- Company: SunCulture Kenya Ltd
- Location: Kenya
- State: Nairobi
- Job type: Full-Time
- Job category: IT/Telecom Jobs in Kenya
Since the sale of our first kit in 2013, SunCulture has been on a mission to help smallholder farmers in Africa improve both crop yields and quality. We are driven to constantly innovate and improve our technology to make solar powered irrigation solutions truly affordable for the millions of farmers on the continent
Reporting to : VP of Engineering
About the role
SunCulture has reached an exciting phase in its development and is poised for significant growth. The organization needs an experienced Product Manager to take the lead with respect to new product innovations and lead the development & execution of the product roadmap with the VP of Engineering. As the Product Manager – New Product Innovation, you will be responsible for coordinating cross-functional teams across SunCulture to bring new products to market, including hardware, finance, sourcing, and customer support.
To thrive in this role, you should have a deep passion for understanding customer needs and translating them into actionable insights. This requires a versatile skill set, including market/customer research, project management, and technical knowledge in both hardware and software. Strong written and verbal communication skills are a must – you should be equally comfortable discussing new product initiatives with SunCulture executives and interviewing customers in the field.
This role requires significant time (~70%) in the field of developing products alongside SunCulture’s core smallholder farmer customer base in Kenya.
New Product Innovation
- Develop an NPI strategy in line with overall company strategy and oversee the implementation of the strategy/documentation of processes
- Act as the new product integration expert ensuring all applicable codes, standards, and design principles are considered during the product innovation cycle
- Build a team capable of testing products and generating quantitative performance data (e.g. pump head/flow);
- Perform lab tests to generate quantitative performance data and interview customers for qualitative data;
- Schedule and ensure field trials of all new products in all core regions where SunCulture is present;
- Manage all new product prototype testing with early adopters/product pilot farmers in collaboration with the VP of Engineering
- Analyze competitor products to identify product design and engineering opportunities that will enable performance improvements;
- Carry out post-launch support activities such as testing, monitoring, reporting, and assisting in escalation and resolution of customer issues.
- Iterate on product improvements throughout new product pilots to reduce cost and increase system performance/usability ahead of commercial launch;
- Build, inform and act as an ambassador for a culture of human-centered product design
- Scale-up, mentor, and coach a highly efficient and hands-on product design team
- Train cross-functional teams on all new products to ensure the quality control, sales, installation, and maintenance teams are knowledgeable on all new products
- Manage the performance of the team in line with agreed upon quarterly KPIs
Does This Sound Like You?
- 3-5 years of experience in Human-centered design (HCD), a design and management framework that develops solutions to problems by involving the human perspective in all steps of the problem-solving process
- You have a proven track record of shipping high-impact products, preferably in a combined hardware and software business
- Bachelors degree in electrical or mechanical engineering, product design, business, or other relevant fields; Masters degree preferred
- Experience conducting quantitative and qualitative customer research, both in the form of surveys and in-person interviews
- Experience working in sub-Saharan Africa preferred
- Able to fluently communicate in English; Swahili is a plus
- Comfortable with ambiguity in a fast-evolving environment, and able to plan, be organized, and meet deadlines
- Hands-on, detail-oriented, and with strong execution skills
- Good communication skills and should ensure information communicated is clear and timely
- Independent thinker able to thrive and make decisions in a fast-paced dynamic environment with little direction
- Organized and an expert in time management
- High integrity values with discretion in using budgetary allocation for the department
- A proven ability to work with minimal supervision
- Proactive, collaborative, organized, and curious problem solver with a “can-do” attitude