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Applied Research Manager

Nairobi, Kenya

Salary rangeConfidential | Contract type: Permanent

You have 1 days left to apply for this job.

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Job Summary

M-KOPA Labs, the Research & Development arm within M-KOPA, is looking for an exceptional Applied Research Manager to join its growing team.
This is an exciting time to join Labs: with recent success developing solar technologies that deliver positive impact for low-income communities across Africa, we are expanding our R&D
pipeline significantly. The role will support Labs to further its knowledge of the impact and customer need for more Pay-As-You-Go (PAYG) connected products and services.
In recent years we have substantially increased the breadth and depth of market expertise, as well as the product categories that we are bringing to market. Our research encompasses areas as diverse as digital financial services, mobile app user experiences, solar-powered productive use appliances, new delivery models to reach more customers, creditworthiness assessment, battery analytics, and more. However, we believe there is scope to further develop our research capabilities.
The Applied Research Manager will work closely with the Head of Labs based in the UK, the Strategy team based in Kenya, and the Market Research teams based in throughout Africa. In this position, you will take a leading role to conduct market mapping and industry landscaping exercises, in addition to deepening M-KOPA’s understanding of its existing and new customer bases in current and new markets. The role will oversee M-KOPA’s market research and, as well as gather the industry intelligence to inform M-KOPA’s growth strategy.
An essential part of your job will be travel to the UK and overseas and, therefore, flexible working hours are needed to perform this role.
This role is central to advancing M-KOPA’s commitment to capture the customer voice to design best-in-class products and services that create a meaningful, lasting impact on the lives of customers.


  • Lead research in a diverse set of areas including: customer and staff behaviour and preferences, product usage, industry value-chain analysis, business model analysis, market mapping, and competitor benchmarking;
  • Design and manage research projects, from scoping through to completion, ensuring all internal and external (client) requirements are met, to deadline and on budget in a commercial environment;
  • Design and deliver quantitative and qualitative research methods online, over phone, and in-person;
  • Develop highly-engaging, well-evidenced, and illustrative research outputs that clearly and concisely convey the impact of the research;
  • Track and monitor M-KOPA’s position in the market relative to shifts in the competitive landscape or market
  • Manage staff, associates, and subcontractors, such as fieldwork agencies to deliver on the work;
  • Support Head of Labs to deliver projects and develop new products and services aligned to M-KOPA’s growth strategy;
  • Present and communicate research findings and recommendations to senior business leaders, clients, and other stakeholders;
  • Build strong relationships with internal stakeholders and external donors and investors;
  • Support the development of other team members through coaching, mentoring and shared learning.
The successful applicant will have strong analytical skills to lead a range of quantitative, qualitative and mixed-methods research of projects for customers who have come to expect a responsive, timely and insightful service.
The ideal candidate will have:
  • A minimum of 5 to 7 years within the market research, industry research, or management consulting industries;
  • 1 to 3 years of industry/sector experience and/or a strong understanding of the African context;
  • Academic and practical experience with a wide array of new product, brand, and customer understanding research methodologies;
  • Exceptional written and oral communication and visual design abilities;
  • Proven project management skills, in particular for field-based research and managing research teams;
  • Strong analytic skills with experience in statistical modeling and analysis;
  • Proficient with Excel and PowerPoint;
  • Bachelors or advanced degree in business, mathematics, or the sciences.
In addition, the candidate will have experience with:
  • Conducting market mapping exercises, sectoral analyses, and competitor benchmarking
  • Designing research questionnaires and moderator guides;
  • Story-telling with data;
  • Chairing and facilitating workshops and webinars;
  • Working with Project Managers and Market Research teams to oversee the fieldwork initiative;
  • Interpreting data, writing reports, and making actionable recommendations, and
  • Managing consultancies and team members to deliver research outputs on time and within budget.
We offer competitive rates of pay, reflective of skills, knowledge and experience, together with performance bonus and benefits. Depending on your location, we can offer a permanent contract of employment or a consultancy contract.
Our Culture and Company Values
M-KOPA promotes a friendly, innovative and collaborative company culture where positivity and inclusivity enables all employees to work with dignity in a happy and productive company environment. We embrace equal opportunities for all and are committed to building a diverse, broadly trained workforce. 
Women, minorities, and people with disabilities are strongly encouraged to apply to all our vacant job opportunities. 
In compliance with applicable laws and in furtherance of our commitment to fostering an environment that welcomes and appreciates diversity, M-KOPA does not discriminate on the basis of race, colour, creed, religion, national origin, sex (including pregnancy and parenting status), disability, age, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, marital status or genetic information in its programs or activities, including employment.
Our fast growing team takes pride in our company values:
We have an appetite for advancement and our customers do too. Our aim is to get better every day, continually improving our business operations while our customers better their lives.
We help low-income consumers acquire and own high quality, affordable energy solutions and equipment, and we gain pride knowing that our customers gain independence through ownership.
We aim to make life easier for our customers, and we value straightforward, common-sense solutions.
We make our business decisions based on a clear and honest assessment of the
facts. We believe that good ideas and great insights come from all directions:
from our customers, our partners, and our staff.

Job Requirements

Required education: Bachelor's degree
Required relevant work experience: 5 years
Required languages: English (Spoken: fluent | Written: fluent)

Mandatory attachments

Please have a scan or photo of these documents ready when you start the application:

Self-prepared CV file - the employer wants to see a CV that you have prepared yourself
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