Title: Head of Product & R&D

Department: A2E Product & R&D

Reporting to: A2E Head of Operations and R&D

The A2E Business Line head office will be Berlin, Germany. Local employment terms and conditions will be offered in Berlin.

About ENGIE BU Africa Access to Energy (A2E)

ENGIE is the largest independent electricity producer in the world, and one of the major players in natural gas and energy services. The Group has more than 50 years of experience on the African continent and has the unique ability to implement integrated solutions all along the energy value chain, from centralized electricity production to off-grid solutions (Solar Home Systems, mini-grids) and energy services. ENGIE Africa counts nearly 4,000 employees, has 3.15 GW of power generation capacity - in operation or construction, and is a leader in the decentralized off-grid energy market (Access to Energy) providing clean energy electricity to more than 4 million people through domestic solar installations and local mini grids. 

ENGIE Africa created a new business line Access to Energy (A2E) which encompasses the activities of Fenix, Mobisol (2 companies providing Solar Home Systems solutions) and ENGIE PowerCorner (active in mini-grids construction and operations). With these three entities, ENGIE Africa underlined that it is bringing decentralised electricity to more than four million people in nine countries. This initiative also illustrates ENGIE Africa’s strong belief in the huge potential of these activities and has built a leading and unique position in the A2E African market and is willingness to input all the necessary resources to make these activities business scalable and grow and deliver on its promises both in terms of revenues and social impact.

www.engie-africa.com 

www.linkedin.com/company/engie-africa

Job Purpose/Mission 

The Head of Product and R&D will drive value to the customer and to the business by delivering the best in class products and technology solutions for our Solar Home System portfolio. The Head of Product and R&D will be responsible for leading the technology and product sub-teams to conceptualize, develop, and deliver affordable energy solutions to the A2E African markets. A2E is looking for an enthusiastic and self-motivated individual who will proactively lead the department’s vision and product development process. A successful candidate must be a detail-oriented technology professional with strong critical thinking skills and a demonstrated track record of effective technology leadership.

Responsibilities

Define department level vision, strategy, and KPIs to align with business strategy

  • Lead the planning, development, and execution of the technology strategy
  • Ensure competitive intelligence and benchmark
  • Coordinate with the A2E leadership to ensure the technology strategy and product strategy align with the overall business mission and strategy
  • Ensure teams are executing against goals and vision and course correcting when the team is off track

Manage and mentor Engineering and Product team members and team leads

  • Streamline work and needs of the team leads across product management, electronic engineering, mechanical engineering, firmware engineering, and manufacturing systems & testing
  • Build a team of performance driven engineering and product leaders
  • Oversee the R&D budget and properly allocate resources to effectively achieve department KPIs
  • Ensure close partnership between product management and product development and counterbalance the priorities
  • Streamline the technical support effort with the in-market technical operations

Define and lead the product development process

  • Continuously review and optimize the product development process
  • Introduce and enforce best practices in development and collaboration between the product management and engineering teams
  • Support the definition of standard tools, project management, development methodologies, and progress tracking across the teams

Represent R&D to the leaders of the A2E organization

  • Be the top technology representative in A2E who understands trends, drives innovation, and leads technology thought leadership
  • Be the authority and final decision maker on major technology topics
  • Coordinate with Supply Chain leads to effectively work with contract manufacturers and suppliers in China

At A2E, we have high expectations for our managers. Each manager plays a key role in creating an exceptional experience not only for our customers but for every person on our team. Our managers help A2E realize our ambitious goals while developing their own leadership skills and facilitating growth for their direct reports. 

We believe that great managers:

  • Deliver ambitious results: As a high-performing and accountable leader, you create an enabling environment for effective action and bold decision which contribute to successful delivery of results.
  • Act with integrity: As an ethical leader you are honest, respectful, objective, and transparent. You create and build upon a foundation of trust and openness.
  • Inspire and mentor the team: As an inspirational leader you walk the talk. You empower and coach your team with trust and humility.
  • Are accessible: as an accessible leader, you develop and maintain deep connections with stakeholders through approachability and active listening.
  • Ensure diversity and inclusion: as an inclusive leader, you ensure diversity and foster a sense of belonging.

Knowledge and skills 

Experience:

  • Minimum of 10 years of experience as technology or product professional
  • Experience working on designing high-volume consumer electronic products
  • Proven experience of bringing multiple products from concept to mass production
  • Must have solid knowledge of battery & solar panel technology, engineering processes and tools
  • Experience working as an engineer or product manager on a project team
  • Experience as a technology leader required for the role
  • Experience defining technology strategy for organization
  • Experience working with contract manufacturing in China is a plus
  • Experience in Sub-Saharan Off-grid Market or clean energy sector is a plus

Qualifications:

  • Master’s in Engineering or related field or MBA
  • Experience in managing medium size engineering teams
  • Ability to breakdown complex technical decisions into a thorough decision-making process
  • Ability to inspire and motivate people
  • Ability to travel internationally up to 20% of time

Language(s): 

  • English
  • Mandarin is a plus

ENGIE is an equal opportunity employer, promoting diversity and committed to creating an inclusive environment for all. All applications are screened based on business needs, job requirements and individual qualifications, without any regard to origin, age, name, sexual identity, orientation or preference, religion, marital status, health, disability, political opinions, union involvement or citizenship. Our differences are our strengths! 

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