India Director

Mumbai, India
Job Type
Deadline for Applications
Where to Apply

Acumen is looking for a dynamic individual to lead Acumen India through a transformational new chapter; an entrepreneurial  leader who is unafraid to take risks, adept at operating in a global organization, who boldly pursues opportunities for impact, and one who is unwavering in his/her commitment to serving the poor.

Main responsibilities and key activities:
The incumbent will partner with global leaders across Acumen to determine the strategic direction of Acumen India, and how we can leverage our portfolio, social impact measurement work and leadership program to maximize our footprint.

More specifically, this means successful management of the investment portfolio to achieve its social impact and financial return objectives, raising funds and setting strategic direction for future investments, and partnering with the global leadership program team to deepen and widen the impact of our India Fellows program.

S/he will lead a team of professionals responsible for managing individual functions, and will serve as lead face and voice for Acumen in India. S/he will also direct and oversee the fundraising and community building efforts in India, expanding a community of key stakeholders – including institutional and individual donors, policy makers, corporations, and business and development leaders – who are committed to helping achieve Acumen’s objectives and vision in India.

Specific Responsibilities:
1.      Prove the power of patient capital and social entrepreneurship as tools to tackle poverty in India.
+       Set the India investment strategy – aligned with Acumen’s global portfolio strategy, with input from the local portfolio team and relevant Acumen leaders to identify how Acumen’s philanthropic capital can be most strategically leveraged in India.
o       Determine a path to financial sustainability for Acumen India portfolio; identify and secure new funding sources to support investing in India
o       Direct and oversee the management of the existing portfolio: review portfolio company performance, problem solving challenge areas with investment managers, and lead efforts to prepare for, negotiate and execute strategic exit transactions.
o       Direct the expansion of the portfolio, working with global and local portfolio team members, to propose new investments and ensure that the screening, diligence, structuring and execution deals are consistent with Acumen global investment standards.

+       Directly advise portfolio company CEOs in key business areas including but not limited to governance, strategic finance and social impact measurement.
+       Ensure the accurate tracking and reporting of social, financial and operational metrics of portfolio companies, through annual review process and Lean Data projects
+       Direct capturing and sharing of learning/insights from India and global portfolio companies with support from global Impact and Marketing teams

2.      Amplify Acumen’s impact and influence beyond portfolio, specifically overseeing the growth and evolution of the India Fellows program, developing and connecting social change leaders across India.
+       Provide guidance and support for the expansion of Acumen Fellows program in India, in partnership with the India Fellows team and global Leadership team
+       Support relationship management with funders and strategic supporters of Acumen India Fellows program

3.      Amplify Acumen’s voice in India, in service of elevating impact-first capital and the moral leaders we are cultivating:
+       Build strategic relationships and partnerships in India – with policy makers, lead corporations, business/development leaders, universities, and media – with an aim of garnering support that can strengthen patient capital’s growth in the country.
+       Explore and build large-scale institutional funding partnerships in India and other countries.
+       Build key donor relationships within and outside Insida, in partnership with the global business development team.
+       Oversee different community engagement activities, including work with Advisors and Chapters and other initiatives.

4.      Maintain an operationally self-reliant country office with a strong talent bench and sound management systems.
+       Mentor and develop the Acumen India team, provide guidance on their individual responsibilities, and develop a professional development program for team members.
+       Expand and engage the Acumen India Advisory Council to provide strategic guidance on different functional areas.
+       Develop the annual goals and budget, in partnership with Acumen global finance team
+       Ensure compliance with India laws/regulations and global policies, and ensuring expenditures within approved budgets.

Qualifications/ Experience:
+       Post Graduate degree in related disciplines (e.g. Engineering, Sales/Marketing, Business Admin, IT) and an MBA
+       Candidate should have at least 15 years of experience in operations, finance, business development, strategy or related areas for private sector organizations. Individuals with background in private equity or venture capital will be preferred.  Understanding of Indian financial markets and regulations is a plus.

Key Competencies:
+       Entrepreneurial prowess; proven ability to identify opportunities, develop strategy, mobilize resources and execute against strategy, iterating and adapting as needed
+       Demonstrated accomplishment in building, managing, and motivating teams, especially through periods of change or uncertainty
+       Exceptional interpersonal skills; ability to manage relationships with investees, advisors, funders and internal stakeholders
+       Very strong financial and business analysis skills as demonstrated by prior experience
+       Excellent written and oral communication skills; ability to present arguments and analysis in a succinct manner to Acumen management, partners and investees
+       Fluency in English and at least one Indian language

If you have the passion for creating social change, an entrepreneurial mindset and the investment experience required for this role, please submit your resume through our website at  or directly contact Gita Dang at our search firm, Talent Advisory Services:

Applications will be considered on a rolling basis, so candidates are encouraged to apply as soon as possible.


Additional Information

Acumen is changing the way the world tackles poverty by investing in companies, leaders and ideas. We invest patient capital in businesses whose products and services are enabling the poor to transform their lives. Founded by Jacqueline Novogratz in 2001, Acumen has invested more than $106 million in 96 companies across Africa, Latin America, South Asia and the United States. We are also developing a global community of emerging leaders with the knowledge, skills and determination to create a more inclusive world. In 2015, Acumen was named one of Fast Company’s Top 10 Most Innovative Not-for-Profit Companies.

Acumen’s commitment to India began in 2002 when we deployed capital to Aravind Eye Care Systems and then consequently set up our India office in 2006. Today, India represents our largest portfolio with more than $25M invested in over 28 portfolio companies across healthcare, energy, water & sanitation, agricultural and education. Portfolio companies like Ziqitza Healthcare, LifeSpring Hospitals and LabourNet are revolutionizing their sectors and pioneering new development paradigms.

In addition to our portfolio work, Acumen India has become a cornerstone for Acumen’s platform for developing social change leaders, with a network of 70+ Acumen India Fellows who are tackling problems of poverty in India across social enterprise, NGOs, government and the private sector. Generously supported by the Tata Trust and Dr. Reddy’s Foundation, the Acumen India Leadership program is well-positioned to broaden and deepen its impact in 2018 and beyond, alongside the growth of global Acumen leadership programs.

Acumen India is ready to launch a new chapter, leveraging what we’ve learned from 15 years of investing in India and the potential within the expanding community of changemakers that our Fellows represent. Core to our success is the ability to raise investment capital and build a world class portfolio that demonstrates the power of patient capital to solve the problems of poverty in India. Equally important is to leverage our experience into insights that compel this ecosystem of funders, operators, and policy makers to catalyze a broader paradigm shift in the battle against poverty.