Product Manager: Smartphones and Connectivity

Location: Kampala, Uganda

Department: Product

Type: Full Time

Min. Experience: Mid Level

About Fenix

Fenix International is a next-generation energy company. Our mission is to transform our customers’ quality of life through disruptive innovation in energy and financial services. To date, Fenix has sold over 400,000 Solar Home Systems in Uganda and Zambia, bringing clean, reliable power for lights, phones, radios, TV and much more to over 2 million people.

In early 2018, Fenix joined forces with ENGIE, one of the world's largest energy companies and a leader in the move to renewable, decentralised and digital energy. This has allowed Fenix to make significant commercial investments to accelerate the path to our mission, via new markets - Benin, Côte d’Ivoire, Nigeria - and innovative products. Together, Fenix and ENGIE are making universal access to modern energy a reality.

Job Overview

Fenix is working on addressing the internet connectivity challenge in Africa by offering affordable hardware and data to its customers. The Product Manager: Smartphone and Connectivity will be responsible for building the smartphone and connectivity product line at Fenix. In this role, you will own the full product development cycle for smartphones, from concept phase to commercialization. This work includes having a deep understanding of the unique customer segments in each market to design the right connectivity solution. Managing the technical integration between pay-as-you-go technology and smartphone hardware is essential for this business opportunity; therefore this role requires technical skills and foresight into the future of affordable internet. Equally as important, you will need strategic business development acumen to manage several global partnerships with PAYG technology providers, Smartphones manufacturers, and Telecom providers. Above all, you have to fully embody one of our core values; “Think Big and Make It Happen”.

To excel at this role, you will have a close understanding of the needs and aspirations of the different households in our target markets; have the imagination and drive to design and deliver life-changing products to our customers; and have the strategic vision to understand where our new products can take Fenix and our customers as we scale to millions. That being said, you must develop a thorough understanding of the added risks as well as opportunities that this new product line may involve.

This position with be part of the Global Product team based in Kampala, Uganda. This is an incredible opportunity for a talented individual to join a high performing team who is passionate about pioneering expanded financial services and technology to off-grid customers at the base of the pyramid.

Key Responsibilities

  • Get to know our customers and their needs. You need to present our customers’ needs and opinions as your own throughout the development of new products.
  • Manage the early stage product development and drive product from idea stage to full commercial launch
  • Own the Fenix connectivity roadmap. Set the vision of how Fenix will bring internet access to millions across Africa through innovative affordable hardware and data solutions.
  • Translate customer needs into rigorous, technical documentation and a vivid product vision. You are a conduit for communication from the customer to the engineering team, but also to the rest of the business.
  • Manage your stakeholders and their expectations. You have customers within Fenix who need various product features to help them achieve their goals. You role is to understand these features and prioritise politely but ruthlessly. Don’t be afraid of saying ‘no’.
  • Forge new partnerships for Fenix across multiple markets and different hardware and service providers
  • Drive rigorous and data driven product decisions. You will be owning decisions pertaining to hundreds of thousands of dollars of investment. It is crucial that you can present data and insights to persuade the stakeholders in the room that your product vision is worth the investment.
  • Work closely with procurement team (in China) to deliver fitting smartphone products on a rapid timeline. Fenix is growing fast and the product line needs to be agile and able to accommodate new markets as quickly as we are entering them. You will need to identify opportunities for rapid innovation and be ready and willing to act quickly to execute.
  • Maintain a finger on the pulse of the industry and opportunities for new and exciting technologies that could improve our customer experience, reduce costs or give our products a competitive edge.

Required Skills & Experience

  • Excitement about Fenix’s mission and a deep desire to make an impact on off-grid and financially underserved  customers in sub-Saharan Africa
  • 5+ years of product development and/or business development experience.
  • Experience with consumer electronics, procurement, and partnership negotiations
  • Ability to maintain big-picture vision while simultaneously focusing on the minute details.
  • Leadership and project management experience: we are looking for entrepreneurial candidates who have started or contributed significantly to a particular project, team, or new company and we especially value candidates who have seen projects through from start to finish, from design to scale up phase.
  • Exceptional quantitative analysis skills and an understanding of effective technical communication and data visualization methods.
  • Experience with collecting the voice of the customer and conducting field research
  • Strong interpersonal skills to interface with all members of both the business and engineering teams as well as external partners.
  • Outstanding written and verbal communication skills (English).
  • Ability and drive to work independently
  • Bachelor degree.   
  • Commitment to live and work with Fenix in East Africa for at least 2 years.

Highly Desired Skills

  • Education and/or work experience in Africa.
  • Experience designing products for emerging markets.
  • French proficiency and/or Portuguese is a plus.                                  

To Apply

Please submit your resume and cover letter through the job posting at www.fenixintl.com/careers/.

In your cover letter, please be sure to highlight the following:

  1. Why you are interested in Fenix International, and
  2. What excites you about this particular role.

Fenix offers a competitive salary and a fun, fast-paced and high-growth work environment. We recognize the value of diversity in our workforce, and encourage all qualified candidates to apply. We thank all candidates who choose to apply, however, only those selected for a further interview will be contacted.

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