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Operations Lead, Emerging Markets



Cape Town, South Africa
Posted on Friday, June 14, 2024
Our Purpose
At Xero, we’re here to make running a business beautiful. By making small business more efficient every day, connecting them with big business technology and empowering a community behind them, their potential is limitless. When that happens, we’re not only helping small business, we’ll be building a stronger economy that can change the world.
How you’ll make an impact
This role operates across two main geographies, headquartered in South Africa and Singapore, to develop and run end to end strategic and operational programs of work, designed to support all Emerging Markets (EM) facing into the challenges of today, to meet the opportunities of the years ahead.
In this role you will work closely with both regional Leads to develop the strategy. You’ll own and drive the design and analysis of key strategic opportunities for Emerging Markets, align global and regional strategy into key programs of work, and then project manage and coordinate across all functions of the Xero business, both global and in region, to deliver and execute.
You will be a tenacious, senior, individual contributor with a bias for getting things done in an imperfect environment. You’ll have a passion for analytical thinking, with robust analytical capability and be able to work through strategic problems to bring together data led recommendations where possible, with limited support.
In the absence of data you’ll be able to think laterally to doggedly drive initiatives forward towards desired business and customer outcomes, continuously refining and finding better ways and bringing key stakeholders on the journey with you.
This role can be based from either Cape Town or Singapore
What you’ll do
Strategic and Operational Planning:
Work in unison with Regional Heads and their Senior Leadership Team (SLT) in South Africa and Singapore, to contribute to regional strategy development, working in partnership with global strategic teams
Responsible for turning the regional strategy into a cohesive operating plan and working with the regional SLTs to set the Objectives and Key Results.
Responsible for driving collaboration across all supporting functions to ensure regional Operating plans are aligned and agreed across the Region.
Responsible for aligning and sharing regional plans with Global counterparts.
Support of regional growth initiatives, helping regional leads to prioritise and deliver on their objectives.
Create clearly defined data-led business cases where necessary, that guide and inform planning with measurable goals
Program Management:
Tapping into existing Program Management resources in global functions, utilise program management processes, procedures and artefacts to deliver key projects and programs of work.
Work closely with the wider regional leadership teams to ensure that functional plans underpin the operational plans.
Ensure program and project reviews are regularly and effectively conducted to monitor effectiveness of delivery against the OKR’s.
Work with the Commercial and Performance and Insights teams to ensure programs are delivering commercial outcomes as desired.
Proactively seek to understand and manage risks as they relate to the projects you’re overseeing.
Success looks like
- Operational plan aligned with regional strategy
- Clear business performance metrics and objectives supporting execution of the operating plan
- Tools and processes that ensure visibility and understanding of regional performance by regional and global stakeholders
Significant contribution to the achievement of EM key growth objectives and strategy through the rapid operationalization of key strategic initiatives
- Successful execution of the region’s largest programs of work (aligned to OKR and Operating plans), demonstrating and measuring the commercial and growth targets and ensuring they are achieved.
- Well defined strategic programs of work and business cases delivered, with limited guidance and able to manage through ambiguity.
- Cutting through ambiguity quickly to continue moving forward; efficiently addressing information gaps, uncertainty and lack of clarity
- High quality thinking and decision making across the business - facilitated by the experience, tools and support of you and your team
- Exceptional stakeholder engagement - collaborating at all levels of the organization and ability to bring people on the journey.

Critical Competencies

  • Proven ability to drive results within complex, multi-functional programs
  • Ability to contribute to all areas of strategic planning and execution, including taking a structured approach to problem solving
  • Experience delivering insightful recommendations that have been implemented and delivered true benefit to the business
  • Experience in teams performing complex cross-enterprise projects with multiple stakeholders at both senior and junior levels
  • Demonstrated ability to communicate insights through presentations tailored to the relevant audience
  • Able to build consensus and gain alignment
  • Passionate about customers and driving for outcomes
  • Positive growth mindset and high energy
  • Willingness to work across geographies, time zones and potentially work at unconventional times albeit with flexibility


  • Extensive experience in Program Management, Strategy, Operational or Product roles
  • Led complex projects across and within a matrix environment
  • Experienced in leading direct and cross functional teams without hard line reporting
  • Exposure to product led environments
  • Experience in commercial modelling and forecasting
  • Comfort wearing multiple hats and managing complex demands from across the business Brings experience working in SaaS / technology environment
Why Xero?
Offering very generous paid leave to use however you’d like (plus statutory holidays!), dedicated paid leave to care for your physical and mental wellbeing as well as an Employee Assistance Program to access mental health care for you and your family, health insurance, life insurance, and income protection, wellbeing and sports programmes, employee resource groups, 26 weeks of paid parental leave for primary caregivers, an Employee Share Plan, beautiful offices, flexible working, career development, and many other benefits that reflect our human value, you’ll do the best work of your life at Xero.
Our collaborative and inclusive culture is one we’re immensely proud of. We know that a diverse workforce is a strength that enables businesses, including ours, to better understand and serve customers, attract top talent and innovate successfully. We are a member of Pride in Diversity, in recognition of our inclusive workplace. Our goal is to make sure you feel welcome and supported to do the best work of your life.
At Xero we embrace diversity and inclusion and value a #challenge mindset. Research has shown that women and underrepresented groups are less likely to apply to jobs unless they meet every single competency or experience . If you are excited about this role, but your past experience doesn't align perfectly, we encourage you to apply anyway. You could be just the right person for this role and Xero. If you have any support or access requirements, we encourage you to advise us at time of application and throughout the interview process.