Director- Strategy & Research

Pula Advisors

Pula Advisors

Nairobi, Kenya
Posted on Thursday, May 16, 2024

About Pula

We are an insuretech firm that provides agriculture insurance design and execution services, specialising in index based insurance and are backed by top tier VC investors who have invested more than $25 million in the business. Since 2015 we have provided climate insurance to 15.4 million smallholder farmers, 41% of which were women across 19 markets in Africa and Asia who pay an average of $6.8 per season to insure their crops. So far we've unlocked over $2.22 billion of capital from local and international insurance markets for climate risks since we started in 2015 and paid out $40.8 million to our client farmers.

Pula is a fast-paced space, constantly adapting to new opportunities and challenges and we are made up of a high-performance, multi-cultural team. We expect our team to value performance, results and professionalism.

At Pula, our values are:

  • Obsessed with results: We are responsible for our future and therefore we get things done!
  • Connect the Dots: We continuously identify different customer needs & business problems and build solutions that deliver value.
  • Have a Can do Attitude! We dare to do things differently to make things work.
  • We have each others’ back: We look out for each other & we share high quality, timely feedback that makes us better.

According to the UN’s InterGovernmental Panel for Climate Change more than 3.3 billion people globally live in hotspots with high vulnerability to climate change and are now already feeling the impact of climate change through increased temperatures and increasingly erratic rainfall.
Insurance is a tool for vulnerable households in these affected regions to adapt to the effects that climate change is already having today on these households. It is a tool that enables for compensation payment for losses and damages that these households had no part in causing. Insurance compensation enables these households to make adjustments to their day to day livelihoods and practices and therefore allows for an equitable and just transition.

At Pula, we are building the systems that enable farmers worldwide to access insurance, using technology to insure this previously uninsured worldwide. We work in over 17 countries across Africa and Asia, and by 2021, have facilitated crop insurance cover to over 6 million farmers, 30% of which are women, across Kenya, India, Nepal, Pakistan, Rwanda, Uganda, Nigeria, Mali, Senegal, Zambia, Ethiopia, Madagascar, Tanzania, Mozambique and Malawi. We are a for profit, and have raised over $10 million from leading venture and institutional investors as well as developed philanthropic relationships with private foundations and bilateral donors such as the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and German Insure Resilience Solutions Fund that have accelerated investments in our target markets.

Pula is proudly fast paced, constantly learning from the challenges we face and overcome. We are proudly culturally diverse but united in our ambition of continuous high-performance. By challenging ourselves we believe that we can overcome the hard problems we love solving.

At Pula, our culture is defined by our:


1.Obsessed with results: We are responsible for our future and therefore we get things done!

2. Ability to connect the Dots: We continuously identify different customer needs & business problems and build solutions that deliver value.

3. Our Can do Attitude! We dare to do things differently to make things work.

4. Ability to have each others’ back: We look out for each other & we share high quality, timely feedback that makes us better.

Director - Strategy & Research Team

Pula is seeking an experienced Director to lead and execute strategy and research projects and support the President and Co- Fonder in building partnerships. She/he must have a love for probing into data, solving challenging problems, and structuring complex processes as well as a hunger for building partnerships across private sector, public sector, and non profits. She/he would love this role if they are motivated to help millions of farmers with climate change adaptation!

She/he is expected to independently lead strategy and research engagements, that leverage our trove of existing relationships, products, data and leverage the potential of new technologies, including remote sensing and carbon credits, with the goal of delivering tangible new consulting revenue and long term new commercial opportunities. Tasks will range from liaising with new research and corporate and philanthropic clients, to working with management and tech teams to ensure smooth delivery of research and insights, to visiting the field to understand the on-the-ground perspective, to synthesizing learnings from the business and clients, to contributing to the creation of new value-additive products for farmers, agribusiness, insurers, governments, mobile operators and their agent networks.

The Director - will report to the President and Co-founder - and work in close collaboration with the partnerships, product, commercial, actuarial and operations teams.

What you'll be doing

  • Independently engage in strategy and research engagements with our clients that include governments, private sector companies and development agencies. Be involved in the whole consulting cycle from identifying new opportunities, working with the insurance team to pitching for opportunities, developing proposals and managing small teams put together for specific consulting assignments. The nature of projects can be diverse ranging from advising governments on strategies for increasing agriculture insurance penetration to developing an agri-lending and insurance product for a regional bank to delivering capacity development programs for regulators and policymakers.
  • Create new content and insights as part of our consulting and research projects partnering with our philanthropic and consulting partners that include the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Shell Foundation, MasterCard Foundation, KPMG, Bayer Foundation amongst others, working as part of a lean team to deliver on the contracted deliverables. You will be expected to deliver on discrete data analysis and research initiatives that help Pula better understand customer behavior as identified by these 3rd parties, for example: estimating impact of gender on insurance uptake in Kenya, Malawi and Zambia.
  • Along with the President you will be expected to identify new opportunities in new and existing markets, supporting market sizing for feasibility studies in new countries and ensuring that our commercial team has a steady supply of opportunities.
  • You will be expected to develop content for Pula’s external communication and messaging through editorials, newsletters and webinars, publicizing the research work as well as wider work the company, coordinating with different departments in the business.


What you need to have to be successful

The hard skills:

  • You have the analytical skills and the structured thinking to close action-oriented research and consulting projects as per committed timelines. At least 5-10 years of experience in management consulting.
  • You can demonstrate to have originated and delivered on consulting work from development agencies and/or institutional donors for a value of at least $500,000 over the course of your career.
  • You have experience working with Development Agencies at multiple levels and navigating institutional structures both in private foundations and development agencies.
  • Advisory and strategy experience in the area of Climate and Disaster Risk Finance, Food Security, Financial Inclusion, Agriculture or related is a significant advantage.
  • Networks, Experience and knowledge in the Climate Finance and Carbon Credit Industry will place you at an advantage.
  • You are fully comfortable with Google Drive applications such as Google Sheets, Google Docs etc.
  • You are willing to hustle and roll: we work in 19 countries so travel is part of our day to day lives and part of the challenge. You can expect that work travel is up to 40% of the time.

The soft skills:

Relationships: 20%
Can build trust-worthy relationships with internal teams and with external stakeholders rapidly. Can follow up on leads from the Consulting Director and also expand into new networks quickly and by themselves. Passionate about building and maintaining relationships.

Resilient & Analytical: 30%
Can navigate through lots of data sets and stakeholders to get the right information needed for consulting assignments as well as for closing deals and will not give up. Preferably a tenacious self-starter who enjoys being given ownership of initiatives. Recovers quickly from tough situations. Eager to build new partnerships, has a point to prove and looks to prove that point at Pula. Builds their profile and therefore reputation around Pula and the Pula products. They do not want to fail and therefore will do what it takes for Pula to succeed.

Coachable: 20%
Is eager to learn, and grow in their skills and ability, and can adapt to the situation. Is resourceful to close any skills and knowledge gap. Openly receives and shares feedback. A consummate learner.

Gravitas yet Street Smart 30%
Is charming and has a confident, comfortable presence. Can sit across from diplomats to Ministers of Agriculture and hold their own and pitch without assistance. Can understand and map the stakeholders in a new partnership, identify and test champions, structure the partnership, problem solve and find another way when a proposed partnership gets stuck.

N/B: With your resume send us:
Up to 2 pages of your best written work samples done to date -articles/ op-ed’s/ research work that can be found in the public domain.

What Pula will bring to the table

  • Growth potential: With an untapped market of 1.5 billion smallholders worldwide, on track to doubling the number of farmers insured in 2021 and Pula’s global leadership in Agriculture Insurance, our new staffers have a tremendous upside growth potential.
  • Market Leader: Not only is the opportunity massive, but Pula is by far the market leader in it’s category with 11m farmers insured as of 2023.
  • Solid: Pula has been funded by leading venture capital investors (Omidyar Network, ACCION, MercyCorps) and global philanthropic institutions (MasterCard Foundation, CGAP/World Bank as well as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation). Pula closed a $6m series A funding in December 2020 in the right in the middle of the pandemic a clear testimony of the opportunity that Pula is going after.
  • Respected: Winner of the Singapore FinTech Festival 2019, Winner of The InsureTech of the Award, Africa. Featured on TED talks, The New York Times, The Economist.
  • Impact and creation: This is a high-impact role, that offers a unique opportunity to bring the company to the next level, whilst developing new strategies, approaches and ideas.
  • Leadership: The founders & CEO foster a culture of transparency, respect, high performance, pragmatism, execution and personal development.
  • Purpose: It is rare to find a professional opportunity that offers accelerated professional development and a life purpose. Pula is going through a second phase of accelerated growth that will naturally provide professional development, whilst contributing to the financial stability of small farmers in the emerging markets.
  • Remuneration: Competitive base salary accordingly with seniority and experience, commission on closed sales and an employee share option plan that offers an attractive equity upside.

To learn more about Pula you can visit

TED Talk: Crop Insurance, an Idea Worth Seeding
New York Times: He Grew up on a Farm. Now, He Helps Protect Them
The Economist: The Poor, Who Most Need Insurance, Are Least Likely to Have It

How to apply

Fill out the form below, and upload a resume in English.

Our process:

Stage 1 The Culture Interview: Your complete applications will be reviewed and those shortlisted will be invited for a culture interview to understand if you have Pula DNA

Stage 2 The Technical Interview: Those that pass the culture interview will be invited to complete an assignment that will give you a good sense of what working at Pula is like. This way you will get to know if you like the job, and we get to know you. Those with completed assignments will be invited for a technical interview with the hiring manager.

Stage 3 The Panel Interview: Those that pass the technical interview will be interviewed by a panel of future colleagues who you will be working with at Pula so you can get to know your new colleagues and they can get to know you.

Stage 4 The Reference Check: as described :-)

Stage 5 Offer: If you have gotten this far, you may pat yourself on the back- as you’ll receive an offer!

Pula’s mission is to provide farmer resilience. To achieve this, we put our small holder farmers that use our services and the employees that provide them at the heart of everything we do. For that purpose, Pula was created to be an equal opportunity employer that celebrates diversity and is committed to creating an inclusive environment for all employees.