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Job

Chief Technology Officer, Uganda

  • Location

    Kampala, Uganda

  • Sector:

    Energy

  • Job type:

    Permanent

  • Contact:

    Sehar Neky

  • Job ref:

    213

  • Published:

    3 months ago

  • Expiry date:

    2019-11-05

  • Consultant:

    #

Our Client

Fenix International is a next-generation energy and technology company. Their mission is to improve the quality of life of their customers through inclusive energy and financial services. Their flagship product, Fenix Power, is a modular, lease-to-own solar home system financed through affordable instalments from just $0.11 per day. They use real-time transaction data to create a next-generation credit score to finance power upgrades and other life-changing loans, unlocking modern financial services for their customers. To date, Fenix has sold over 500,000 Solar Home Systems in Uganda, Zambia, Cote d'Ivoire, Benin, Nigeria and Mozambique, bringing clean, reliable power for lights, phones, radios, TV and much more to over 2,500,000 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, accelerating the path to their mission, via new market expansion and innovative product development. Together, Fenix and ENGIE are making universal access to modern energy a reality.

The Role

This position will be part of the C-Suite team, based in Kampala, Uganda, led by the Chief Executive Officer. The role will be required to work closely with teams in different countries, with an expectation to travel about 40% of the time. 

This is an incredible opportunity for a talented individual to lead a high-performing Research & Development team who is passionate about improving the quality of life for off-grid customers at the base of the pyramid. Key responsibilities will include strategic technology leadership, oversight over product development, technical business development, and recruitment; their technology disciplines span Hardware Engineering, Software Engineering, Quality Assurance, Data Science & Engineering, and Product Management.

Key Responsibilities

Leadership

  • Provide exceptional, inspirational leadership and support to the R&D team in specific, as well as strategic leadership across all disciplines as part of the C-team
  • Serve on the Fenix Leadership Team and drive to achieve Fenix’s mission and values.
  • Represent technology across Senior Leadership at Fenix and with key external stakeholders.
  • Lead a team of key technology leaders across each pillar of the R&D team, including Product, Engineering, Data and Software.
  • Continue building their high performing, autonomously driven teams of Engineers and Product Managers who collaboratively drive technology solutions.
  • Inspire the development and success of cross-functional, adaptable teams 
  • Foster innovation to keep their technology and their approach fresh and retain a strong team who are fulfilled by solving tough problems. 
  • Motivate, develop and lead technical teams through periods of aggressive growth and through difficult business environments.   

Research and Development Strategy 

  • Develop the Research and Development strategy in line with Fenix mission and goals. 
  • Take responsibility over P&L and growth plans and execution for Global R&D
  • Oversee team budget, allocate resources, and approve spend for the R&D department
  • Track team goals and performance to ensure meeting of targets. 
  • Lead quarterly R&D team evaluations and manage communication and shared goals across all of the R&D team
  • Lead teams in evaluating and sharing business best practices across R&D while providing cost savings and maximizing efficiency. 
  • Support the team in dealing with legislative or other government committees regarding operational policies, tax policies, programs, or budgets
  • Align company’s current technology infrastructure with the strategic business needs & plans. 
  • Communicate the Company’s technology strategy to parent company, executive leadership, staff, partners, customers, the technology community and external stakeholders.

Product Management

  • Work with the Product Director to drive product vision, product strategy, product design and product development, with visibility on every element of the product from concept to launch, and post-launch performance.

Hardware Engineering

  • Monitor changes and advancements in technology to discover ways Fenix can gain a competitive advantage.
  • Drive strategic and innovative thinking to develop a complete technology roadmap for a family of products.
  • Guide the hardware team through difficult technical challenges by providing quick and effective decision-making.
  • Foster a culture of hardware innovation and building IP.

Quality Assurance

  • Lead the Quality Assurance (QA) team in developing and implementing strategies on sample testing, conducting reliability tests, etc.
  • Ensure that the QA team is efficiently maintaining test equipment, debugging failures, and investigating quality issues. 
  • Oversee data provided by the QA team and make executive decisions around recommended changes. 

Software & Data

  • Drive strategic thinking across the entire software and data ecosystem within Fenix, which consists of internally built and off-the-shelf services. 
  • Work collaboratively with software & data leadership to produce infrastructure architecture standards, and policies. 
  • Monitor changes and advancements in technology to discover ways they can gain a competitive advantage. 
  • Cultivate external partnerships to enrich their internal software products and maintain focus on core functionality. 
  • Drive the company’s technology vision and lead all aspects of the company’s technological development, including outsourced partner selection and management. 
  • Directly manage the existing team of Software and Data Directors.

Required Skills & Experience

  • 10+ years working experience in either Hardware or Software Engineering and Product Development (consumer oriented hardware preferred)
  • Expertise in one of the areas above, with an interest in solar home systems.
  • Prior experience in M&A Integrations. 
  • Familiarity with mixed signal design, embedded systems design, battery technologies and power electronics
  • Familiarity with IoT services and big data pipeline infrastructure.
  • Familiarity with multi-application software systems.
  • In-depth knowledge of engineering best practice, product development, data governance and general management best practices. 
  • An understanding of multi national companies or vertically integrated institutions operating in multiple markets.
  • Experience in Africa or similar market with BOP customers.
  • Significant leadership and management experience in technology
  • Proven ability to motivate, develop and lead technical teams through periods of aggressive growth and through difficult business environments.
  • Ability to manage a multicultural and global team of technology engineers and managers.
  • Outstanding written and verbal communication skills (English), French/Mandarin a plus.
  • Entrepreneurial spirit and collaborative nature.
  • Great attention to detail, strategic thinker and dedicated problem solver.
  • A passion for Fenix and their customers! 
  • Masters degree
  • Knowledge of China manufacturing is an added advantage 
  • Last mile distribution experience would be preferred 
  • French and Mandarin language skills
  • Leadership and project management experience: they are looking for entrepreneurial candidates who have started or contributed significantly to a particular project, team, or new company and especially value candidates who have seen projects through from start to finish, from design to scale up phase