Product Manager

Business Development · Kampala, Uganda
Department Business Development
Employment Type Full-Time
Minimum Experience Experienced

About UpEnergy Group

UpEnergy brings aspirational products that save energy and improve health within reach of low-income customers. We develop distribution channels that sell efficient and clean energy technologies. We finance our product subsidies and our growth via bespoke projects that generate carbon emissions reductions that we produce for global partners seeking emissions reductions and social impact co-benefits.

We sell products under our SmartHome brand, and through partnerships with other brands. We operate regional distribution hubs and build relationships directly with customers through the SmartHome sales operation. We’ve seen 100%+ year on year growth for many years and have reached over 800,000 African households with products that deliver health and income benefits. A typical Smarthome stove saves each family we reach about 9% of their annual income while reducing air pollution.

UpEnergy has a 10 year track record of building projects that overperform expectations in the generation of emissions reductions, and that deliver on our the energy savings promise to our customers. We are one of the largest developers by volume of projects focused poverty alleviation through energy savings and fuel switching. Our team has a collective 50 years of experience and is at the forefront of Paris-era project finance.

About the Role

UpEnergy is at a time of exciting growth, and rapidly expanding into new geographies and new product categories. As part of this growth, we are working to diversify our carbon-generating assets beyond improved cookstoves to a wider range of life-changing products. New products include Electric Pressure Cookers (EPCs), safe water systems for households and institutions, and other impactful products to be identified over the coming months.

In this context, UpEnergy is looking to hire an impact-driven product manager with an entrepreneurial mindset who can spearhead the company’s innovation around sourcing, testing, and launching new product lines that can make a meaningful difference in the lives of millions of people. The product manager will report directly to UpEnergy’s Director of Business Development and work closely with the company’s leadership team. The product manager will have the ability to gain hands-on experience across the full product launch lifecycle, ranging from technology sourcing and product piloting, to designing innovative sales and distribution strategies in emerging markets, as well as creating long-term customer engagement models that ensure the products continue to deliver maximum impact to our customers. 

The UpEnergy Product Manager is an exciting position that will provide the opportunity to work across multiple UpEnergy markets. If you are eager to gain incredible experience while being part of one of the fastest growing start-ups in Africa and believe you’re up for the challenge (as well as a lot of fun!), we’d love to hear from you!

Key Responsibilities

Technology Sourcing & Prototyping

  • Product roadmap design and performance evaluation in line with company strategy
  • Evaluate new emissions-reducing technologies in terms of their relevance to various African markets
  • Solve for local market relevance in terms of behaviour change, affordability, cultural considerations
  • Where applicable, work with local manufacturing teams to iterate on current product design to unlock greater emissions reductions and customer impact
  • Manage relationships and logistics related to 3rd party manufacturers and shipping 

Pilot Design & Experiments

  • Design pilots and experiments to evaluate product-market fit and potential commercial success
  • Work with UpEnergy’s carbon team to optimize pilot design and commercial launch for product usage and carbon credit generation
  • For existing product lines, work with the UpEnergy team to design experiments and small-scale pilots to test new strategies (product features, sales, marketing, pricing, customer engagement, awareness campaigns and others) and evaluate their impact on the business and our customers’ lives

Commercial Strategy

  • Based pilot learnings, work with all company functions (sales, marketing, carbon, operations/logistics) to design and implement commercial launch strategy for new products
  • Work closely with Director of Business Development to plan, monitor, and iterate on new technology rollouts
  • Work closely with sales team to design innovative sales strategies covering distribution, pricing mechanisms, promotions, awareness campaigns, etc.

Customer Engagement

  • Work closely with UpEnergy’s data team and carbon team to optimize for continued usage of products
  • Design innovative customer engagement programs to build and maintain close relationships with our customers
  • According to business needs, evaluate, integrate and manage software and customer communication platforms (Echo Mobile, Angaza, etc.) to communicate effectively with customers and collect and verify required data

Does this sound like you?

Must Have

  • Previous product management and/or new product launch experience. Experience with energy (solar, cooking, etc.) and/or safe water systems in developing countries is a big plus
  • Ability to work independently, a self-starter that is excited to work in frontier markets
  • Excitement to help a high impact start-up launch operations in a new market
  • MS Excel skills
  • Strong work ethic, can navigate through uncertainty, identifies as a team player above all else
  • Excellent communication skills and interpersonal skills
  • Strong organizational skills
  • Willing and excited to travel occasionally to our different expansion markets
  • Passionate about solving the last-mile distribution challenge for millions of thousands of people in developing markets
  • Excited to be part of UpEnergy’s growth story

Nice to Have 

  • Strong understanding of statistical concepts as it relates to experiment design, set-up, and implementation
  • Understanding or experience working in social impact start-ups
  • Understanding of customers and business culture in Sub-Saharan Africa


UpEnergy offers highly competitive compensation and benefits combined with an attractive bonus structure.

Thank You

Your application was submitted successfully.

  • Location
    Kampala, Uganda
  • Department
    Business Development
  • Employment Type
  • Minimum Experience