Director, Innovation Engagements CEMEA – Visa Innovation Centre Dubai

  • Dubai - United Arab Emirates
  • Full-time

Company Description

As the world's leader in digital payments technology, Visa's mission is to connect the world through the most creative, reliable and secure payment network - enabling individuals, businesses, and economies to thrive. Our advanced global processing network, VisaNet, provides secure and reliable payments around the world, and is capable of handling more than 65,000 transaction messages a second. The company's dedication to innovation drives the rapid growth of connected commerce on any device, and fuels the dream of a cashless future for everyone, everywhere. As the world moves from analog to digital, Visa is applying our brand, products, people, network and scale to reshape the future of commerce.

At Visa, your individuality fits right in. Working here gives you an opportunity to impact the world, invest in your career growth, and be part of an inclusive and diverse workplace. We are a global team of disruptors, trailblazers, innovators and risk-takers who are helping drive economic growth in even the most remote parts of the world, creatively moving the industry forward, and doing meaningful work that brings financial literacy and digital commerce to millions of unbanked and underserved consumers.

You're an Individual. We're the team for you. Together, let's transform the way the world pays.

Job Description

The Visa Innovation Centre consists of a team of design, research, facilitation and technology specialists. We work on exciting projects and co-creations, solving complex problems. We combine Design Thinking with innovative research approaches, and technology to deliver insightful and actionable outcomes and concepts. We are part of the wider Innovation & Strategic Partnerships team working with stakeholders across the company and industry on projects that help define the future of commerce.

Reporting Directly to the Head of Innovation & Design for CEMEA, the Director - Innovation Engagements is a key leader defining the future of commerce in CEMEA. The individual will partner Visa’s ecosystem partners (banks, merchants, FinTechs, internet companies) to discover opportunities and co-create innovative new solutions.

As a Director, Innovation Engagements, you'll be a key leader driving Visa’s new way of partnering our ecosystem to innovate. You’ll be running 6-8 week engagements with our most strategic key partners and clients to identify opportunities to innovate with the user in mind, build solutions that address user needs, and ensuring those solutions succeed in the market. The six week engagements will culminate in a three-day sprint, where you’ll use best in class HCD and agile techniques to make magic happen. Throughout the engagement, the joint partner + Visa team will be under your leadership and vision to build something that will succeed in market, in record time.

You'll be involved in the early stages of research, ideation and storytelling and collaborate with multi-disciplinary teams through the iteration and implementation process. A natural collaborator, you'll lead co-creation engagements, bringing together client partners, designers, technologists, product stakeholders and subject matter experts and inspire and lead solutioning discussions.

This role would ideally suit someone looking to make a move from an Agency/Consultancy role into an in house role.


Lead Co-creation projects with Visa’s largest clients and strategic partners across CEMEA

  • Run a cross-functional team of designers, engagement managers, product experts and technologists over a 6-week engagement culminating in a 2-4 day facilitated sprint
  • Use best in class design thinking and agile methods to Discover, Design, Develop and Deploy new innovations
  • Discover: Lead market immersions to understand user needs and preferences
  • Design: Lead teams of designers and clients to build and quickly iterate new user journeys and prototypes
  • Develop: Lead developers to build coded prototypes and target solution architectures that use Visa capabilities
  • Deploy: Equip the client + Visa teams with strong rollout plans, governance, and business model tools to ensure that the co-created solution succeeds in market
  • Use exceptional project management, facilitation and leadership skills to inspire the joint Visa + client / partner team to deliver their best through the six-week sprint\
  • Be equally effective running engagements in Visa’s CEMEA Innovation Centers (Dubai, Moscow) or any of the 92 markets served by the region

Client Leadership

  • Develop robust, proactive pipeline of tangible collaboration/prototyping projects with clients/partners that will drive c-level sponsorship and engagement
  • Build trusted advisor relationships with key clients and partners in the industry

Team Leadership

  • Lead and inspire large and diverse teams of 15-30 client + Visa staff for 6 weeks during co-creations, providing clear vision, direction, and allocating roles based on skills, strengths and need
  • Lead (directly or indirectly) teams of engagement managers and designers, grooming them to independently run co-creation and design engagements
  • Indirectly manage larger teams of designers, developers and product experts in swarm staffing models on co-creations


  • Provide thought leadership in payments and related aspects, in order to develop a vision for specific areas of innovation, identify key innovation opportunities for Visa and our clients, and identify potential partners
  • Build a repeatable and scalable client/partner engagement strategy, encompassing understanding of their innovation agenda and capabilities and communication of the Visa innovation agenda


  • 12 – 15+ years of experience in top-tier consulting or strategy, with experience in technology working in client focused functions
  • Proven capabilities in leading design thinking/co-creation engagements with virtual teams that include Managers and Executives at senior levels – communication, presence, thought leadership and gravitas
  • Substantial client facing experience with the ability to translate client and partner needs into meaningful problem statements, engagements and tangible collaboration/prototyping outcomes
  • Experience running customer experience centers focused on helping clients solve real business issues
  • Outstanding facilitation skills, ideally with formal training and sprint management experience
  • Strong project/program management skills to successfully manage multiple, concurrent work streams
  • World-class client-facing skills and proven ability to engage with C-level executives and drive commercial outcomes
  • Degree qualified in business and/or design. Post graduate qualifications highly desirable
  • Formal qualifications in Human Centered Design/UX/Agile is a huge plus

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