Software Product Manager

Application Deadline: 31 March 2018

How to apply: Email with your CV/resume and brief cover letter introducing yourself with the subject line: Software Product Manager

Location: Kampala, Uganda

Start Date: As Soon As Possible

About the Company

BrightLife, a FINCA International company, is a social enterprise which combines innovative financing, community networks, and the highest quality clean energy brands to improve lives and unlock the productive potential of Ugandans.  BrightLife actively seeks out the best-in-class renewable energy products from both proven and up-and-coming brands.  Our product line includes a growing range of solar home systems, entry-level solar lights, solar appliances, income generating solar products and clean cook stoves which can be purchased in pay-as-you-go installments.  These life-enhancing products are sold through a network of direct sales agents, community networks, and strategically selected distribution partners.

BrightLife is uniquely linked to the FINCA International family of social enterprises, which includes 21 financial institutions across four world regions and more than 30 years of experience in reaching underserved communities and individuals.  FINCA’s financial service operations in Africa span DR Congo, Malawi, Nigeria, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zambia. 

Together, BrightLife and FINCA create economic prosperity and resilience for the BOP by combining two catalytic forces: access to energy and access to financial services.

Job Summary

BrightLife is looking for a driven, innovative, and entrepreneurial Software Product Manager to help design, develop, and implement the core tools BrightLife needs as it rapidly expands. You will lead selection, development / customization, and training for all back-end tools including a CRM, credit scoring, mobile apps, call center technology, and inventory management. You’ll also build out and manage a rock star engineering team to improve these tools. You will shape the vision and strategy for the organization’s systems, and work closely with the leadership team to design the future of BrightLife as a technology-enabled business. Using data and insights from engagement with the tools, you will own and continuously evolve the products and use cases, and will train all team members on new feature releases and best practices. Your role will be highly cross-functional and will require you to work with all key aspects of the business (sales, customer experience, operations, etc.) to collect requirements and build tools to improve efficiency and drive growth.

Key Responsibilities

In this senior management position with direct reporting to the CEO, you will be responsible for:

  • Sourcing and developing great tools: Guide the decision making for all key software related purchasing and development decisions, in order to build out a set of tools that allow BrightLife to bring high quality products to our customers across Uganda.
  • Cross-functional collaboration: Actively collaborate with all functional areas to collect business needs and use cases, and work with teams to roll out new software solutions through dedicated training and active monitoring.
  • Translate business to engineering and engineering to business: Specialize in taking key business needs and translating them to detailed engineering specs, and then translate back engineering questions and concerns to the business.
  • Proactive and innovative decision making: Establish KPIs and monitoring methods, and apply research and data analytics to improve BrightLife’s technology tools and bring new insights to leadership and staff. Keep ahead of industry’s developments and apply best practices to areas of improvement.
  • Building an exceptional team: Grow, train, manage, and lead a high-performing engineering team that can help build the tools BrightLife needs to succeed.
  • Quality assurance testing: Conduct product testing before launching new versions to ensure smooth roll outs and minimal downtime.
  • Resource management: Create forecasts, budgets, planning tools and performance standards to direct and coordinate resources for the Product team. Measure and monitor efficacy and efficiency of resources, and adjust plans and resources accordingly.
  • Resource management: Create forecasts, budgets, planning tools and performance standards to direct and coordinate resources for the Product team. Measure and monitor efficacy and efficiency of resources, and adjust plans and resources accordingly.
  • Sharing insights: Continuously improve modes of engagement and reportin; Analyz dat and indicators o take decisions an rovid nsight n olution-orientated feedbac enio takeholders, othe epartments, and external partners
  • Executive level leadership: Serve as a strategic leader for the organization, reinforce a customer-centric culture, and live out organizational values.

Your Qualifications:

  • A eas w ear of xperience developing software products.
  • Proven experience managing projects and development (Agile development practices preferred)
  • Strong technical acumen – past programming background a plus.
  • Experience using development and issue tracking software, like JIRA.
  • Willingness to live and work in Kampala, Uganda.
  • Excellent communication skills, and the ability to seamlessly translate between technical and non-technical language.
  • Fluency in Microsoft Office productivity and work tools.
  • Strong data analysis skills – comfortabl resenting analysis, insights, and recommendation enio takeholders.
  • Experience in workforce management, customer journey mapping, human-centered design, business analysis and business process modeling highly desired.
  • International experience is desirable, especially within other East African markets; knowledge of the local business context is an asset.

Your Profile: 

  • Enterprising and flexible, with an aptitude for innovation and using instinct and logic to bring forth creative solutions to big challenges.
  • A hands-on leader, energized by working directly with employees, agents and clients.
  • A decisive and emotionally intelligent contributor with strong communication skills and the ability to create a culture of excellence, teamwork and inclusion within your department.
  • Empathic and customer-centric, with the ability to see the journey from the customer’s perspective and the intuition to go beyond survey results and data to truly understand the customer.
  • Embraces data and actively seeks it out to make key decisions.
  • Understands the needs of a growing social enterprise, with an ability to navigate ambiguity and juggle multiple tasks, and a willingness to perform duties beyond the scope of work.
  • Incredible attention to detail, but the ability to always see the forest through the trees and keep the bigger picture top of mind.
  • Strong fit to BrightLife’s values, and committed to furthering FINCA’s mission and vision.