Full-Time

Startup & High Growth

Movemeback African oppportunity location
  • Freetown Sierra Leone

Easy Solar - Product Portfolio Manager Movemeback African opportunity cover image

Description

Easy Solar is the leading solar company in Sierra Leone, distributing and financing high-quality solar products and appliances for those with limited, or no access, to the conventional grid. This social enterprise is committed to improving the livelihoods of the people they serve;  delivering energy access, savings and financial inclusion, education and employment, whilst working towards their core objective - reducing the effects of climate change. Easy Solar makes clean energy affordable to off-grid communities by distributing solar-powered devices on a rent-to-own financing structure. Customers can finance their purchase over time through weekly or monthly instalments, with the option to pay via cash or mobile money. Enabled by data-driven consumer finance, it is a trusted brand built on superior customer service and an expansive network of community-based agents, going the last mile.  Easy Solar’s growth is transforming and empowering the lives of families and businesses across West Africa. Currently operational in Liberia and 15 of Sierra Leone's 16 districts, their products have served over 350,000 people since operations launched in 2016. Easy Solar are seeking a highly motivated Retail Product Manager to join their Marketing & Customer Experience team.

 

As the new Product Portfolio Manager, you will be responsible for Easy Solar's portfolio of solar powered off-grid products, complementary life-improving range (including phones, cook stoves), as well as managing special projects that expand the team's product offering through their partners. You will join Easy Solar's  Marketing & Customer Experience team, working across both Sierra Leone and Liberia. As a last mile distribution company,  a key focus will be considering medium to  long term ways to build Easy Solar's portfolio within and beyond solar products, by heavily leveraging the wealth of credit data on existing customers. 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 adept at managing external supplier relationships, negotiating contracts/partnerships and building relationships across the multiple departments that interact with the product team, to foster effective collaboration.

 

 

Role Responsibilities:

 

Building, executing and reporting on the vision and 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
  • Analyse and present reports on the performance of the product portfolio
  • Manage full product lifecycle for all of Easy Solar's products
  • Promote and champion products within Easy Solar

Leading innovation, research and testing activities for new products

  • Keep up with current events in the solar sector, watching for new initiatives, products, or projects that show promise and may be translatable to Easy Solar
  • Decide which product to pilot next, as releavant to ongoing research
  • Oversee and review testing for products being considered for pilot

Managing the implementation of pilots and rollouts, and supporting sales on commercialisation

  • 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  whether 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 phase outs of end of life products

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

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 fulfil the customer needs 

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 commercialised products, to ensure an optimal and positive relationship
  • Participate in appropriate industry events, conferences or trade shows
  • Establish and maintain a product database
     

Criteria

Desired Profile

  • 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, synthesise data, grasp new concepts and organise 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 organisational, 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 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 is the leading solar company in Sierra Leone, distributing and financing high-quality solar products and appliances for those with limited or no access to the conventional grid. Easy Solar is currently operational in 12 of Sierra Leone's 16 districts, and their products have reached over 100,000 Sierra Leoneans since operations launched in 2016.

 

Easy Solar makes clean energy affordable to off-grid communities by distributing solar-powered devices on a rent-to-own financing structure. Customers can finance their purchase over time by paying in weekly or monthly instalments, 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 90+ community-based agents going the last mile, their growth is powering and empowering families and businesses across West Africa, and has driven over $1 million p.a. in household savings for their customers.

 

Easy Solar, through its parent company Azimuth, has received copious support and recognition for its innovative approach to solving the challenges of energy poverty in West Africa. Deeply embedded within the renewable energy landscape in Sierra Leone, their continued success is enabled by partnerships and support from the following key organisations: SOBA, Angaza Design, Orange Money, REASL, PRESSD- SL, Sun King.