Managing Director - East Africa

Zola Electric Arusha Tanzania Business Development

Company Description

Uncover hidden opportunities to make a global impact.  Off Grid Electric, through its consumer brand Zola, is a growth-stage startup that’s on track to light a million homes in Africa over the next couple of years with clean, affordable solar energy. At the heart of our business is innovative solutions that delight our customers. We are looking for a Managing Director- East Africa  to join our team in Arusha, Tanzania, and support our growth strategy in Africa, changing the lives of millions with our innovative products.

This may be your dream job if you’re someone who dreams of combining your knowledge and skills enabling Off Grid  Electric to change the renewable energy landscape. You’ll also need to be passionate about bringing solar energy to off-grid and other underserved markets (billions of people around the world) with the unique social, technical, and business challenges that come along with it. You are inspired by the opportunity to unleash whole continents of human potential, and motivated to help build a truly epic business.

OffGrid Electric  combines Silicon Valley technology with local expertise to offer African homes and businesses a long-term solar solution to an unreliable grid. Adaptable to both energy needs and income, Zola Electric’s solution can be bought over time through a leasing structure. The first few watts starts a chain reaction that enables people to achieve commonly held aspirations: security, education, access to information, and a longer and more efficient day.

Today, OffGrid Electric  powers more than 100,000 homes and businesses across Tanzania, Rwanda, Ghana, Nigeria and  Côte d’Ivoire. Zola Electric’s investors include: SolarCity, Vulcan Capital, DBL Partners, The Packard Foundation, Helios Investment Partners, and responsibility. Zola Electric is the recipient of the 2016 UN Momentum for Change Award, Zayed Future Energy Prize, and the 2015 Global Cleantech 100. For more information, visit


The Managing Director- East Africa core role will be to provide overall leadership, mentorship and strategic direction in Tanzania and Rwanda,  having full responsibility for the Profit & Loss and the overall execution of both countries in alignment with Zola  Electric’s overall corporate strategy.


The other  responsibilities include, but are not limited to:


  1. Country Strategy Development and Implementation

  • Provide leadership in the development and implementation of the annual Country Operations Strategy and Business Plan, aligned to the overall Company Strategic Plan

  • Cascade the overall company vision, goals, development strategies including  objectives and key results (OKRs) in support of company, country and departmental strategy and business plans

  • Provide leadership for the dissemination of company mission, vision and values  at the country level and direct the country programme and its staff in line with the annual Country Strategy 

  • Monitor business resources and strategy implementation on weekly basis and devise appropriate strategies and interventions to ensure alignment of the Country operations to corporate objectives 

  • Drive business and organisational growth aligned to the strategic intent of the overall company

  • Increase market penetration and develop new routes to market to include channel partners, and agency agreement 


     2.     Leadership and Management of Country Operations


  • Provide strong, visible and inspirational leadership to Country Leadership Team, as well as the wider ZOLA  Tanzania and Rwanda teams thereby delivering bottom line business results


  • Build a strong Leadership Team and functional areas, as well as co

  • Lead the Country management teams in the resolution of operational problems on a day-to-day basis

  • Lead the contribution towards new or innovative approaches to policy and operational issues

  • Monitor operational risks through the management of a comprehensive risk framework to assess risks and devise risk mitigation plans


         3.     Finance Management Oversight 


  • Provide oversight in financial management matters of the Country Operations, ensuring compliance with the overall company’s procedures and external best practice as well as donor and regulatory requirements

  • Develop and effectively execute the Country resource allocation plan, using insights and a focus on opportunities, priorities and capabilities for business growth

  • Analyse and evaluate P&L to drive performance, challenge spend and lead changes to deliver higher performance and value

  • Monitor cash flow to ensure effective cash 


        4.    People Management

  •  Lead the development of a sustainable structure to support the operational requirements of the business

  • Oversee the recruitment, development and retention of management and employees  in collaboration with the Human Capital Department

  • Manage the performance of direct reports, ensuring agreement of annual goals, measuring performance against agreed goals and dealing with areas of non-performance

  • Act as custodian of succession plan development and implementation to support the growth of people within the organisation

  • Lead, coach and mentor direct reports to foster personal growth and teamwork

  • Manage the administration of direct reports through the approval of leave, subsistence and travel expenses


     5.      Stakeholder Management

  •  Lead the charge to ensure a happy customer base

  • Engage with the Chief Operating Officer and Group  Executives on Country operational matters and in the provision of input into high level strategy

  • Lead the weekly Core Team Meetings and monthly Performance Review Meetings

  • Engage with Head of Departments and liaise with Group Executives and teams to address departmental problems, identify resolutions and make the necessary adjustments to the operating business model

  • Lead the collaborative efforts across functions to understand and resolve operational problems on the ground 

  • Participate in Country Board meetings and engage with shareholders and local chairpersons

  • Act as the primary point of contact for senior interaction with government, tax authorities and industry organisations

  • Identify technical experts who understand the country landscape and encourage engagements with the relevant stakeholders

  • Liaise with external stakeholders  to resolve business issues which may  have been escalated by the business.


  • Master's Degree or equivalent in a relevant field

  • 12 to 15 years’ experience in a senior leadership role in a growing business of reasonable size

  • Strong GM experience, P&L responsibility and orientation

  • Sales, Marketing and Consumer-oriented

  • Business building experience

  • Government and Labour stakeholder engagement experience

  • Multi-channel experience  door to door, ( distribution, in-house retail, third party retail, partnerships, telesales)

Other information

This role is based in our  Arusha Head office in Tanzania. As this role is also overseeing operations in Rwanda, travel between Arusha and Kigal will be required on a regular basis. 

Are you interested? Please send your updated resume.


OffGrid Electric is an Equal Opportunity Employer.



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Data Privacy Notice
Zola Electric believes strongly in protecting the privacy of the personal data you provide to us. We also believe it is important to inform you about how we will use your personal data. This document explains how we may process your personal data and the rights you have in this respect. Therefore, we encourage you to read this Privacy Notice carefully.

Scope of this Privacy Notice
This Privacy Notice applies to all personal data of applicants processed by Zola Electric in connection with our recruitment process.

About Zola Electric’s recruitment process
You may apply for a position within Zola Electric anywhere in the world via our online recruitment application system. By means of this recruitment system you may create a profile and apply for a specific vacancy. Via the use of this application and submission of related information, you may provide personal data to Zola Electric in connection with the recruiting process. We may process personal data for recruitment purposes including organizing selection procedures and manage applications.

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When you interact with Zola Electric in connection with the recruitment process, we may ask or receive certain personal data, including, but not limited to:

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  • As well, in some countries, including US, we may ask for information such as gender, race and ethnicity for the purposes of monitoring equal opportunity.

Third parties
Your personal data will be processed and stored by a Zola Electric trusted third party partner, Cezanne HR. Cezanne HR is involved in providing and facilitating the recruitment process, such as website hosting, data analysis, information technology and related infrastructure provision, customer service, email delivery, auditing and other services. Any other disclosures to third parties will only be made when required by law. Cezanne HR is a configurable, cost-effective and GDPR-compliant human resource software system.

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Gert Jan van Sluis

Director Human Capital
Zola Electric

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