Product Manager, Logistics
Building the Platform for an Electric Africa
Off Grid Electric is a growth-stage startup that is transforming how millions of people in Africa gain access to clean, affordable solar energy. With a distributed global team that spans Africa, the Netherlands, California and Russia, we’re looking for a talented and passionate product manager to help us mature our proprietary platform that makes it all possible. We call this platform Surge.
You will fall in love with this role if you can get passionate about bringing renewable energy to people who don’t have electricity — over 1.3 billion people around the world — with the unique social, technical, and business challenges that come along with it. You’ll be hungry for adventure, inspired by the opportunity to unleash whole continents of human potential, and motivated to help build a truly epic business.
As a key member of our Digital Platforms team you will use head and heart to build web and mobile products that connect us with our customers. You’ll define and prioritize just the right features to build, and work closely with brilliant collaborators around the world. As a software product manager, you will engage other product managers, developers, designers and executive staff to turn strategies into deliverables.
You will help us deliver the functionality that enables three key areas of our operation:
- Distribution of products: managing the movement of massive numbers of solar systems and appliances such as low energy TVs from factories through home installation
- Empower our distributed workforce: dispatching and coordinating the activities of thousands of field staff across multiple markets
- Customer payments and service: enabling mobile payment transactions and delightful customer interactions for our rapidly growing customer base
Off Grid is creating opportunities for thousands of local workers to participate in a high tech startup, and Surge enables us to do this with extreme efficiency, scale, and reliability.
This role is based in Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
What we’re looking for
- Meaningful Product Management experience. You’ve acted as a PM for several years at least, and have the hard won skills for owning the what and why of product development. You know how to triangulate between abstract concepts, user needs, and company goals to generate well-defined features. Your feature stories are a thing of beauty. You are a task-master extraordinary. And even though you don’t call yourself a designer, you can pull together super clear mockups that express to developers and end-users alike how something is supposed to work.
- You know a thing or two about business processes. While your job ultimately come down to empowering people, many of those people will be doing serious enterprise activities like supply chain management and logistics. You’re going to need to enjoy wrangling complexity into elegant product solutions, and be unafraid of coordinating the integration points with our ERP system, Netsuite. Finally, part of your work is going to be working with people across the company to successfully embrace the changes your solutions will bring.
- Communication is your super power. You have a passion for connecting people to the information and processes that make them feel taken care of. People know that you have things under control, whether it’s keeping people on the same page across multiple continents, or coordinating a sensitive feature launch with multiple department heads. You can express complicated situations to people who have no idea what you’re talking about, and can lay out the hard truths without causing an uproar.
- A process guru. You are naturally driven to set up, monitor, and create adoption around superior processes. You are pragmatic, and happily pull from methods that make sense for the situation, whether Agile, Lean, Kanban, or even–gasp!–Waterfall. (We’re pretty committed to Agile here, but we do manufacture hardware, too, so you can’t be too dogmatic!) You know that the most important part of the process is having a process for changing the process. And you’re always finding ways to make things run an extra 10% better.
- Obsessively detail-oriented. If you have this trait, you probably drive your friends crazy, noticing the small things that aren’t quite right, that need a bit of straightening out. We’d like to use your obsession for good, helping us ensure that features are complete and well-implemented. You have eagle eyes and can spot a typo or an out-of-place design element a mile away, and you’re gifted with the ability to foresee the edge cases that are likely to bite us in the behind down the road.
- A Web/mobile native. Our technology stack (Ruby on Rails, Android, AWS cloud) will be very familiar to you if you’ve been building Web and mobile products for any length of time. While this isn’t a technical role, you’ll need to engage with developers during discussions of implementation options. We tend to use bleeding edge practices and tools, and are eager to work with people who are curious and always eager to learn.
- Design driven and data informed. You are able to clearly identify problems at their root, visualize a range of solutions, identify the strongest one(s), and develop the solution with a high degree of detail. You know how to work with UX and visual designers. You have a passion for looking beyond the obvious approaches to addressing both complex and simple issues, and a track record of using data to inform decisions. Where there is not enough information, you look for it.
- Superhuman self-awareness. You know what you are good at, and where you need help. You listen to, or challenge, your instincts, as appropriate. In the past, you have shown good judgment of people and situations, and where you sit with each. You are comfortable making mistakes, provided you learn from them.
- Travel to some of the loveliest and most adventure-rich parts of Africa.
- The opportunity to directly improve millions of lives by bringing sustainable electricity to a part of the world where 80% of people have no grid access.
- Some of the smartest, most committed, and hardest working co-workers in a distributed environment.
Send us info about yourself to firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll get the ball rolling from there!
The World is Watching
How do you get electricity to the millions of people who still don’t have it? One answer is to build an electricity…www.fastcoexist.com
C. Schubert, via Flickr If off-grid startups want more venture dollars, they should start thinking like tech firms…www.greentechmedia.com
Feb. 2 — Off Grid Electric CEO and Co-Founder Xavier Helgesen discusses bringing solar power to Africa. He speaks on…www.bloomberg.com
By Tanzanian standards, Nosim Noah is not poor. A tall, handsome woman with the angular features of her fellow Masai…www.csmonitor.com