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Monday, December 10, 2012

Product Manager - Innovations

KickStart International, Inc

KickStart International (www.kickstart.org) is an award-winning, non-profit social enterprise whose mission is to provide smallholder farmers with access to income-generating products and services that will empower them to lift themselves out of poverty.

KickStart’s best-selling products are low-cost, human-powered “MoneyMaker” irrigation pumps that enable famers to move from subsistence to commercial irrigated farming. KickStart has sold over 200,000 pumps across sub-Saharan Africa, through retailers, distributors, and NGOs. However, KickStart recognizes that in order to create successful, sustainable farming businesses, smallholder farmers also need access to other important resources, such as other types of irrigation technologies/accessories, farmer-friendly financing, agronomy information/training, and market linkages. Offering a more holistic value proposition to farmers is an integral component of KickStart’s strategic plan to scale impact through innovative products and services, innovative sales & marketing tactics, and strategic partnerships.

The Job Opportunity

KickStart is seeking an experienced and enthusiastic Product Manager to lead and manage the enhancement of KickStart’s Value Proposition through expansion of its product and services portfolio.

The Product Manager - Innovations will work with members of cross-functional teams (Marketing, Sales, Supply Chain, Product Intelligence and Development (PID), Finance, Impact Monitoring, Business Improvement and Information Services) to bring these new projects to fruition. The position will report to the Head of Marketing & Innovation and will be based in Nairobi with travel within Kenya, Tanzania, and Zambia. Specifically, the job responsibilities will include:

  • Product Development Roadmap/Product Portfolio Management
    • Facilitate the decision-making process for expanding KickStart’s product/services portfolio and developing KickStart’s product roadmap
    • Analyze product mix and each product’s contribution to overall gross margin
    • Develop and pilot strategy for “bundling” related products and services into a holistic solution to be packaged and offered to customers
  • Product Management of Irrigation Technologies that enable smallholder farmers to increase income by cultivating dry season crops.
    • Work with the Product Intelligence and Development and Marketing & Innovation teams to determine product features, pricing, positioning, and promotion
    • Manage project timelines & deliverables
    • Conduct training of Sales Team
    • Evaluate sales performance post-launch
  • Product Management of Financial Services that are designed to enhance and accelerate the impact created by our Irrigation Technologies
    • Tailor design of KickStart’s existing Mobile Layaway service (micro-savings via M-PESA mobile money transfer) to target farmer groups in Kenya and Tanzania
    • Design and pilot Rent-to-Own (micro-credit version of Mobile Layaway) service
      • Design financial model, design systems and processes for administering service, and define marketing strategy
      • Conduct training of Sales Team
      • Oversee the field implementation of pilot
      • Evaluate performance post-launch


Qualifications:

  • Experience in Product Design, Product Management, and/or Product Marketing and in sales and marketing of physical products, ICT services, and/or financial services
  • Experience in Project Management and Implementation
  • Experience in Team Leadership and Management with a high level of responsibility
  • Strong analytical skills including Microsoft Excel financial modeling skills
  • Results/Performance Orientation – proven “self-starter”
  • Ability to work in a dynamic and unstructured environment
  • Undergraduate degree required. MBA or relevant Masters degree preferred.
  • Fluency in English. Kiswahili preferred.
  • Experience working or living in developing countries - preferably in Africa

    KickStart International (www.kickstart.org) is an award-winning, non-profit social enterprise whose mission is to provide smallholder farmers with access to income-generating products and services that will empower them to lift themselves out of poverty.

    KickStart’s best-selling products are low-cost, human-powered “MoneyMaker” irrigation pumps that enable famers to move from subsistence to commercial irrigated farming. KickStart has sold over 200,000 pumps across sub-Saharan Africa, through retailers, distributors, and NGOs. However, KickStart recognizes that in order to create successful, sustainable farming businesses, smallholder farmers also need access to other important resources, such as other types of irrigation technologies/accessories, farmer-friendly financing, agronomy information/training, and market linkages. Offering a more holistic value proposition to farmers is an integral component of KickStart’s strategic plan to scale impact through innovative products and services, innovative sales & marketing tactics, and strategic partnerships.

    The Job Opportunity

    KickStart is seeking an experienced and enthusiastic Product Manager to lead and manage the enhancement of KickStart’s Value Proposition through expansion of its product and services portfolio.

    The Product Manager - Innovations will work with members of cross-functional teams (Marketing, Sales, Supply Chain, Product Intelligence and Development (PID), Finance, Impact Monitoring, Business Improvement and Information Services) to bring these new projects to fruition. The position will report to the Head of Marketing & Innovation and will be based in Nairobi with travel within Kenya, Tanzania, and Zambia. Specifically, the job responsibilities will include:

  • Product Development Roadmap/Product Portfolio Management
    • Facilitate the decision-making process for expanding KickStart’s product/services portfolio and developing KickStart’s product roadmap
    • Analyze product mix and each product’s contribution to overall gross margin
    • Develop and pilot strategy for “bundling” related products and services into a holistic solution to be packaged and offered to customers
  • Product Management of Irrigation Technologies that enable smallholder farmers to increase income by cultivating dry season crops.
    • Work with the Product Intelligence and Development and Marketing & Innovation teams to determine product features, pricing, positioning, and promotion
    • Manage project timelines & deliverables
    • Conduct training of Sales Team
    • Evaluate sales performance post-launch
  • Product Management of Financial Services that are designed to enhance and accelerate the impact created by our Irrigation Technologies
    • Tailor design of KickStart’s existing Mobile Layaway service (micro-savings via M-PESA mobile money transfer) to target farmer groups in Kenya and Tanzania
    • Design and pilot Rent-to-Own (micro-credit version of Mobile Layaway) service
      • Design financial model, design systems and processes for administering service, and define marketing strategy
      • Conduct training of Sales Team
      • Oversee the field implementation of pilot
      • Evaluate performance post-launch


Qualifications:

  • Experience in Product Design, Product Management, and/or Product Marketing and in sales and marketing of physical products, ICT services, and/or financial services
  • Experience in Project Management and Implementation
  • Experience in Team Leadership and Management with a high level of responsibility
  • Strong analytical skills including Microsoft Excel financial modeling skills
  • Results/Performance Orientation – proven “self-starter”
  • Ability to work in a dynamic and unstructured environment
  • Undergraduate degree required. MBA or relevant Masters degree preferred.
  • Fluency in English. Kiswahili preferred.
  • Experience working or living in developing countries - preferably in Africa

To be considered for this position, kindly email your one page Application Letter, together with your CV (maximum of 2 pages), with the position in the subject line of your email to hr@kickstart.org by December 22, 2012.

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  • Managing Partners

    William Davidson Institute
  • Sponsoring Partner

    Citi Foundation
  • Content Partners

    Ashoka
  • Content Partners

    IADB
  • Content Partners

    MercyCorps

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