CLOSED

Full-Time

Startup & High Growth

Movemeback African oppportunity location
  • Freetown Sierra Leone

Easy Solar - Head of Product Movemeback African opportunity cover image

Description

Easy Solar is a leading distribution company in West Africa, providing financing on high-quality solar products and appliances for those with limited or no access to the conventional grid. Customers can finance their purchase over time by paying in weekly or monthly installments, with the option to pay via cash or mobile money. To date, Easy Solar has reached more than 550,000 people, distributed through our extensive network of +350 agents and outlets across Sierra Leone and Liberia.

 

 

About the Role 

 

We are looking for a highly motivated Head of Product to lead our product department across both Sierra Leone and Liberia. Easy Solar’s vision is to make energy, financial services, and life-improving products affordable and accessible for all. As the Head of Product, you are responsible for developing our product offering in these three key areas, from research and testing, to pilot stage, to supporting the commercialization of pilots into our core operations.

 

For energy, which is the most developed product offering, this includes plug-and-play solar systems as well as clean cooking and standalone appliances for off-grid, mini-grid, and on-grid applications. For life-improving products (such as phones, tablets, water filters, etc.) and financial services, your role will be to pilot and define our commercial approach to bringing these new offerings to market, heavily leveraging the wealth of credit data on existing customers.

 

You will also be expected to work closely with our corporate finance team and lead any grant-funded projects with partners that subsidize the expansion of our product offering.

 

As the ideal candidate, you are someone who excels at building business cases for new offerings and is able to successfully oversee the implementation of the full product lifecycle. You are also strong at managing external supplier relationships, negotiating contracts/partnerships and building relationships across the multiple departments that interact with the product team, thereby fostering effective collaboration.

 

 

Role Responsibilities:

 

1.  Build, execute and report on the strategy of the product department

  • Create and continuously update the product roadmap, approving each phase transition
  • Make the business case for each product within the roadmap and ensure buy-in internally
  • Analyze and present reports on the performance of the product portfolio
  • Manage the full product lifecycle for all of Easy Solar’s products
  • Promote and champion products within Easy Solar

2.  Lead innovation, research and testing activities for new products

  • Keep up with current events in the solar, cooking, consumer electronics and financial services sectors, watching for new initiatives, products, or projects that show promise and maybe translatable to Easy Solar
  • Decide which product to pilot next based off ongoing research
  • Oversee and review testing for products being considered for pilot

3.  Manage the implementation of pilots and rollouts, and support sales on commercialization

  • Develop a go-to-market plan (including value proposition, pricing, positioning, and communication strategies) for new products
  • Coordinate interdepartmental collaboration on product launches incl. sales for distribution, call center for customer engagement, operations for inventory, finance for budgets, marketing team for collaterals and awareness campaigns
  • Create training materials and ensure all customer-facing teams are educated on products
  • Assess if product promotional and training material being distributed is used optimally, and update where necessary
  • Conduct regular training with all team members on products and relevant technologies
  • Manage all phaseouts of end-of-life products

4.  Managing special projects that expand the portfolio through strategic external partnerships

  • Research available product-related grants, working with corporate finance to apply to them
  • Reach out to business partners and negotiate deals on special projects
  • Oversee and supervise partner projects

5.  Ensuring all products launched satisfy customer demand

  • Gain a deep understanding of customer experience through pre and post rollout survey
  • Work closely with the Marketing Department to define customer needs and a customer retention strategy focused on designing products that fulfill the customer needs

6.  Managing Supplier Relations

  • Monitor and negotiate best possible pricing, after-sales support, payments, and other supplier terms and conditions for new products
  • Hold expertise in relevant product lines and suppliers
  • Be the ‘go-to’ for all product queries
  • Initiate the relationship with suppliers, and support operations and sales where necessary on commercialized products, to ensure an optimal and positive relationship
  • Participate in appropriate industry events, conferences, or trade shows
  • Establish and maintain a product database

 

Criteria

  • Advanced degree in Business Administration, Engineering, Marketing or similar
  • 5+ years of product management, marketing, or project management expertise (or 3+ years in management consulting) ideally with field experience in Sub-Saharan Africa
  • Ability to define and present business cases for new products/opportunities
  • Experience managing an entire product lifecycle from cradle to grave
  • Very good negotiation skills and ability to manage external supplier relationships
  • Demonstrated analytical skills and ability to research, synthesize data, grasp new concepts, and organize information logically to identify strategies to increase revenues
  • Ability to manage multiple projects concurrently, meet deadlines, and follow-up in a timely manner through excellent organizational, planning and multi-tasking skills
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills, with the ability to maintain effective relationships with people from different cultural backgrounds and at different levels
  • Self-motivated, goal-oriented with the ability to work independently
  • Excellent technical understanding of off-grid solar products: tier 1 till tier 4 is a plus
  • Proficient in standard Microsoft applications, with exceptional skills in Excel and ability to produce reports/presentations on product performance and activities
  • Willing to travel in the field and internationally
  • Women are strongly encouraged to apply

Benefits

  • Competitive salary and regional/international medical insurance
  • A unique opportunity to expand energy access & financial inclusion at scale in West Africa
  • A secure position in a rapidly growing company with a young, dynamic and motivated team
  • The opportunity to develop new solutions and concepts to support a growing retail and asset financing business

About Easy Solar

Easy Solar enhances the lives of people across West Africa by providing access to solar energy solutions and other transformative durable goods. We make these affordable through a range of flexible financing options, empowered by pay-as-you-go technology, and accessible through an extensive network of agents and shops. As a leading solar company in Sierra Leone and Liberia, we have over 700,000 people using our products since operations launched in 2016. Customers can finance their purchases over time by paying in weekly or monthly installments, with the option to pay via cash or mobile money. Enabled by data-driven consumer finance, a trusted brand built on superior customer service, and an expansive network of 400+ agents and shops going the last mile, our growth is powering and empowering families and businesses across West Africa.


Easy Solar's funders include FMO, Acumen, AfDB, Gaia Impact Fund, MasterCard, and AECF (among others), and is a globally recognized brand, having been featured by Forbes, CNN, BBC, and Bloomberg, and an award from the World Economic Forum as Social Entrepreneurs of the Year in 2019, and Young Entrepreneurs of the Year in 2020 from Forbes Africa.