Project Everest

Assessments, Environmental Sustainability

Solar Consulting (Moyo Energy) - Malawi

109 Ideas
373 Votes
322 Comments
330 Subscribers

Electrifying Malawi through affordable solar home systems
Vision: Transform access to energy in Africa

PROBLEM
Without lighting or power, you are unable to do simple things such as read at night or charge a phone. However, this is the reality for ~90% of Malawians who do not have access to electricity - this is one of the lowest rates of electrification in the world.
Even for those who are connected to the grid, power outages are a regular occurrence, making it an unreliable source of power. Philip, a local, sums up the situation: “Electricity in Malawi isn’t reliable. I would struggle to even cook sometimes because I have no light to prepare my meals. I would end up losing motivation and skip dinner that night”.
PE Ventures has assessed the supply, quality and cost of energy sources in Malawi, and is providing clean, safe affordable energy alternative in the form of solar power.

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  1. Patrick Edwards
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  2. Roy Makolosi
    258 pts
  3. Hannah Slade
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  4. Ashley King
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Project Summary

The December solar team had 3 main areas of focus for the month: firstly, finding a revenue generation model that sustainably led to 40 new sales per month; secondly, finding a revenue collection model that was able to ensure full monthly repayments on products; and lastly investigating avenues for the business to scale. This summary will provide an expansion of how the solar team tackled each of the three key areas of focus, and provides recommendations for the next team moving forward....

Roy Makolosi
by Roy Makolosi
0 Votes
Comments 1
Roy Makolosi
Proposed Experiment

Lean Phase:   Channels Background Information: The high cost of agent onboarding has significantly hampered Moyo Energy’s ability to scale due to the face-to-face and transport requirements in the set up procedure. Additionally the information gaps lead to cost inefficiencies in the set up process; as regional demand characteristics and relationships are unknown. NGOs however, given their information databases and experience in the regions would theoretically be able to on-board...

Roy Makolosi
by Roy Makolosi
1 Votes
Comments 1
Roy Makolosi
Proposed Experiment

Lean Phase: Revenue Streams   Background Information:  The vast majority of units have been sold under the payment plan option which requires a deposit followed by 5 monthly payments. These repayments obviously comprise a large portion of our cash flow and revenue stream and as such it is vital that these repayments are made consistently over the entire 6 month payment period. In November these repayment rates reached 50% with 47 payments due thus necessitating a change in the...

Roy Makolosi
by Roy Makolosi
0 Votes
Comments 1
Roy Makolosi
Proposed Experiment

Lean Phase:   Channels Background Information: The high cost of distribution to areas of low demand, has adversely affected the business’ ability to maintain a profit margin, sufficiently high enough for the business to scale. From the 9th of December a change in revenue generation strategy, to only providing solar products in areas, where we received orders in excess of 10, has proved to cover distribution costs at a high enough level to be self sustaining. It is however still...

Roy Makolosi
by Roy Makolosi
0 Votes
Comments 1
Roy Makolosi
Idea thumbnail
Adopted Experiment

Lean Phase: Channels   Background Information:  The use of chief’s as sales’ agents in the community has been an effort to ensure repayments are received from customers. Data shows repayment rates have been poor, because the feedback loop between: the customers; moyo-energy; and then the sales agent takes too long; and makes the agents reinforcement ineffective as they can not get direct, and self-observable feedback, on their reinforcement efforts.   Assumption:  Collecting...

Roy Makolosi
by Roy Makolosi
1 Votes
Comments 1
Roy Makolosi
Idea thumbnail
Adopted Experiment

Lean Phase: Channels Assumption: Increasing the minimum product order size from our agents to 10; will lead to Agents established in Areas of higher demand, with consistently higher monthly sales figures Time Box: 2 weeks Success Metric:   Number of successful sales from agents Criteria:    Green Light: Post Black Label post to update Business Operations   Success point: 20 sales per new agent set up during the 2 week period.    Orange Light:...

Roy Makolosi
by Roy Makolosi
1 Votes
Comments 1
Roy Makolosi
Project Summary

The July Solar Team’s main focus of the month was to move away from our traditional sales and distribution channels which were both resource intensive and non-scalable, and develop more automated distribution channels that could operate all year around. Three new distribution channels were set-up and tested over the month, which utilised local community members and leaders to act as sales agents who earned income through a commission scheme. The three agent types were Chief Agents, Teacher...

Oscar Ogai
by Oscar Ogai
4 Votes
Comments 1
Oscar Ogai
Proposed Experiment

Lean phase:     Channels   Background information:    Teachers are a respected and influential figure in Malawian communities, as well as being well educated, so our assumption is that they will be able to track repayments effectively as well as use their status to ensure their payment plan customers follow through with repayments.   A number of payment plan sales (8) were made through Teacher Agents in July 2019, therefore these customers should be completing their final...

Cameron Fields
by Cameron Fields
2 Votes
Comments 2
Cameron Fields
Proposed Experiment

Lean phase:  Channels   Background information:  Part of the reasoning behind utilising chiefs as sales agents is to lower the risk of defaulting customers on payment plans as the chief would be the guarantor and has more means to follow up on repayments. Additionally, customers would be members of the village of the chief and will be more motivated in making repayments due to having a personal connection and the social pressure of the community.   A number of payment plan...

Cameron Fields
by Cameron Fields
2 Votes
Comments 1
Cameron Fields
Proposed Experiment

Lean phase:    Channels   Background information:    Agents have received training in payment processing systems when they signed up. As part of this training they were shown how to use the Agent Input Form which is what Solar Consulting will be using to complete initial sales administration and keeping track of finance repayments.   This experiment is a subset of the Airtel Agent , Teacher , Chief and Barbershop experiments.   Assumption:    Agents are...

Cameron Fields
by Cameron Fields
2 Votes
Comments 1
Cameron Fields