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Head of Product
NawiriPro, a Kenyan-led social enterprise launched in 2019 by Educate! and recently recognized by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for progress towards decent work and economic growth, is seeking a Head of Product to lead our team to product-market fit by 2022. NawiriPro is forging new and innovative pathways to sustainably impact Out of School Youth (OoSY) livelihoods at scale. We empower and train youth on running successful informal sector businesses, starting with the motorbike courier industry, by teaching them how to increase their income and improve their livelihood. NawiriPro wants to solve the unemployment rate for millions of Out of School Youth in Africa by teaching them successful and dynamic informal sector business models.
NawiriPro is looking for someone who is customer-obsessed, action-biased, delivers results, frugal by accomplishing more with less, eager to train the current team on how to get to the product-market fit and be innovative yet able to create simple action plans. He/She must have the first-hand experience building a product that achieved product-market fit.
The Head of Product will be reporting to the Managing Director and Co-founder of NawiriPro. This role is crucial to the organization hitting its milestone to get product-market fit. As a result, the functions and objectives of the role are subject to change, and the ideal person for this role will be comfortable with and excited to take on a dynamic and evolving role. You can be part of building something that can provide millions of youth with sustainable income by running a successful informal sector business.
You could be the perfect fit for this role if you:
- Have successfully launched a product to market fit from the early stages of a business.
- Have superb business acumen and have a sound understanding of business strategies.
- Enjoy starting with the customer and work backwards by continuously obsessing over customers to ensure a superb customer experience.
- Raise the performance bar with every hire and promotion by up-skilling the team and take their role in coaching others seriously to aid the business to reach its goals.
- Enjoy making many decisions and actions because speed matters in our business line, but ensure you are taking calculated risks.
- Understand that constraints breed resourcefulness, self-sufficiency, and invention.
- Enjoy operating at all levels, staying connected to the details, audit frequently, and are skeptical when metrics and anecdotes differ. No task is beneath you.
About Educate! & NawiriPro
Educate! prepares youth in Africa with the skills to succeed in today’s economy. Our goal is to design skills-based education and employment solutions which impact youth life outcomes sustainably and at scale. In 2019, we partnered with the governments of Uganda, Rwanda, and Kenya and measurably impacted over 46,000 youth in and out of schools while reaching 470,000 learners more broadly, making us the biggest youth skills providers in East Africa. In 2020, we rapidly adapted to a changing world by creating distance learning solutions to serve youth during the pandemic.
In March 2019, Educate! launched a new social enterprise unit within our organization called “NawiriPro”, based in Kenya. NawiriPro is building a new product that will offer faster and more affordable educational pathways for out-of-school youth, enabling them to thrive in the informal economy. NawiriPro is building a user-paying bootcamp model, which targets youth and parents as payers for the bootcamp to create a fully sustainable and customer-centred social impact product.
To date, we have more than 3,000 motorcycle riders using the NawiriPro e-learning platform. Our long-term vision is to serve more than 100,000 youth annually with a break-even business model.
Product Strategy & Roadmap
- Setting the product vision and strategy; owning the roadmap, and must prioritize building what matters most to achieve the strategic goals and initiatives behind the product.
- Develop the business case for the product and advocate for funding and manage the budget
- Defining the release process and coordinating all of the activities required to bring the product to market and be transparent about your prioritization and roadmap process.
- Lead the development, implementation, and evaluation of strategic, tactical and operational customer engagement plans, marketing strategy and initiatives to align with LP’s vision and strategies
- Lead specific customer research programs, dialogue and other forms of engagement to understand key concerns and issues and inform review and enhancement of customer services and service delivery models
- Monitor business and process metrics to measure and manage customer service effectiveness.
- Develop customer incentive and retention strategies to ensure customer loyalty.
- Act as a product evangelist to build awareness and buy in throughout the company.
Execution of Product Operations
- Encourage and build on a culture of customer-centricity in the entire team.
- Drive the overall business operating capabilities to surpass customer satisfaction, retention and strategic goals.
- Develop and establish an implementation process for new product rollout and delivery of recent product changes to customers.
- Set comprehensive goals for business growth and success based on the interpreted data and user funnel metrics.
- Works closely with the Managing Director to understand the product’s nuances and design decisions to inform the development of suitable implementation process and practice.
- Conduct product audits to monitor and report on adoption, performance, and growth. Use these reports to inform the business strategy.
- Ensure the team avoids not delivering its product roadmap milestones due to misconceptions of risk to the overall strategy.
Product Metrics and Monitoring Tools
- Build systems or processes to develop rapid experiments that lead to prototypes & pre-tests of customer experiences.
- Identify and track the behavioural change process for our product and share feedback with the product owner.
- Research best practices, tools and processes to understand what user metrics will inform that we are developing a value-based product.
- Build and oversee the improvement of the experiences customers have with organizations, with the goal of increasing customer satisfaction.
- Design and build user and product metrics and integrate them into a 3rd party dashboard
- Ensure documentation and routine sharing of knowledge and experiences across teams and leadership.
Leadership on Product Team
- Drive the ongoing development of a customer-centric culture across the organisation, supported by process frameworks and responsive customer service systems to embed best practice customer-centric behaviors.
- Identify market opportunities and define product vision and strategy.
- Promote the application of global UX standards and strategy-aligned decision-making within teams.
- Share customer data on product engagement with global leadership for annual and strategic planning sessions.
- Empower and grow strong product teams to adopt and apply global customer engagement, UX standards & tools.
- Ensuring all departments’ vision is created and communicated to all to build cohesion.
- Leading all internal communication through MMM, All hands call, etc.
- Mentor, coach & develop staff using a supportive and collaborative approach: ensuring transferable skills are learnt to ensure we hit our business goals.
- The ideal candidate has worked in a very early-stage startup that has achieved product-market fit.
- Minimum eight years of work experience
- Experience managing human resources, finances, operations and strategies.
- Dynamic experience is highly preferred, with demonstrated ability to operate well in complex and fast-changing environments.
- Familiarity with the lean startup approach is strongly preferred
- Experience working with diverse stakeholders and managing many priorities
- Passion for NawiriPro’s mission is a must, but past work in education or youth development is not required. We value diverse perspectives and encourage applications from people with a variety of backgrounds. Background working with youth in the informal sector or digital product would be an asset.
- You fit our Five Cultural Tenets (see What is NawiriPro About? below)
- The location is Nairobi, Kenya
People inspire us with drive, and we love to help them reach their full potential. We expect everyone at NawiriPro to contribute above and beyond their job description, grow their skills, and advance their careers. We are committed to supporting our staff members on that journey.
- We Are Youth First – We believe in the youth’s power and design a model that depends on them. To create effective solutions, we have to see and understand the challenges and opportunities that real people encounter in their lives. Continuously improve through build-measure-learn loops, build based on evidence-based solution and research. It also means we use the Human-centred approach to design our solutions.
- We Are Committed – The team is self-directed, and all members are dedicated to completing work that has been agreed upon. The number one driver of an innovation culture is team cohesion. We need to feel a sense of togetherness, working towards a larger goal. In NawiriPro, we believe that sharing generously and being open are essential traits in driving cohesion and innovation.
- We Are Courageous – When you work at NawiriPro, you will realise that our risk appetite is an indicator of how innovative we can be. We understand that risk is an inherent part of the innovation process. As we test out new ideas, some will fail. We, therefore, embrace failure and create a safe to fail environment.
- We Respect each other – The team is composed of members who have different strengths, and each individual’s strengths are respected. There is no finger-pointing when discussing how to fix what is not working. The team operates as a single entity and succeeds or fails together.
- We Practice learning – Through daily stand up meetings, the team is given time to gather and share what has been successful and what needs to be improved. It takes training and learning every step to recognize and support disruptive innovation.
Every person at NawiriPro — from interns to the Managing Director — is evaluated by how they live up to these five cultural tenets. They are at the core of how we achieve our mission and why we work as well as we do.
How To Apply
NawiriPro is committed to providing an inclusive and welcoming environment for all who interact in our community. In creating this environment, we encourage people from various cultures, backgrounds and life experiences to join our diverse team.