Greenlight Planet is hiring an

Innovation Manager, Sun King Labs

Nairobi, Kenya
Full-Time

Greenlight Planet designs, distributes, and provides end-consumer financing for solar-powered lights and solar home systems, benefiting tens of millions of people in rural and peri-urban Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia.  

 At Sun King Labs, we evaluate additional products that will be distributed and financed through our “pay as you go” (PAYG) distribution network. By leveraging mobile money and the technology-enabled PAYG functionality of our solar home systems, many of these new products (typically non-solar) will be offered with end-consumer financing, allowing high-quality durable goods to be affordable without high up-front cost. 

 This role will work closely with both the Research and Procurement Team and Commercial Team to test new products on the market and find high-quality manufacturers of these products, which can range from clean cookstoves, productive-use technologies (including solar-powered pumps for irrigation and other agricultural and small-scale industry tools), to additional consumer appliances.  

 Our Sun King Lab is mostly in the field, collecting consumer insights and using customer feedback to drive design as we drive new pilots.  This role will work with teams across Africa (and sometimes Asia), where new ideas will be exchanged and pilots will be tweaked to suit the country’s market.

 

Role Responsibilities

Define competitive commercial offers:  Gain a deep understanding of customer needs—what are the energy needs, where do customers’ revenues come from, how they vary over time, how customers make investment decisions, what is the best payment plans. Learn from existing solar operations and overall energy access market and define competitive customer offers.

Evaluate opportunities:  Evaluate prospective products and technologies, including competitive landscape of the product and operational model (both in terms of existing product supply / technology innovation and in terms of distribution strategy).  Establish the systems and process to determine whether to introduce new products to Greenlight Planet clients. Research the market and existing competition. Research customer demand and needs and market trends.

Research and Pilot:  Work with Greenlight Planet’s direct-to-consumer sales force to launch and manage experiments and product pilots, collecting feedback to distill insights from end customers and the distribution channel.  Develop and share understanding of consumer needs / triggers for purchase / price sensitivity, as well as sales force needs and logistical challenges.  Convert market / consumer / competitive insights into design input.

Product Management: Upon successful pilot, plan and manage the product portfolio offering. Provide ongoing product feedback and drive product development plans. Align the product with customer needs and work with cross-functional teams/partners to implement these objectives. Establish customer satisfaction and quality mindset throughout the organization.

Required experience and skills

Prior experience in consumer research / insights, specifically in rural sub-Saharan Africa, and specifically with smallholder farmers, including focus groups, usability studies, and pilot programs that led to scale-up.  Demonstrated sustained passion for this type of research in one or multiple roles over multiple years. 

Experience in marketing, sales, or similar role within consumer electronics, agricultural, and electrical or mechanics industry is an additional plus.

Deep experience with smallholder agriculture, rural consumer needs, and ideally solar-powered consumer products (lighting and multifunction solar home systems).   

 

Bachelor’s degree in engineering preferred.

This role will report to the Co - Founder of Greenlight Planet.

This role must be flexible with frequent travelling and must be able to work under pressure.   Creative thinker in driving innovation is a requirement

 

More about the company:  Greenlight Planet

Greenlight Planet is a US-based social, for-profit enterprise, and a global leader in designing, delivering, and financing affordable solar energy products for the 2 billion people who live without reliable electrical grid access.

We aim to reduce and then eliminate the demand for electrical grid access for a significant fraction of global energy consumers:  For hundreds of millions of people, simple, affordable solar-powered solutions now offer a better and more affordable alternative to the old-fashioned electrical grid, not only for lighting, but for a full range of energy-efficient appliances and tools.

Our Sun King solar-powered lights and home systems are used in more than 7 million homes in South Asia, East Africa and West Africa today, and we are growing rapidly.  

In the off-grid solar industry that is changing the face of energy usage across sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, we are a leading company in terms of number of lives impacted and revenue generated.  We are also the most efficient company in our industry, as shown by our bottom-line results:  We are the only company in our industry that is sustainably and consistently profitable.

Our products have earned widespread recognition, including a ranking as “the best solar lamp” by the Economist Magazine and “best-in-category” prizes from the World Bank’s Lighting Global program.

Today, with over 1000 full-time Greenlighters in 8 countries, we are consistently impressed at how each and every new team member contributes unique and innovative solutions to this global challenge, from new product designs, to better training strategies, to more efficient logistical systems.  We listen closely to each other to improve our products, our service, and ultimately, the lives of our consumers.

Greenlight Planet offers competitive salaries, a fun, supportive work environment, and opportunities for continued professional growth within a fast-growing global enterprise.  Please join us!

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