunity to access the broader Proximity team’s deep rural knowledge, a history of innovative product design, trusted brand and unprecedented go-to-market capabilities. Our strong team of Burmese and international talent has a proven record of successfully operating in Myanmar’s challenging environment, a passion for impact and empathy for our rural customers.

What You Will Do

As the Head of Business Operations Manager, you will work closely with the General Manager of Farm Advisory Services to deliver innovative agricultural advisory system to small farmers in Myanmar.

In addition to leading and managing overall operations, you will focus on the following strategic priorities:

  1. Set a clear strategic growth framework and business plan: Prepare to navigate an ambitious, multi-year growth agenda, and help formulate and execute an evolving business plan that articulates the enterprise’s growth vision into more specific goals. Communicate effectively (written and orally) Farm Advisory Services’ vision for scaling impact sustainably in a well-structured, clearly articulated way to internal and external audiences including staff, partners and donors.
  2. Champion operations excellence: Coordinate and execute the day to day operations of Farm Advisory Services. Establish good business operations procedure internal control procedures to international standards and to be consistent with our social mission. Identify key performance indicators that can be regularly monitored, measured and acted on and provide analysis. Lead and support the field branches to ensure the healthy and sustainable growth and good customer service.
  3. Design advisory services for farmers: Spend time grasping the fast-changing farming knowledge needs of farmers in Myanmar, including the impact of specific agricultural products and channels for farmers and whether they should be scaled as a distinct product or part of an integrated set of solutions for customers. Guide design and research efforts and look for opportunities to maximize the impact of our advisory services on farm households; this can be done by offering complementary farm technologies and financial services through Proximity Designs’ subsidiary businesses.

Requirements

As the Head of Business Operations Manager, you will bring your wealth of business acumen and operations experience to this forward-thinking agricultural organization. You will be an impact-driven, intellectually curious, action-oriented, tech savvy and strategic leader with a successful management track record gained in a variety of organizations. You will have experience in leading an organization and its people through a period of growth, and have an aptitude for critical thinking and creative problem solving. You will be a collaborative and inspirational manager in a challenging and fast-paced environment, with the interpersonal skills and gravitas to lead and motivate multi-disciplined and cross-cultural teams. You are willing to go the extra mile, and motivated to invest in local staff and deepen the organization’s professionalism. Ideally, you will have experience in developing and innovating new products and services in a human-centered design environment or agricultural organizations.

About the Organization

About Us

Proximity Designs is an award-winning social business in Myanmar. We design and deliver affordable, income-boosting products that complement the entrepreneurial spirit of rural families.

Launched in 2004, we’ve created Myanmar’s largest agricultural services platform — farm technology, advising and finance — to help small family farms be profitable. Across our platform, we’re now engaging with over 100,000 new customers a year, on top of the 550,000 we’ve already served. These families see an average of $250 annual income increase as a result — a life-changing amount for those living on less than $3 a day.

By using human-centered design, we listen, observe and learn from our customers. From this deep knowledge, we design and bring to market products and services to meet their changing needs. Today the scope of our network reaches nearly 80 percent of the farming population. We have customers in the Ayeyarwady Delta, Lower Myanmar, the central Dry Zone and the Shan hills.

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