Hardware Technical Lead

Job Location:


As a Hardware Technical Lead you will play a core role in Okra’s mission. You will be responsible for designing and releasing our next generation, last mile electrification devices that ingeniously bring power to over 700,000,000 people around the globe. As an expert in this field, you will also be a mentor and coach to more junior engineers, and Okra’s lean structure means you’ll have a direct line with the Product Team - so your advice will be pivotal for product strategy and architecture definition. Okra is a global team and you will be working mostly with colleagues based in Asia during your first months, while we grow the team in the Porto office, in Portugal - you will not only play a role in growing the team but also be a key technical leader and owner of products to come!

Okra’s Hardware Products

Okra’s Hardware innovation started with the development of the Okra Pod, which was the first of its kind solar charge controller that could send/receive power to other interconnected Pods, providing numerous market and commercial benefits that established Mesh Grids one of the most viable technologies to be rolled out for remote energy access across the globe. Okra’s hardware breadth expanded to address other gaps in deploying successful Mesh Grids, including low-cost communication modules to solve issues with unreliable remote comms and battery management system (BMS) design.

The hardware team tackles challenges across a broad spectrum - innovate and tinker on new concepts in close collaboration with the product team, optimize highly critical circuits like the SMPS and current sensor designs, mature the product through certification and design for manufacturing, and push the product’s power limits, configurations (i.e. stacking systems), and reliability through increasingly stressful field usage (i.e. large motor appliances).  And across the board, the aspect of deploying these products in some of the hardest to reach parts of the world to people with the least disposable income, means a lot of creative and clever innovation to achieve both low cost and high reliability.

As Okra scales and pushes towards the 100,000 households goal, the hardware team will not only be taking the current Pod to the next level, but also expanding into batteries, inverters, and creating new products like the Hub Station which will enable entirely new topographies of the Mesh Grids to be deployed. The sky’s the limit, we’ve only just scratched the surface with where the Mesh Grid hardware can grow to.


  • Product requirement specification: interpret and translate functional product requirements into technical requirements
  • Designing and developing embedded systems, from architecture definition, through electrical schematics, to PCB design, its release process, prototyping and mass production
  • Using and overseeing the use of versioning tools, such as SVN and Git, and general processes and good practices
  • Interfacing with other internal and external stakeholders, especially the:
  •        Product Manager (aligning high-level functional requirement with system architecture and technical requirements),
  •       Okra’s QA/QC and Test teams (among others),
  •       manufacturers and component suppliers (especially for prototyping)
  • Supporting team planning and management with agile rituals
  • Provide guidance and support to team colleagues

Skills We’re Looking For*

*You can still apply if you don’t fit all the requirements

Hard skills

  • Capable of defining, managing and coordinating a full embedded system architecture
  • Solid experience with PCB design and release processes and tools
  • Experience or exposure to related disciplines, such as
  •       Micro-controllers and embedded systems
  •       Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC) and
  •       Industrial mechanical design / design for manufacturing
  •       Manufacturing processes (molding, casting, 3D printing, etc)
  •       Control theory/PIDs
  •       Power electronics
  •       Analog and digital communication physics, systems and protocols
  •       Certification and regulatory aspects
  • Comprehensive knowledge and hands-on experience with common lab and test equipment (oscilloscopes, multimeters, spectrum analyzers, etc)
  • Toolkit: Altium, KiCad or similar; C++, Python

Soft skills

  • Okra is a global team with a beautiful palette of people from different cultures, countries and time zones - tolerance, compassion and flexibility is at the core of our working ethos
  • Problem-solver mindset - what you don’t know, you will seek and find out (we’re here to help)
  • Good documentation skills and discipline - you document systematically and methodically
  • Planning and organization skills - you manage your time efficiently and, as an expert, you’re able to estimate work effort to a fine degree
  • Thorough and detail-oriented, capable of reviewing your peers' work and documentation
  • Ability to work with a remote team and self-organize according to the time zones of other colleagues

Internal Liaisons:

  • All other functional teams (Firmware, QA/QC, Elecro-mechanical
  • Product Managers
  • Devices Team Engineering Manager

External Liaisons:

  • Equipment suppliers / vendors
  • Okra’s contract manufacturer

Employment Type:




Start Date:


Salary Range (gross):


Seniority Level:


Benefits at Okra

Flexible Location & Hours

We’re output focused organisation, which means that for the most part, you can choose where and when you work as long as your team has been communicated to and is on board with it.

Professional Career Progression

With mentorship from our investors (Schneider Electric, Greenway Grid Global) and a range of experienced leaders and change-makers in our network, you get the opportunity to take on leadership responsibilities.

We’ve Got You Covered

Cover for work travel, health insurance, sick leave and equipment (i.e. laptops)

Yearly Get-togethers

We get the whole company together for all-expenses-paid national and international team events (yearly team retreats, hackathons, etc.)

Great Work Culture

You’ll work in a fast-paced startup environment with multinational staff – expect to learn a lot while finding creative solutions to complex problems

Learn & Grow

We support you to take on additional relevant education while working

Our Challenge

Okra is currently in it’s high-growth phase. We have rolled out multiple Mesh Grid projects across Africa, Southeast Asia and Central America, but in order for us to achieve our mission of 100% electrification by 2030, we need to continue engineering and deploying disruptive energy access technology at scale.

More About Okra

We’re an IoT startup company bringing energy access to the 1 billion people who don’t have power. In 2019 we made the Cleantech 50 Companies to watch, we won the 2019 Techcrunch Hardware Battlefield in Shenzhen, won the 2019 IEEE Empower A Billion Lives competition and were the back to back 2018 and 2019 PFAN clean energy Business Plan Winners.

Okra has financial backing from investors including Schneider Electric, Smart Axiata, Greenway Global Grid. Our mission is to use IoT and big data to provide technology that will enable rapid electrification of the people who don’t have electricity. We are expecting to continue our trajectory of being a high growth company over the next few years, so this is an exciting time for everyone!