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17 Jul 2021

Business Development Director at Zola

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Job Description

About the job

Do you want to impact global energy accessibility?

ZOLA Electric (formerly Off Grid Electric) is the leading clean energy technology brand in Africa.  Through our distribution partners, ZOLA products bring light and power to homes, small businesses, and whole communities.  Our products help people stay connected and expand opportunities for work and study.

ZOLA is a scale-up that’s on track to light a million homes in Africa and around the world with clean, affordable solar energy.  ZOLA Electric combines Silicon Valley technology with local expertise to offer African homes and businesses a long-term, integrated energy solution to an unreliable grid.

We are looking for a  Business Development Director with experience in originating and managing commercial transactions in the Renewable Energy sector in East Africa.  

You will play a critical role in our strategic plans for growth and will be an integral part of the commercial team.  This is your dream job if want to combine your knowledge, experience, passion, and skills to transform the renewable energy landscape. You’ll need to be ready to tackle the unique challenges that come with working in an emerging market and building a truly epic business.

The company was founded in 2012, and investors include Tesla, Vulcan Capital, DBL Partners, Helios Investment Partners, EDF, Total, and GE Ventures.  ZOLA Electric is a recipient of the UN Momentum for Change Award, the Zayed Future Energy Prize, and is a member of the Global Cleantech 100. For more information, visit


The Business Development Director- East Africa will be working with the CCO and Business Development Directors, and she/he is responsible for the execution of mid-to-large scale commercial transactions, including 3rd party distribution partnerships, in support of ZOLA’s global product distribution strategy.   The role is based in East Africa and may require travel.  The role requires a candidate with strong people skills and proven deal origination and execution abilities.

We need someone who is ambitious, ethical, hardworking and results-oriented; someone who thinks long term and has the endurance to see a deal to closure.    

Key responsibilities include:

  1. Deal Origination
  • Build strategic framework to identify key markets & distribution channels
  • Generate leads, i.e., source prospective distribution partners by ZOLA product and distribution channel
  • Manage prospective distribution partner screening process for technical / commercial fit, including potential deal size
  • Prioritize and coordinate Zola’s business development pipeline
  • Lead weekly PipeDrive review call to determine the status of leads


  1. Proof of Concept Implementation
  • Manage commercial deal transaction to a conclusion, i.e., executed documentation and recurring purchase orders:
  • Develop sales materials for use in customer meetings
  • Lead partner engagement / customer relationship management
  • Negotiate commercial deal terms & conditions
  • Prepare and execute transaction definitive documentation
  • Manage cross-functional coordination of internal and external work streams needed to successfully execute transactions including partner financial and legal due diligence, technical evaluation/proof of concepts, and deal implementation, i.e., order fulfillment


  1. Business development KPI reporting
  • Track and report on the status of deals, expected timing, and risk escalation
  • Resource team effectively, including succession planning, budgeting, and recruitment of staff members in collaboration with Human Capital and Finance Departments
  • Create an environment with high engagement; lead, coach, and mentor direct reports to foster personal growth and teamwork


  • A Bachelor’s degree in a quantitatively rigorous discipline and with a record of strong academic performance-An MBA is an additional advantage
  • 10+ years experience in international business, commercial and/or corporate development, or business development, of which 4 years is at a management level.  Previous commercial or business development experience in developing and executing commercial partnerships in the renewable energy industry is a strong advantage
  • Proven ability to manage a commercial transaction to a conclusion, i.e., executed definitive documentation
  • Good understanding of energy technology and the energy industry
  • General management experience
  • Creative and proven ability to work cross-functionally
  • Flexible, assertive, client-oriented and result-focused
  • Good communicator with relational ease (people skills)
  • Excellent communications skills, and fluent in English
  • Proper mastery of computer systems and tools (Excel, PowerPoint, Google Sheets, Slides & Docs)
  • Analytical and planning & organizing skills
  • Detail-oriented and deadline-driven
  • Ethical team player who can work under pressure
  • Ambition to grow professionally and contribute to the development of the company
  • Ability to think long-term

Managerial and Technical Competencies:

  • Influential Leadership
  • Excellent communication skills; fluent in English and Swahili
  • Mastery of computer systems and tools, including G-suite, Excel, and Powerpoint
  • Ambition to grow professionally and contribute to the development of ZOLA

Personal Competencies:

  • Customer-focused, flexible, and assertive
  • Detail-oriented and deadline-driven
  • Ambition to grow professionally and contribute to the development of ZOLA
  • Time management skills
  • Self-motivated
  • Ethical team player who can work under pressure


Working Condition

  • Required to travel globally
  • Willing to work changing hours
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Method of Application

Submit your CV and Application on Company Website : Click Here

Closing Date : 20th July, 2021.

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