Product Manager

Where to Apply

About EarthEnable
EarthEnable is a new and quickly growing company in Rwanda that also has a social purpose. The company sells healthy and affordable floors to the 80% of Rwandans who can only afford to have a dirt floor in their home. Concrete floors have been shown to reduce disease and improve health but a concrete floor costs up to 300,000 RWF for a 30 square meter home and usually crack quickly.
EarthEnable™ has invented an alternative floor that is 70% cheaper than concrete and that have 90% less embedded energy. EarthEnable™’s floors are composed of natural materials (gravel, clay, sand) and are sealed with a special oil invented at Stanford “a top university in the United States” that forms a plastic-like seal on the floor, which makes it water-proof, hard, smooth, easy to clean, and polished. They are already prevalent in modern homes in the United States, and our company strives to become the leader in flooring in Rwanda.
About The Role
This role would be within the 4-5 person management team of EarthEnable Rwanda (currently a staff of 50), largely in charge of managing the design and launch of a new product offering, improving operational efficiency of our construction process, implementing quality control mechanisms to ensure consistency of the product and designing and implementing operational systems to position us to scale (Google docs and Excel are no longer cutting it!).
Design and launch new product offering
In order to increase our impact, we are exploring the launch of a lower cost product. While our current product offers a full installation service, this product would provide customers with the tools and materials needed to install a simplified floor themselves, making it one-third of the price. This role is largely focused on developing this product further, testing it, and ultimately launching it.
•       Pre-launch market analysis: understand willingness to pay, durability requirements, and willingness to take on parts of the construction process vs. paying for services
•       Co-create and test a user design manual for customers to do it themselves, hire a marketing firm to create a how-to video, and adapt as needed based on testing (e.g. include quality assurance and determine how this affects the product’s pricing)
•       Design the distribution of the new product, pilot and test this, get user feedback, and refine the service delivery model accordingly
•       Use the previous research streams to launch a new product that ideally serves the base of the pyramid more effectively.
o       Coordinate marketing push
o       Coordinate distribution and inventory management systems to get products to the points of sales
o       Train and manage POS agents in using a smartphone or tablet
•       (Throughout: hire and train a Product Associate to support all of the following workstreams)
•       (Throughout: update financial model to reflect additional costs based on findings)
•       Develop additional ideas for future product development and improvement, based on input from masons and customers
Improve operational efficiency of our construction process
•       Analyze construction process, determine areas of weakness or inefficiency
•       Recommend fixes to operational process lags
•       Implement fixes that would improve operational efficiency
Implement quality control mechanisms to ensure product consistency
•       Determine areas of variability in output quality
•       Implement ways for this variability to be reduced and all floors to be excellent quality
Design and implement operational systems to position us to scale
•       Design, develop, and implement systems to scale (construction planning, inventory management, supply chain management, quality control management, customer relations management, financial management, etc.)
•       Train key staff in using the systems and ensure effective implementation
•       Improve quality of M&E data through these systems as well
Support operational scale
•       Develop processes for setting up in a new district
•       Pilot test floors in new locations to ensure the product process can be replicated
•       Determine vertical integration strategy in light of new markets which may have less reliable suppliers
We are looking for experienced candidates with a mix of entrepreneurial, strategy, and operational experiences. This could be an excellent role for someone with business experience looking to transition to international development and social enterprise, or for someone international development experience looking to try a more private-sector approach.
•       At least 2 years of experience in management consulting, product management, social enterprise operations, or finance
•       Desire to live and work in Rwanda for the next 1-2 years
•       Direct experience with management and operations, and a successful record of implementation
•       Entrepreneurial attitude
•       Works hard and plays hard; great sense of humor
•       Excellent and creative problem-solving skills and ability to get shit done
•       Excellent analytical skills, including Excel modelling
•       Some engineering background preferred, but not required
•       Commitment and passion for social change

To apply, submit a CV, motivation letter, copy of national ID, and 3 referees to with \”First & Last Name – Position Title” in the email subject line. All application materials should be in English, written directly by the candidate.