Local recruitment: Portfolio Lead, Upstream Partnerships, South Asia


Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India 🇮🇳

Delhi, India 🇮🇳

Category: Full-time
Reports to: Director, Financial Institution Partnerships, South Asia
Location: India (Chennai or Delhi)

About Water.org

1 in 10 people around the world lack access to safe water and 1 in 4 people don’t have access to a toilet. We are working every day to change this. We are Water.org. We’re here to bring water and sanitation to the world. We want to make it safe, accessible and cost-effective because we believe that water is the way to empower a bright future that we can all share, worldwide. We are an international nonprofit organization based in Kansas City, Missouri that has positively transformed millions of lives around the world through access to safe water and sanitation. Founded by Gary White and Matt Damon, we pioneer market-driven financial solutions to the global water crisis. For more than 25 years, we’ve been providing women hope, children health and families a future.


The Portfolio Lead, Upstream Partnerships, South Asia in the Global Impact Department, is responsible for managing a complex portfolio to assess and prioritize demand against our strategic goals for expansion and growth within the portfolio. Reporting to the Director, Financial Institutions Partnerships, South Asia, this position will work closely with the regional leadership and other key stakeholders to establish expectations for the delivery of business outcomes within the portfolio by working with those partners to define a portfolio roadmap in alignment with team capacity. This individual will monitor and bring transparency to overall portfolio health, provide input into planning and reporting processes, and serve as the first line of escalation to clear impediments for delivery.

Upstream Asset origination is Water.org’s strategic solution to address financial barriers to water and sanitation. Asset origination by definition is financing (credit or equity investments) by investors, financial institutions, and utilities. The financing of projects and companies is referred to as upstream asset origination. As part of the asset origination efforts, Water.org partners with investors, financial institutions, water enterprises, and utilities to develop financial products, structure financing solutions and facilitate investments. The successful scale-up of upstream asset origination underscores Water.org’s efforts on downstream asset origination through its financial institution partners. The downstream asset origination by financial institution partners creates refinance opportunities or upstream asset origination opportunities for investors such as WaterEquity, NABSAM, etc.

This position will oversee a team of experienced partnership account managers to reach their peak potential and set account strategies that will ensure each partner is poised for success. As such, the ideal candidate brings a strong, proven track record of building and scaling high-performing account management, up-selling and cross-selling, and service delivery functions to drive Water.org’s unique value to partnerships and networks in the Water Supply and Sanitation finance and services space.

Key Responsibilities

Business Development (40%)

Oversees engagement with partners’ key decision makers in the region to deliver sustained year-over-year growth of new and existing accounts.  Identifies potential upstream partners/capital providers for FIs and MSMEs specific to WASH lending. building and/or expanding WSS finance portfolios and products, including but not limited to:  

  • Identify upstream partners, work on innovative financing structures, and support downstream/MSME partners on the uninterrupted flow of dedicated WASH funds.
  • Implements lead generation, qualifying business opportunities, creating and delivering presentations to prospective clients, creating proposals, and, as directed by the Director FI partnership and/or ED/Regional Director.
  • Leverages deep knowledge of Capital market products like Bonds, MSME products, and service offerings to strategically assess growth opportunities with new and existing partnerships solution design and demonstrate strong interpersonal attributes that will influence decision-makers toward our products and services.  
  • As applicable, acts as a strategic account manager for highly complex, high-value, and/or new acquisitions.
  • Contribute to the development of concept notes and proposals that represent and competitively position Water.org’s core areas of expertise.  
  • Remaining current on the legal and regulatory environment as it relates to business activities and ensuring the region identifies critical barriers and market readiness with associated interventions aimed at advocacy and influence within the business line.  

Strategic Account Planning + Operations (20%)

Oversees portfolio planning and management, leading the delivery of performance objectives, financial targets, and critical milestones for the portfolio. Serves as the lead strategic account manager and business advisor for the portfolio, ensuring execution of partner-facing service delivery and related projects to maximize successful performance, including but not limited to:

  • Lead account planning for portfolio, including development and implementation of partner work plans and delivery of approved services to partners directly or via third parties, including IEC materials, technical assistance, financial product design, etc.
  • Pull together the end-to-end delivery scoping required to drive the expected outcomes and value through understanding business demand, strategic alignments, budgetary and delivery constraints, and local contexts and how they might impact delivery. Create transparency into portfolio level interdependencies and ensure appropriate planning is performed.
  • Oversees and governs partner account management cycle for assigned portfolio, ensuring utilization of global frameworks, tools, and methods for partnership design, solution design and field monitoring, and performance reporting by account management teams.
  • Bring thought leadership to portfolio growth, leveraging a network of industry contacts to inform our strategy and ensure teams rigorously assess and test evaluation of demand and prioritization and ensure supporting hypotheses are tested in a data-driven way.
  • Provides timely and accurate reporting and analysis of account performance and related business metrics for portfolio, including execution progress and forecast for impact plans and funding utilization to relevant business partners, such as Finance, Insights, and Award Management. Accountable for the accuracy of all data provided to leadership.
  • Assesses and drives recommendations for addressing account, legal, and/or compliance risks. Help the team identify and document escalation issues while bringing appropriate attention to key issues to regional and global (as applicable) leadership.
  • Ensure compliance with all applicable enterprise policies and procedures as well as local regulations and laws.

Stakeholder Management (20%)

  • Identify major policies and regulations related to the dedicated WASH capital availability in the target markets. Collaborate with public sector stakeholders to drive the expansion of the wholesale WASH financial products and markets.
  • Identify opportunities to improve policy and regulatory environment to promote the WASH wholesale sector.
  • Support the Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Jal Shakti for policy and regulations advocacy through oversight of in-country third-party service delivery and collaboration with partners such as multilateral development banks, and Impact investors.

Talent Management (20%)

  • Challenges and maximizes the strength of the team by aligning their efforts to meet strategic regional growth objectives and deliver results.    
  • Fosters productive collaboration across teams and functions, utilizing multiple talent practices to ensure cohesive effort and delivery of business outcomes. 
  • Establishes regular cadence of individual and team performance reviews and feedback. 
  • Provides technical support and/or coaching on effective account management, including execution and analysis of pipelines, roadmap structures, work plan development, forecasting, and milestone tracking.

Management Responsibility:

  • Supervises work of others. Responsible for hiring, discipline, and pay administration of their subordinates.
  • Positions supervised include: Senior Partnership Account Manager, Partnership Account Manager

This description is not designed to cover or contain a comprehensive listing of scope, stakeholders and linkages for every project, duty or responsibility but is intended to highlight internal or external processes, functions and jobs/roles that are expected to regularly interact with this position to deliver work. Scope may change or be assigned at any time with or without notice.

Skills and Competencies

  • Directs Work – Providing direction, delegating, and removing obstacles to get work done.
  • Values Differences – Recognizing the value that different perspectives and cultures bring to an organization.
  • Manages Conflict – Handling conflict situations effectively, with a minimum of noise.
  • Develops Talent – Developing people to meet both their career goals and the organization’s goals.
  • Manages Complexity – Making sense of complex, high quantity, and sometimes contradictory information to effectively solve problems
  • Business Insight – Applying knowledge of business and the marketplace to advance the organization’s goals.
  • Drives Results – Consistently achieving results, even under tough circumstances.
  • Manages Ambiguity – Manages ambiguity by operating effectively, even when things are not certain or the way forward is not clear.
  • Financial Acumen – Interpreting and applying understanding of key financial indicators to make better business decisions.


  • Bachelor’s degree and/or equivalent related work experience.
  • 10+ years of progressive experience in retail and wholesale finance and Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprise services and operations, particularly focusing on the leadership of partner/client development, strategic account management, and/or product development, including.
    • Deep foundational knowledge of market/banking development trends across the region, such as priority sector lending, capital markets, rural banking, financial inclusion, etc.
    • Proven track record of business development, expanding accounts, and business contracts with Wholesale lenders/Impact investors.
    • Extensive knowledge of portfolio and programmatic planning and proven experience effectively managing risks and issues that affect the portfolio.
    • Collaborative & proactive problem-solver with a demonstrated ability to drive alignment of plans and priorities across the portfolio.
  • Proficient communication and negotiation skills, with a high degree of commercial awareness and business acumen.  Demonstrable track record of success in developing and fostering key relationships at the C-suite or above.
  • Language(s): Proficient (written and verbal) in English.


  • Master’s degree is strongly preferred.
  • Familiarity with lending policies and regulatory environment relevant but not limited to priority sector lending and wholesale lending.
  • Familiarity with capacity building and technical assistance programs and principles in the finance and/or Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) sector is a significant advantage.
  • Language(s): Proficiency in regional languages such as Hindi and Bengali/Bangla is a plus.

Travel Requirement

Up to 40% of regional travel.

Being authorized to work in the country posted is a precondition of employment.

Salary and Benefits

This position offers country-specific benefits and market-based, competitive salary as well as periodic review for merit and incentive pay based on organizational and personal achievement.

Water.org is an equal opportunity employer and is committed to providing an inclusive environment. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, gender expression, gender identity, age, national origin, ancestry, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, pregnancy status, military and veteran status, genetic information, and any other status protected by law. We provide qualified applicants and employees reasonable accommodation, when necessary, to enable individuals to complete the application process and/or perform the essential functions of the job. We believe social change happens when people with a wide range of backgrounds, experiences, and identities come together with a common purpose. We strive to build and maintain a diverse team that will advance our mission and work and encourage candidates from all backgrounds to apply.

Join our team

To apply for the Portfolio Lead, Upstream Partnerships, South Asia position, please fill out of questionnaire and submit your resume.Apply





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