SolarNow is an East African Company that sells high-quality solar systems to fit the needs of rural households and small entrepreneurs- from 50Wp home set-ups capable of powering a radio, phone and small number of lights to 5KWp systems that can power a small office or machine, plus a range of consumer electronics, including LED lights, televisions, fridges, flat irons and water pumps.
Crucially, SolarNow also provides credit that allows customers to spread payment for all these products over 24 months. Together with a network of 46 branches (>350 FTE) in Uganda and Kenya and a price plan that includes full installation and service– backed by a unique five-year warranty– SolarNow has all the pieces in place to take optimal advantage of this unique market opportunity. The company already serves over 16,000 clients in Uganda and Kenya and plans to roll out its operations into other African countries during the coming years.
The company’s founders have managed the operations since inception in 2011. While there is proof of concept of the value proposition and the distribution model, sales revenues have not yet met expectations. The Country Director has a significant opportunity to boost staff productivity and improve efficiency across the Ugandan organization while maintaining high levels of customer satisfaction.
The Country Director has full responsibility for the Ugandan operations. The organization consists of over 500 staff, of which around 360 work in 45 branches, and 140 work in the Kampala head office. The candidate will chair the country management team which further consists of the Sales Manager, Credit Manager, Operations Manager, Finance Manager, and HR Manager. He/she will report to and advise the Chief Operating Officer on strategic and operational design issues.
The Country Director is successful when targets are met for (1) sales revenue; (2) credit portfolio quality; (3) profitability; and (4) client satisfaction.
- Coach and supervise the individual managers to achieve their business plan targets.
- Develop new management capacity.
- Lead the Ugandan management team.
- Ensure smooth collaboration with internal and external stakeholders.
- Identify new commercial opportunities and/or opportunities to increase efficiency.
- Suggest improvements to strategy and policies to the Chief Operating Officer.
Country Director Profile
The Country Director should be someone who cares deeply about improving livelihoods in Africa. He/she would bring more than passion to the role and have the grit and resilience to do this work.
In incumbent will have a deep interest in and proven excellence when it comes to managing commercial, fast-growing organizations in Africa. They are a natural leader able to guide and motivate decentralized teams to set and achieve their targets, while working in a complex, constantly changing and resource-constrained environment.
The Country Director loves to make people around them perform better by constant training and coaching, and ensure that underperformance does not occur. They are a persistent problem-solver, a direct and candid communicator, able to be hands-on without getting lost in the weeds.
The candidate must have over 8 years of successful commercial management experience, preferably in a decentralized, retail organization in Africa. They should have completed an MSc/MBA degree at an accredited university.
What to Expect
SolarNow offers a dynamic role in a high potential for-profit business in a fast-growing market. The Country Director will be based in Kampala, but the job requires intensive field travel.
The company offers a market conform package consisting of a salary, a bonus system, an employee stock option plan and medical insurance. The Country Director will be exposed to various learning experiences in and outside East Africa. Excellent performance in the role may lead to promotion into the Chief Operating Officer role.