Embedded Payments Firm
Modulr, a VC-backed Fintech business that specialises in providing embedded payments, faced a significant problem in 2018. Initially, the company planned to hire a group of near-shore engineering talent as a short-term solution to meet its product roadmap demands. However, due to a series of unforeseen resourcing challenges, including the pandemic, the company was forced to extend its dependency on this solution over a much longer period. This situation posed a critical challenge for Modulr, as the growing monthly run rate was putting the business's ability to turn a profit in line with investors' expectations at risk.
In early 2022, the business made the decision to consolidate the near-shore teams and replace them with a brand new Mumbai-based model. However, Modulr lacked the change management skills/capacity to drive this programme and, by October, the CEO looked to hire an Interim Change Professional to drive the strategy forward targeting by the end of Q1 2023.
Upon arrival, James quickly identified critical work-streams, providing the necessary insights to mitigate potential impact on product delivery and business continuity. Shaping a business plan endorsed by Modulr's leadership and recognising the importance of conveying the 'why', 'how', and 'when' to the existing technology teams, James established a dedicated forum to share the desired outcomes and address any questions. This crucial communication was then extended company-wide as the delivery plan was set in motion.
With a laser focus on nurturing the offshore hiring funnel, James tested and adapted based on weekly learnings, while promoting a constant need for communication efforts by all teams impacted by the changes. James also led the design of a scalable performance management framework to measure the transition to offshoring and ongoing HR efforts.To maintain program momentum and timely delivery of objectives, frequent action tracking sessions were conducted with key stakeholders. These sessions utilised a live RAG status, a comprehensive risk register, and a monthly steering committee attended by both the CEO and CFO to monitor progress, understand potential risks, and take necessary actions to keep the program on track.
In early 2023, James and the Interim Head of People visited Mumbai to bridge cultural differences and optimise ways of working for the long-term. During the visit, they spent time with the new recruits on the ground, facilitating necessary training and knowledge transfer that encompassed the business's core values.
5-months on, the programme has now hired 33 new engineers, commenced knowledge and IP transfer efforts and is preparing to onboard new recruits to existing engineering squads.
The successful delivery of the new Mumbai-based model allows the company to reduce its average near-shore daily rates by as much as 115%. Modulr achieves a budget forecast showing a £387K monthly run rate saving versus the same period 12-months prior. The outcome of this programme leads to a forecast annualised cost saving of c£3.6m and has an immensely positive influence on the business targeting a profit at the end of 2023.
James provided much-needed energy and vision for this strategically vital programme: his pace, control and delivery was exceptional whilst his commitment to shaping a scalable performance management framework was instrumental to the preparation of onboarding of 33 engineers in just 5 months. The successful delivery of the target operating model allows us to maintain operational effectiveness and realise significant annual cost savings totalling £3.6m.
I can highly recommend James to anyone seeking a leader who can drive complex transformation programmes with confidence.