Chief Operating Officer (COO)

 Hyderabad, Telangana


The Wellcome Trust/​DBT India Alliance (called India Alliance) invites applications from suitably qualified persons to lead its business operations and organization functions. 

The India Alliance seeks to identify an experienced individual to be based at its Hyderabad office. This position will play a leading role in the strategic and operational management of the India Alliance. In order to succeed you will require the ability to provide leadership across the full range of operational areas, including financial management and planning, HR, organizational administration, IT, and communications. The COO will need to develop a deep understanding of the requirements of its two funders, to ensure that not only is the India Alliance compliant with Indian legislation, but also understands the high standards of the funders. 

The candidate must be able to flex styles between the judgment of a leader and the management of detail, and be able to creatively solve problems. He/​She would need a strong relationship with and understanding of the needs of the Grants team, ensuring that every process and event is handled professionally. The candidate will have experience negotiating with internal and external groups, ability to propose new and creative ideas, highly effective communication skills, and ability to build constructive and effective relationships. 

The candidate should have experience of robust financial management and planning, including providing Board level reporting. 

Although the candidate does not need to have been a researcher, the successful candidate will need to demonstrate that he/​she has or will develop an understanding of and empathy with the business of funding scientific research. 

Position Duties:

  • Lead on governance and financial management activities including budget and financial planning, resource allocation, grants related funds and collaborate across the organization to provide continual improvement in existing overall processes and driving efficiencies. 
  • Manage the finance team and ensure that appropriate skills are in place. 
  • Define governance process for payments including process for review status of ongoing investments and recommend payments based on progress and future financial needs. 
  • Collaborate with all stakeholders to ensure that organizational objectives are aligned with grants and financial planning. 
  • Analyze operational and financial performance and trends, influence appropriate action to ensure financial results and objectives are maximized. 
  • Liaise with internal and statutory auditors to ensure adherence to approved policies and processes, including sound financial governance and management. 
  • Prepare documents required for governance oversight provided by quarterly meetings of the Finance and Audit Committee (FAC) and Board of Trustees. Present financial update to the Board. 
  • Lead on preparation of the Annual Report and other reporting. 
  • Lead and manage HR, ensuring appropriate policy and practice in place, supporting employee engagement and motivation. 
  • Lead and manage IT and technology requirements for the organization ensuring that IT support is fit for purpose. Ensure appropriate governance of IT systems and access. 
  • Ensure that India Alliance is compliant with all data handling legislation (including UK/EU).
  • Lead on risk management. 
  • Develop the organization’s communication plan for increased outreach and promotion of future plans and funding campaigns. 
  • Lead and implement Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) by which the India Alliance can measure its performance and report annually to its funders. 
  • This position reports to the Chief Executive Officer, India Alliance.


Five years (contractual); reviewed annually


  • Graduate/​Post Graduate with Management/​Finance/​Science background. 
  • Good knowledge of the science, research and policy ecosystem in India, and the larger international context. 


  • Proven relevant experience and performance in a successful organization, preferably with at least 2 years of experience working in or with a charitable or educational institution (desirable).
  • Excellence in management and a track record of delivery. 
  • Leadership skills appropriate for improving operational capability and capacity; 
  • Strategic vision and creative thinking. 
  • Financial management, and a high level of financial competency with experience handling financial data, modeling and forecasting. Experience of using financial software (desirable).
  • Demonstrable project management experience. 
  • Demonstrable experience of risk management. 
  • Ability to deploy HR interventions to attract, retain and develop best in class talent. Ability to build organizational and staff capacity. 
  • Ability to work with multiple stakeholders with a track record of success e.g. government, international organizations, academics, and universities. 
  • Experience of oversight of IT functions and service. 
  • Proficient in public speaking with excellent written communication skills. 
  • Able to work well in a team and to work flexibly. 
  • Permission to work in India and willing to be posted at Hyderabad.

To Apply

To apply, please submit your profile, including details of domain specific work experience to jobs@​indiaalliance.​org.

A letter of intent (up to 750 words) and detailed CV would be essential to the application. A note outlining the expected remuneration and its justification would also be required. The remuneration offered would be based on experience and the value it brings to India Alliance. 

Only shortlisted applicants will be contacted for further processing. India Alliance reserves the right not to hire anyone or re-advertise if a suitable person is not found. 

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