Precision Agriculture for Development, Inc. (PAD) is an early stage global technology startup using rich data and smart algorithms to help smallholder farmers make better production decisions. We are advised by top academics at Harvard and Brown Universities and backed by global donors. PAD is looking for an experienced technical leader to guide product development.

We offer competitive compensation, international work experience, and the opportunity to apply technology based problem solving skills in a high-growth, impact-oriented environment.

Interested applicants should submit their CV and a cover letter to jobs@precisionag.org and reference this position in the subject line.

Background

PAD is a US-based organization with a mission to support smallholder farmers in developing countries with customized information and services that increase productivity, profitability, and environmental sustainability. PAD is working on a new model for agricultural extension: reaching farmers with personalized agricultural advice through their mobile phones.

We are building an intelligent platform that provides individualized production recommendations based on theory and data, using machine learning and innovative measurement. Our vision is better livelihoods for the poor, drawn from a more productive, environmentally friendly landscape.

In a rigorous randomized controlled trial in India, the alpha version of our voice-based service increased yields by 8.6-28%, with a social benefit to cost ratio of 10/1 (Cole and Fernando 2016). Building on this pilot we have launched a refined service that has grown from 100 to 20,000 users over the past 7 months.

Our ambitions are large: our funders include Silicon Valley venture capitalists and technology entrepreneurs, and we believe that technological innovations create new scope and opportunities to address rural poverty and close the global food production gap. We aim to improve the lives of 100 million farmers in developing countries. To reach our goals, we will tap new technologies (like microsatellites, drones, smartphones, and machine vision), which have the promise to vastly improve the intelligence of our service and the quality of recommendations we provide to farmers.

The founding team includes professors at Harvard and Brown Universities and experienced development professionals, who have decades of combined experience creating impact at scale in the developing world. We are well-funded and ready to scale.

Job Description

We are seeking an experienced technical leader to guide product development and to advise on strategy.

We envision the Director of Product to be based in Ahmedabad, India, but can explore alternate arrangements as well. The job also will involve travel to the United States and Africa as well as working with the global team as we scale.

 

Desired Experience

You will work directly with PAD’s Managing Director, Board of Directors, and Country Directors mediating between organizational objectives and technical implementation. You should be able to guide the implementation of backend and frontend systems (interacting via voice, SMS, or app).

You may be a good fit for this job if you:

  • Think big: you are creative and are energized by disruptive ideas
  • Can wear many hats: you can work with the leadership team to understand and articulate business needs, work with user populations to understand their pain points and preferences, turn these into viable specifications, determine the best tools for the job, and implement
  • Have humility in working with low income rural populations whose needs may be very different from your own
  • Are a constant learner, eager to test hunches and theories with data and experiments
  • Have a passion for new technologies, but know that sometimes it is the least sexy solution that is most effective

Essential experience:

  • 2-4 years of experience bringing commercial software products to market as a developer, technical lead, or product manager
  • 1-2 years coding/software development experience
  • Ability to design for end users in a very different context
  • Experience with, and enthusiasm for, agile product development
  • Ability to help build a product development team
  • Ability to architect a complex technical system

Also desired, but not required:

  • Experience working with underserved populations