My name is Darren and I have a passion for learning as deeply as possible, across as many domains as possible.
That said - my career has been focussed on eCommerce and Payments industries. Throughout my career I have taken on duties including - Project Management, Business Analysis, Technical Pre-Sales, Business Development, Strategy Formulation, Account Management, Data Analytics, Software Engineering, Embedded Hardware Systems Engineering, Graphic Design, Prototyping and more. All of this quite far removed from my original area of study - Medicinal Chemistry.
Most recently I have been involved in the early stage planning, commercial negotiations and building of business cases for some major top-secret growth projects.
I thrive on innovating and building unique solutions to problems across industries - thoroughly enjoying the process and work that goes in to this.
Ultimately - my personal vision is to make as significant a contribution as possible to improving the standard of living of as many people across the world as possible - and I see the financial services industry as being the bedrock from where such change may originate.
Skills and Interests
Areas of Expertise: eCommerce, Payments, SaaS
Business Skills: Account Management, Relationship Management, Business Development, Technical Pre-Sales, Project Management (Planning, Scheduling, Delivery, Resource Management), Business Analysis (Requirements Elicitiation + Analysis), Business Process Management (Mapping and Re-Engineering)
Design Skills: Wireframing (Balsamiq + Others), Diagramming (eDraw Max, Visio + Others), Graphic Design (Sketch + Affinity Designer + Illustrator for Vector Art; Affinity Photo + Pixelmator + Photoshop for Raster)
Interests: Outdoor Rec (Canyoning, Rock Climbing, Abseiling, Caving, Endurance / Fun Runs), Music Festivals, Coding
(2017 - Present) Head of Growth Projects @ Zip Co
Zip Co is an ASX listed FinTech company that offers consumers with digital flexible payment options.
We align ourselves strategically with businesses to offer a number of Buy Now, Pay Later solutions that can help increase sales conversions and average order values.
We strive to be unlike others in the industry – we partner with businesses and customers alike to create transparent, responsible, and fairly priced consumer credit products and are here to do things very differently for a change.
To learn more please email me [email protected]
My role as Head of Growth Projects at Zip has involved many facets:
1. Early stage commercial negotiations with merchants, partners and suppliers (primarily tier 1 and 2 financial institutions)
2. Building out business cases for major growth projects and presenting to C-Level and Board
3. Business Development (large enterprise merchants and partners)
4. Formulation and execution of growth and innovation strategies
5. Project Management (for major growth projects - where projects have two or more partners involved)
6. Business Analysis (for major growth projects and BAU)
7. Development of Prototypes (software + embedded systems / hardware - from planning and architecture to coding and presentation)
8. User / Product Research
Whilst many of the projects that I work on are top-secret and/or ongoing, below is just a sample of some of the projects that I have worked on:
1. Started a User Research Function Within The Product Team
2. Led a Team in a Recent Internal Hackathon to Develop and Pitch The Sale of Gift Cards With Zip. We came third in the Hackathon, and we released the feature to production where it is consistently placed amongst our top merchants
3. Led a Research Effort in to Merchant Acceptance Strategies and Published an Internal Whitepaper With the Results and Recommendations
(2017) Head of Sales Engineering (Enterprise and Channel) @ Zip Co
1. Led the Enterprise and Channel / Strategic Partnerships function of the Sales Engineering team at zip (two reports), reporting to CSO
2. Formulated and executed a training and mentorship programme for my direct reports AND members of the SMB Integrations team
3. Undertook technical pre-sales, integrated and launched a number of major brands with zipMoney/zipPay - both in-store and online - Incl. Michael Hill Jewellers, Mitre 10, Beacon Lighting, Kathmandu, Anaconda, Best & Less, Aussie Disposals, Australian Geographic, The Co-Op Bookstore, Sanity, Trip-A-Deal, Wittner Shoes + Over 40 SMB and Mid-Market Opportunities; with a very high collective turnover.
4. Prepared roughly 50% of our response to a major $1bn+ tender AND was in group of 3 who pitched our response in person. We won it - primarily as a result of my input on risk management, schedule and formal project management process using PMBOK and ITIL based processes
5. Engineered and rolled-out formal team process incl. BPMN + document artefacts describing the process
(2016 - 2017) Pre-Sales Engineer (Enterprise and Channel) @ Zip Co
1. Undertook technical pre-sales, integrated and launched a number of major brands with zipMoney/zipPay - both in-store and online - Incl. Catch of the Day, Forever New, WebJet Exclusives, Adairs, Harris Farm, Cheap as Chips, PLE Computers, PC Casegear + Over 120 SMB and Mid Market Opportunties; with a very high collective turnover.
2. Re-engineered the technical pre-sales process from an adhoc function (with no documentation) to one with complete, detailed and explicit technical proposals and pre-sales presentations
3. Participated in the early stage testing and roll-out of new API products
4. Built developer playgrounds in PHP for both of our online APIs
(2014 - 2016) Pre-Sales Consultant @ PayPal
1. Led Major Enterprise and Channel Integration Efforts (Incl. Flight Centre, Quickbooks Online, AMF Bowling) and participated in early stage pre-sales efforts for a large number of major enterprise-level insurance, government, medical and other opportunities
2. Introduced and rolled out new mobile + web payment flow prototyping to the pre-sales teams (ie; easy process to create point and click prototypes of merchant's and partner's websites or apps with our payment flows and product marketing incorporated)
3. Participated in a PoC for wearable payment wristbands. Built PHP-based web service layer for performing payments and front-end JS application for on-boarding. Managed rollout and provided support at a major Australian music festival - Splendour in the Grass. Joint inventor on patent for the technology
4. Participated as mentor at Battlehack Hackerthon in Melbourne
5. Presented on latest advances in PayPal product suite to Magento specialists (invite only event)
6. Performed roll-play presentation (as Mario) to Quickbooks and PayPal SMB sales teams for Quickbooks Online Payments integration
7. Performed as a "Steve Jobs-esque" character in a team video competition (black turtle neck and all) on latest advances in payments - was referred to as Steve Jobs for quite a while after that by many people
(2011 - 2014) Senior Business Analyst (IT) @ GraysOnline
1. Led the Grays Group Business Analysis team (GraysOnline, GraysOutlet, GraysEscape, etc.) - having one direct report
2. Reported to the executive level (CIO)
3. Took an active role in architecting solutions - both independently and hand-in-hand with the Online Development Manager
4. Undertook requirements elicitation and analysis activities for a large number of major internal projects (Voucher + Gift Cards, PayPal Integration, SEO Strategies, Auction Enhancements, etc)
5. Product Owner for GraysOnline, GraysOutlet, GraysEscape
6. Played a key role in capturing requirements from various stakeholders across the business (at all levels) and external parties where required, translating them in to key deliverables, working with stakeholders to prioritise and deliver BAU and Major Projects
7. Managed Information Gathering, Analysis, Collation and Delivery every year for the Research & Development Tax Concession
(2009 - 2011) Business Analyst (IT) @ GraysOnline
1. Undertook requirements elicitation and analysis for a variety of major internal projects (The GraysOutlet Website, SEO Overhaul of the GraysOnline website, Implementation of Site Intelligence Analytics Platform, GST messaging across sites, integration with Alterian marketing data warehouse)
2. Project managed many of these same projects
3. Acted as a source of knowledge for multiple backoffice and customer-facing business systems (including documentation of this knowledge and making it easily accessible to others within the business)
4. Undertook UAT testing for many of the projects that I managed or participated in
(2008 - 2009) Graduate Programme (Project Manager - Sales) @ GraysOnline
1. Managed projects and accounts generating $8million for clients, over a 1.5 year period
2. Rebuilt support process of business development strategy that bought in > $100k / month
3. Introduced offshore resource to scale a support process for a major asset disposal project
4. Brought an archaic fax-marketing process in to the 21st century
5. Gained strong experience in analysing and cataloguing a wide range of industrial and commercial equipment for resale (manufacturing lines, graders, excavators, tractors, trucks, general business assets)
6. Was offered the opportunity to manage our offshore warehouse in China (however it fell through due to the Olympic Games at the time creating strict visa requirements)
7. Provided regular feedback to the CIO on product enhancements that I believed would be important - ultimately culminating with my moving across to the IT Team and beginning there as a Business Analyst.
(2004 - 2007) Bachelor of Medicinal Chemistry (Adv) (Hons) @ University of Wollongong
Activities and Societies: Toastmasters (executive committee), ChemSoc (Chemistry Society), Unimed
Achieved a Class 2.1 Honours in Research (HIV drug design and development using molecular modeling and synthesis).