Arts, Design and Media / Management and Administration

Solar Appliance Product Manager

Entry level

Azuri Technologies Ltd is an award-winning company operating in Cambridge and Sub-Saharan Africa.   We develop, manufacture and deliver a revolutionary Pay-As-You-Go (PAYG) Solar Power Service that transforms the lives of off-grid consumers.    Currently, over 100,000 off-grid rural households rely on Azuri solar home systems and are experiencing the economic, social, and health benefits that access to clean, reliable electricity offers.

Our product and technology solutions extend from solar charging, high-efficiency lighting, low energy appliances and smartphone-based field tools, through to end-to-end network solutions, mobile communications and payment processing, backend server infrastructure and cloud-based analytical tools which support delivery of the Pay-As-You-Go service.

With a total market of 600 million in Sub-Saharan Africa, the strategic expansion of our product range beyond lighting and mobile phone charging, coupled with the growth of the business is creating new opportunities within our team in Cambridge.   This includes a new Product Manager role focused on bringing to market the next generation of high quality, energy efficient appliances for use with our Solar Home Systems including Radios, TVs, Irrigation Pumps, Torches, Fans, etc.

About the role

To effectively perform in the Product Manager role you must have a good understanding of the sub-Saharan, or similar, markets and its typical rural customers; experience of specification, development and market launch of new products (ideally consumer electronics); and working with, and management of, suppliers based in the Far East.

Do not assume this is simply about re-branding off-the-shelf products.  Azuri’s goal is to deliver high quality, best-in-class solutions for the rural consumer.    Although the starting point may be an existing product, often we need to work with manufacturers to adapt, optimise and apply innovative solutions to the design to meet the needs of the market and our quality expectations.

The role is hands on!   We are a relatively small company so everyone has to be engaged.   You can expect to be evaluating and testing samples and prototypes in the lab, determining how to improve their functionality and design in conjunction with the Product Development team and our distribution support teams in East and West Africa, and then working with our suppliers to deliver products that surprise and delight our customers.

Successful candidates will be motivated team players with a demonstrated ability to rise to challenges in a dynamic and rapidly evolving work environment, tempered with the maturity to create robust solutions…….and be committed to making a difference to people’s lives.

Responsibilities

  • Defining the requirements, technical specifications, quality requirements, etc. for appliances (TV, Radio, Fan, etc.) for use with Azuri Solar Home Systems.
  • Identifying suppliers and sourcing products, accessories and components.
  • Evaluation of prototypes and samples, including field trials where appropriate.
  • Evaluation of prototypes and samples, including field trials where appropriate
  • Definition of the requirements for product qualification in conjunction with the Product Development team
  • Documentation development including customer instruction manuals, training material, etc.
  • Project management through to production (suitably experienced candidates can also expect to handle the commercial issues with suppliers.)

Requirements

  • First-hand experience of working in the Off-Grid Solar or similar markets so that you can relate to the needs and expectations of our customers.
  • Experience of working with and managing Far Eastern suppliers. The ability to speak Mandarin would definitely be an advantage.
  • An Engineering or Product Design background, preferably in electronics or consumer products – so that you can write specifications, and evaluate designs and prototypes
  • Commercially savvy so that you can manage pricing and development costs.
  • Have an understanding of manufacturing processes and an appreciation of quality tools so that you can differentiate between the good and not so good suppliers.
  • Project management skills so that you can manage documentation, keep suppliers on track and successfully launch new products
  • Attention to detail and commitment to quality
  • Team player with excellent interpersonal skills and the ability to communicate effectively at all levels
  • Degree in a relevant discipline
  • Willing to travelling to the Far East and sub-Saharan Africa from time to time.

Tagged as: product manager, solar