Chief Operating Officer (COO)
Maisha Meds is hiring! We’re looking for a visionary leader and experienced operator to improve health care in Africa.
About Maisha Meds
Maisha Meds is an organization dedicated to improving health care in Africa. We began full-time operations in 2017 and over the past two years has grown to support nearly 150,000 patients monthly across Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda with our suite of software products. We have built a network of pharmacies and clinics that use our restocking system to order medicines from high quality suppliers, and we’re testing a variety of payment systems and incentive structures to improve patient uptake of high-impact health products like malaria diagnostics and treatment, antenatal care commodities, and contraceptives. We measure our success by our ability to improve the quality and affordability of healthcare commodities for low-income patients across Africa.
The organization is at an exciting inflection point – in 2020, we will test our digital reimbursement model for improving malaria diagnosis and treatment alongside research partners from UC Berkeley that include Maria Dieci, Paul Gertler and Jon Kolstad. We will expand our efforts in Tanzania and Uganda and commence a small trial in northern Nigeria as well. We will move towards supporting digital reimbursement for the 16 core areas that make up Universal Health Coverage (UHC) as defined by the World Health Organization. And we will partner with global health funders, insurance companies, and pharmaceutical manufacturers to ensure that the diagnostics and therapies required to support UHC are always available at the last mile, no matter how far that last mile might be.
About the role
We believe that exceptional operations and service delivery are key to delivering access to affordable, high-quality, and appropriate medicines at scale. Today, our software enables over 1 million patient encounters every year, and we aspire to support service providers that serve 50 million patients in the coming decade. Achieving this growth will require us to:
- Build successful systems to support healthcare service providers across many countries in Africa
- Create effective growth, onboarding, and training strategies, including leveraging an agent model to reach new and difficult geographies
- Improve the experience for pharmacies ordering medicine and receiving reimbursements from us
- Work with governments and global health funders to improve service delivery and and drive cost-savings
We are looking for a leader with experience growing an emerging market business to serve thousands (B2B) to hundreds of thousands (B2C) of customers to bring this vision to life. In this role, you will oversee several core functions, including marketing and training, customer success, supply chain, finance, and human resources. Working across all of these functions, you will:
Set and steer operational vision and strategy: Together with our fantastic operations director, you will guide us to hit important operational targets and milestones. Our COO will:
- Work closely with organizational and country-program leadership to continually refine and improve our operational strategy, service delivery, and organizational management
- Set growth targets, define annual “Objectives and Key Results,” and ensure alignment with our long-term vision for scale and sustainability
- Prioritize and manage operations activities appropriately in accordance with the strategy
- Lead the team in its annual budgeting process
- Motivate and align the operations, finance, and other teams around this vision and strategy
Develop leaders and build teams: You’ll manage and develop 3-5 senior-level direct reports, and drive career growth and performance across the division. Specifically, you will:
- Oversee company operations and employee productivity, building a highly inclusive culture and ensuring that team members thrive and organizational outcomes are met
- Provide effective recruiting, onboarding, professional development, performance management, and retention to ensure we are building our team with top talent as we grow
- Support operations team members as they grow into leadership roles through weekly check-ins and workshops, ongoing development feedback, and regular career reviews
- Begin to build an internal “innovations unit” focused on operational R&D to improve our core service offerings
Lead business strategy and execution for Maisha Meds: We have begun proving out the potential sustainability and long-term profitability of Maisha Meds. Our COO will guide us towards this objective, setting revenue and profitability targets and ensuring execution, overseeing P&L across all departments, and working with our CEO to secure the financing necessary to serve millions of patients across Africa. Our COO will:
- Build a commercially focused team to drive our growth and meet ambitious revenue targets across all business units
- Oversee initiatives to secure financing, including a mix of grant capital, commercial investment, and debt to fuel our growth
- Develop strong and compliant financial systems and oversee financial management and reporting with an eye towards profitability
- Implement appropriate operational policies, standards, and procedures to ensure top-notch execution across Maisha Meds’ country programs
- Promote tight linkage between operations and tech teams and provide market feedback to relevant teams
Support partnerships, policy, and communications strategy development and execution: Maisha Meds has the long-term goal of supporting ministries of health and national health insurance funds across Africa to deliver more targeted, transparent, and efficient health services. To do this, we must both build strong partnerships with governments and with other advocates within this ecosystem to support broad adoption of better systems, and we must help shape the dialogue around these issues. Our COO will:
- Communicate the organization’s mission and vision internally and externally, including with current and future partners and networks
- Build our government relations strategy and collaborate with policy advisors and government partners to begin testing the Maisha Meds approach within health systems across several additional countries in Africa
- Support development of evidence based communications strategy around improved quality of care and cost savings associated with our approach to healthcare delivery
We are seeking exceptional professionals with 6+ years of senior management experience in a fast-growing organization and deep health sector experience. Candidates who fit the following criteria are strongly encouraged to apply:
- Strategic leader, capable of developing and successfully executing a growth strategy – including identifying the structure and resourcing to deliver these programs at exceptional quality
- Strong demonstrable leadership experience in a high-growth business in an emerging market setting, ideally with a focus on distribution (FMCG, solar, agriculture), fintech, or healthcare delivery
- Humility and personal stability. We are looking for passionate professionals that combine strong leadership skills with good humor, patience, and a humble approach to service
- Talented people manager, with a proven track record of successfully enabling high performance from a diverse array of direct reports
- Speaks the language of business, with proven track record in optimizing business strategy and meeting growth and performance targets
- Strong relationship builder with the ability to find common ground, build consensus, and strengthen collaboration among diverse stakeholders
- Excellent written and verbal communication skills
- Experience working in a multicultural workplace, ideally in Africa
- Creativity with strong problem-solving and analytical skills
- Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in a relevant discipline; MBA preferred
We would prefer to have you based in East Africa, but would be open to a part-time remote position for the right person.
Why You Should Join Us
Maisha Meds aims to leverage technology to solve problems that affect millions of people across sub-Saharan Africa. Though we can’t offer you catered meals and conference bikes like in Silicon Valley, we can promise you an opportunity to drive real, quantifiable change that literally saves lives. We are dedicated to our work and care deeply about our product’s impact. You’ll join our small and friendly team to grow Maisha Meds into a company serving tens of millions of people.
Start date is flexible, and compensation is commensurate with experience.
Send your resume and a cover letter to email@example.com with the subject line “Chief Operating Officer.”