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The Holy Trinity: Beers, Banter and Solar Panels

Posted by Nic Makram Dec 4, 2017

Week 1 for the Energy Assessment team here in Dili, Timor-Leste has been incredibly productive. The nine person team has been able to accomplish multitudes of work due to their positive attitudes and solid work ethics. We have been able to build substantially upon the hard work done by the July team and in just one week have made an incredible amount of progress. There was one obvious highlight though: our meeting with Heineken.

Heineken is the first and currently the largest manufacturing company in Dili, producing 18,000 cans per minute (take a second to let that sink in), including Tiger, Bintang, Strongbow as well as Sprite, Pepsi and Fanta. When team member, Ben Disher received an enthusiastic email with an expression of interest in solar and invitation to visit the factory on a Friday afternoon, the celebratory high-fiving was unlike anything we have ever seen.

At 1530 on Friday, our team met with Jemmy, the Supply Chain Manager for the Heineken Factory here in Dili, about half an hour away from our accommodation. Safe to say, Jemmy was super prepared. We very quickly realised that Jemmy was ready to install solar panels immediately, he had just one question: how long it would take us to get the system up and running, because he’s ready to get on board. Now the key thing is, we had allocated an hour to this meeting, however we were done in just over five minutes. This left us with a remaining fifty-five minutes to give the Heineken products a quick test, perhaps the ideal way to spend a Friday afternoon and build a (very) strategic customer relationship.

So, following the team’s most efficient meeting ever, we walked downstairs to the office canteen to the self-serve beer tap (yeah, I said self-serve). Never have I seen so many faces light up as when Jemmy told us we could help ourselves to the beer (we did so in moderation of course). We then sat around a table and just had a chat; about how Jemmy got to this point, about the factory itself, about PE, and just about anything else. It was without a doubt the best meeting I have ever been to, and I think all meetings would benefit from this structure.

This obvious expression of interest from Heineken, along with a number of other medium-to-large businesses around Dili will definitely factor into week two and the rest of the month. Having just set our goals for the upcoming week, the team is focused on sourcing the materials necessary to implement a solar system as soon as we can. This means contacting the solar panel companies, importing companies and installation companies that we have identified as being the most suitable for our project and getting some solar panels into Dili.

All in all, Week 1 was very exciting, and hopefully the rate at which we have smashed through our goals carries on throughout the month. We’ve got a quality group of boys in this team, and I have no doubts that there are good things to come.

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Comments (6)

Brodie Leeson says... Dec 4, 2017
This is absolutely amazing guys well done! It is so good to see the hustle and good times kept to such a High standard haha! Keep up the amazing work and please do not hesitate to get in contact with any of the July energy team if the handover doc is a little vague regarding import lines, suppliers or government grants as we are still super passionate about our baby haha. On that me and Jock would love to organise a chat with towards the end of this week to catch up on how everything has been going to pass on to our January energy team to build the excitement for the good times and epic hustle! Great effort guys, I look forward to keeping up to date with the rest if your progress!
Nic Makram says... Dec 5, 2017

Yeah for sure Brodie, we would definitely be keen for a chat to update you with where we're at and get some input from you guys, who have obviously formed the basis for a lot of our work! This week is the long weekend, so if you guys are free on Thursday afternoon/evening for a quick rundown of the project over google hangouts, I'm sure we would be able to write up a list of questions for you guys and if you've got any questions for us or any tips/ideas that would be awesome! 

Jock Willoughby says... Dec 5, 2017

Such an awesome effort energy team!!!! Seems as though you guys are hustling hard and getting Heineken on board is absolutely massive. Looking forward to a catch up chat this week!

Keep up the great work.


Lily Partridge says... Dec 5, 2017

Heineken has such a huge grip on the Timorese market and a massive amount of exposure and presence even out in the districts. Getting the ball rolling with support for solar by such a big player will set a massive example for other businesses out there. Can't wait to see how the team progresses with this one!


targetehr says... Mar 31, 2018
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MyhtSpace says... 3 months ago
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