Inside Hokodo

A day in the life of Strategic Projects & Partnerships at Hokodo

Raphaël Caruso
Head of Strategic Projects & Partnerships

When I was asked to describe a day in my life I thought “well, that’s complex”. Not that I’m an interesting person (trust me, I can be boring) but my role at Hokodo is so rich that every day is completely different. So, for the sake of the exercise I’ll try to blend the typical activities that punctuate my life as Head of Strategic Projects and Partnerships (SP&P). 

Like my friend and colleague Alex, I’m an early bird but not necessarily for the same reasons… My twin baby birds are the main reason I wake up around 6:00am. Although they are extremely cute they are also very demanding and I can’t really start working before 7:30am when I go through the industry news on my smartphone while the cute little monsters are playing next to me. This news gathering exercise seems anecdotal but it is actually a critical step to immerse myself into our ecosystem and understand the moving parts and who or what currently drives the industry. 

"I like seeing myself as an Indiana Jones of the trade credit jungle. Exploring new worlds and opportunities until I find the missing piece of the puzzle, the gem!"

I spend a lot of time decrypting market trends and understanding how our ecosystem works, who I need to connect to and how we could create value by joining our forces. It’s a treasure hunt! I like seeing myself as an Indiana Jones of the trade credit jungle. Exploring new worlds and opportunities until I find the missing piece of the puzzle, the gem! Ok, that’s a bit of an exaggeration but, shhh, don’t tell my wife as I’m still disseminating the Indy metaphor at home.

Raphael sits on the steps leading to a front door, smiling for a photo.

Once I’ve identified an opportunity to explore I try to crack it and the job becomes much more concrete and technical. It’s halfway between product and sales. I need to connect with relevant stakeholders (that’s the prospecting part), do a bunch of workshops to identify how we could integrate into a specific partner and deep dive into its API, assess the user experience and work with our designer to create mockups (that’s the product part). But the job also requires solid commercial skills as you are here to sell a vision to a partner, build a joint business case, negotiate terms of the contract and market the new proposition. Overall I spend a lot of time connecting with internal and external stakeholders and I really enjoy it. The role is cross-functional and very analytical. You need to have a very good understanding of how your organisation and your partner operate to deliver a partnership and be able to create value out of it. 

And the above is only for the partnership side of my work! I have the chance to also run strategic projects which basically translates into cracking high impact business related issues. But it’s already 6.00pm and the baby birds are back in the nest so the strategic projects will have to wait.

Long story short, I really enjoy my work. It gives me the opportunity to be at the centre of a booming ecosystem, in the eye of the buy now, pay later storm, and that’s so exciting. But my role is particularly great because it’s at Hokodo. I’m surrounded by smart people which pushes me to improve and develop new skills. I have a high impact role within one of the (if not THE) most promising and growing organisations in the buzzing B2B BNPL industry. And the beauty is I don’t have to compromise on my work-life balance and can free up some time for my family without having to justify myself. The no-bullshit, highly pragmatic culture might not be for everyone but it’s definitely for me.

Fancy yourself as Hokodo's next Indiana Jones? Check out our latest job vacancies today!

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