Project Everest

Proposed Experiment

[Proposed Experiment]: Channels - Airtel Agent Channel - Malawi July 2019


Lean phase: Channels


Background information

Airtel vendors have a deeper knowledge of the community and are consistently in the same location, therefore community members know where they can find solar products. They are also better equipped to digitise payments and submit documents online. Their shop fronts offer a secure location to stock inventory. Acting as an agent for PEV would also not detract from their day to day activities. 



Airtel vendors can be a viable and effective sales agent for Solar.

Time Box: 2 weeks (22/7/19 - 5/8/19)


Success Metric: Percentage of Airtel Agents making sales




Green Light: 

If success point (1) is reached, determine criteria for why particular Airtel Agents are more successful than others and target other Airtel Agents of similar characteristics.  Provide a base of 5 solar products to the successful Airtel Agents, and then determine logistics of how GM can provide more products as needed. A longer experiment will be written and run over the trekker break.


If success point (2) is reached, develop strategies to make Airtel Agents more effective. Provide a base of 3 solar products to Airtel Agents that made at least one sale, and then determine logistics of how GM can provide more products as needed. A longer experiment will be written and run over the trekker break.


Success point: 



  1. 40% of agents (2 of 5) sell all of the allocated products (2 products)


  1. 80% of agents (4 of 5) sell at least one product


Orange Light: Contact the agent in person or via a phone call to establish if there are any hindrances or concerns that he has that have lead to a lack of sales. Evaluate the approximate number of EOIs received to determine if marketing or sales approach is an issue. Provide additional resources and/or training in order to mitigate these issues.


Failure point: 0 products in two weeks across all agents


Red Light: 

Investigate the reasons that the agents did not make any sales. Discuss with the agents issues that they faced in connecting with customers and if there was a lack of interest or problems converting EOI’s into sales. Determine whether there is still potential to utilise Airtel Agents using a different strategy. If there is, develop the new strategy for agents to follow and provide any updated or changed documents and resources that they would require to run another experiment.

Experiment Build


  1. Locate and reach out to Airtel agents matching the following criteria:

  • Established and secure shop front (at this stage don’t recommend using the umbrella airtel stands), 

  • Near established EOI’s 

Target locations for Airtel Agents have been identified as Nancholi, Blantyre and Chemussa. Trekkers will start in a central location of each location and explore the surrounding areas approaching Airtel stores making proposals until 5 stores sign up to become agents.


  1. Introduce them to the solar system and its benefits.

    1. A pitch for approaching Airtel stores can be found here


  1. In the event that they are receptive towards the product offer the role as an agent to them and propose the following commission structure:

  • Upfront sale: 1400 MWK

  • Lay-by sale: 1400 MWK when unit is fully paid for.


  1. Prospective agents will be provided with:

If they wish to sign on as Agents they will be trained on how to complete the required sales administration and use of the Google form. Upon training they will sign the Agent Agreement Form and can begin making sales.


  1. In the event that an agreement can not be reached move on to the next viable option for Airtel agent. In the event of an agreement, provide the agent with training and provide them with minimal stock (2) receipt books, sale of good agreements and care agreements.

edited on 19th July 2019, 11:07 by Mariah Cassar

Andrew Vild 6 months ago

Status label added: Adopted Experiment

Reply 0

Andrew Vild 6 months ago

Status labels added: Proposed Experiment, Post Not Ready

Status label removed: Adopted Experiment

This experiment needs to have clearer success metrics. How many agents are you going to test this model on? How many will be "inactive" and therefore how many of the agents you engage with need to be "active" in order to be able to measure their success?

Reply 0

Andrew Vild 6 months ago

How many sales needs to be made? 2 in a year, a month, a week?

Green light, provide with more products? how many more?

How are we receiving the payments and the admin from the agents? Are we going out and physcially receiving the payments or are we getting them to send it via mobile money (they do run a mobile money kiosk). Are they able to send WhatsApp images of the admin they need to do to provide a receipt on sale etc?

How do we ensure we keep all physical receipts for tax and legal reasons?

This detail should be in the experiment build.

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Grace Blackford 6 months ago

Status label removed: Post Not Ready

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