What was your first position at VisionFund?
I started in 2003 as a loan officer in VisionFund’s (VFI) microfinance institutions (MFIs) in Georgia and there was a period of really great growth. Two years after I joined, I became a branch manager. Some of the branches I started from scratch, so it involved finding office space, recruiting and training people, and building the workplace culture and processes. Another two years later I became a regional manager. The next progression in my career was to lead strategic projects, such as creating our academy for in-house training. I gained project management and data analysis experience on many of those strategic projects and led the implementation of new technology in our MFI.
How has your career progressed with VisionFund?
After working in that MFI, I began working part-time on a standardization project for VisionFund International in 2009 and then in 2011, I got a full-time job in VFI. The work here is very interesting – one of my first projects was to create a best practice operations manual across one region and then I was asked to make it a global one. Implementing something in several countries is always interesting – there are unique factors in each country.
One project I was asked to manage was tablet banking in Tanzania. We built a tablet application there and no other entity in the country had done that before. We also implemented mobile money there in a big way, which enabled a lot of automation and is very popular with clients.
My work now involves doing a full operations review in each country, to help the local team to identify and eliminate inefficiencies in their processes. We are consciously making our operations client-centric and what motivates me to do these process improvements is the impact I can see on staff in their day-to-day work and the impact on our clients. So I’ll stay here as long as God wants me to be here.
Why do you enjoy working for VisionFund?
In my 8 years in VFI I’ve had commercial companies and banks offering me job opportunities but what keeps me here is the organizational culture – specifically our mission and our Christian faith. Our end goal isn’t to make money, it is to change people’s lives. For me that feels completely different from any other workplace.
The people are another reason I stay working here - I feel very at home. The people I’m working with are great. We have a team call every week, and every day I have calls with colleagues in other countries.
George, VisionFund Digitization and Operational Change