Job Description: Product Manager – www.cityfinance.in
, a national-level portal developed for the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA), Govt of India, serving as the national framework of standardized, timely and credible financial and operational information on cities (urban local bodies)
Janaagraha is a non-profit trust, established in 2001, working towards the mission of transforming quality of life in India’s cities and towns. We work with citizens to catalyse active citizenship in city neighbourhoods and with governments to institute reforms to city governance (what we call “City-Systems”). Janaagraha is part of the JANA Group – one of India’s best-known groups of not-for-profit institutions working towards the mission of fixing India’s cities. Swati Ramanathan and Ramesh Ramanathan co-founded Jana Group in 2001 and it presently works across citizen participation and city governance reforms (through Janaagraha Centre for Citizenship and Democracy), city planning and design (through Jana Urban Space Foundation), banking and financial services for the urban poor (through Jana Small Finance Bank) and affordable housing for the urban poor (through Janaadhar).
Since inception, municipal finance reforms have been a core focus area for Janaagraha and over the years, we have worked with and supported government stakeholders at both central and state levels in the areas of own revenue optimization, grant automation, urban infrastructure financing, municipal accounting, among various others. Janaagraha’s current engagements include MoUs with the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA), 15th Finance Commission, in addition to State government of Odisha on a wide range of reforms – from accounting and audit to budget and treasury management and urban infrastructure financing. Also, Janaagraha has recently worked with MoHUA to build and launch a dedicated portal – www.cityfinance.in – which serves as a national framework of standardized, timely and credible financial information on cities (ULBs), in addition to facilitating benchmarking, comparison and peer learning between cities (ULBs) on a range of financial and operating indicators.
We are looking for a highly passionate and competent individual to work as Product Manager for one of our flagship initiatives: www.cityfinance.in. We have launched a beta version and plan to add new features in next 2 years to make it a ‘go-to’ place for accessing any financial and operational information on cities. This position is part of Janaagraha’s Advocacy & Reforms team, which works closely with governments, academicians, think-tanks and consulting organisations to drive key systemic urban governance reforms. This is a limited tenure position of 2 years with a possibility for further extension, based on candidate’s performance.
If you’re interested, please write to Nimisha Bency at email@example.com with a cover note on why you fit this role along with your CV.
What will the Product Manager- Cityfinance portal do?
We are working on solving one the most important problems being faced by Indian Cities: making them financially sustainable and accountable. Cityfinance portal is envisioned to work as a tech tool to drive data driven governance on financial management of cities, reduce the information asymmetry on performance of cities amongst stakeholders like city governments, state governments, investors, CSOs, academicians, journalists etc. This is “change at scale” role with responsibility of building largest database on cities and building tools for improving financial resources & management in ULBs.
The Product Manager-Cityfinance will work closely with Advocacy and Reforms team and at frequent intervals, engage with and manage deliverables of external design UI/UX consultants, tech vendor, as well as engage with senior stakeholders across governments, consulting orgs, academia, think-tanks and NGOs/CSOs. Here’s a listing of some of the indicative responsibilities and activities required from the incumbent:
- Build product roadmap in line with programmatic and stakeholder priorities, including government officials, building on what matters most to achieve the strategic goals and initiatives
- Plan and implement periodic release of additional features on the cityfinance portal in consultation with internal and external stakeholders
- Ideate for new and innovative features for products and use of open source solutions for development of product for achieving scale at speed
- Competitive bench-marking with global peers in terms of features and functionalities and continuously incorporate best practices onto the cityfinance portal
- Ideate on system architecture and tech infrastructure to be used for development of optimal platform
- Coordinate and act as bridge between tech development team, design firms, communications teams external consultants for development of quality product and new features
- Ensure deliverables from vendors are of high quality and completed on time;
- Extract, synthesize and analyse data, create presentations and frequent updates for senior management within Janaagraha, relevant stakeholders (including senior government officials) and donors;
- Articulate and present pros/cons of different technology solutions to key internal/external stakeholders;
- Act as an inspiring technology leader for the development team by having a thorough understanding of technologies, processes and design;
- Resolve complex technical issues and provide mentoring on best practices, processes and design;
- Oversee and contribute to user documentation and training; outbound marketing; product support, and handle support escalations; including quality assurance and release management;
- Specific event-based content initiatives to drive traffic and outcomes based on organization goals;
- Data analytics and usage analysis of content and traffic sources;
- New implementation of cutting-edge ideas to deliver more user value based on global benchmarks
We think you’ll fit this role well if you have:
- At least 4 years of professional work experience as Product Manager with one of the ‘unicorn’ tech-startups or similar tech-oriented organizations
- Worked and built scalable and large-scale institution-facing web/mobile applications, including those that have decision support tools/dashboards
- Exposure to and experience on designing and maintaining applications in an Agile environment
- Experience of working across all layers of modern web/mobile application development
- A keen interest in urban development and civic tech products
- Strong organizational, analytical skills with excellent communication and interpersonal skills
- Ruthless (objective) prioritization skills
- Keenness and experience of working on government projects
- Good understanding of new developments in civic tech, prevailing and modern technologies and open source solutions
If you think you fit this role well despite not ticking some of the boxes mentioned above, we encourage you to apply. While we do emphasise on some basic filters, such as minimum work experience, good communication, good problem solving aptitude, good working knowledge of tech development process – we understand that not all are essential in helping deliver well.
What does Janaagraha have to offer?
At Janaagraha, you will be part of a multi-disciplinary team of professionals and passionate citizens who apply cutting-edge technologies and practices aimed at strengthening India’s cities. We offer a dynamic, driven, remunerative and vibrant work environment for professionals who are passionate about investing their time, skill sets and energy to transform quality of life in urban India.
We have a work culture where timeliness, quality, initiative, ownership and ideation are emphasised over work schedules, plans and hierarchy. The advocacy and reforms team consists largely of young professionals coming from diverse educational backgrounds – management, technology, social sciences – and work experiences – consulting, investment management, marketing and branding and research.
At work, you will be exposed to a unique combination of policy, practice and platforms and will have abundant opportunities to learn from the industry’s best and apply professional skills to complex social challenges.