Project Everest

Work Update

WI SI a change coming... (PIVOT, PIVOT, PIVOT, PIVOOTTTTT!!!)

Rebecca Pink
Rebecca Pink | Feb 14, 2017 | in Knowledge Base

At the end of week 2 we completed a design activity where we broke down our project structure into its key components and specified exactly what actions need to be put in place and what relationships to maintain and develop to move forward with our pilot program.

The components included facilities and plumbers, the hub, customers, supplies and parts and subscription model. In regards to the subscription model in particular, we discussed the matter in depth and may potentially have a pivot on the horizon..



-          After meeting with graduates from Don Bosco and Senai Beccora, we discovered their plumbing training was far less than initially thought. Don Bosco graduates receive only a month of plumbing (canalizador) training while Senai Beccora provides 6 months of training, with only those who complete a level 3 qualification receiving practical training. The director of Senai Beccora also stated that his graduates would need further training to work on their own.

-          From this information we decided that for the benefit of ensuring initial quality we would look into already established plumbers in Dili using the online Timor-Leste directory. Once the initial pilot program has been established then we hope to reintroduce the idea of tech college graduates as trainees or apprentices to improve their training.

-          We also decided that we will hire between 5-10 plumbers on a casual contract to cater for peak periods but also avoid paying full time wages when not necessarily required.



-          The idea of the hub was then broken down to assess what it will require to run as an efficient point of contact for the project.

-          A hub scout is required to maintain accountability and contact with the Santa Cruz community. We decided that they would need admin, accounting and customer service skills. Ability to speak English would be handy for us but not essential long term.

-          We also listed the practical necessities for the running of the hub i.e. furniture, insurance, business license

-          The hub will also produce an easily accessible monthly report to provide transparency of where the project funds are going to maintain community participation.

-          We have also been in contact with Timor Telecom and Telkomcel in hopes of their assistance in setting up a communication plan for the hub. We want to implement a succinct line of communication between the hub, the plumber and the customer through text message, but at the moment is deemed unfeasible due to the cost of sending texts in Timor-Leste.



-          While working on the already established idea of membership cards, feedback forms and stickers on doors/infrastructure (safety house) we decided upon more tasks specific to the pilot program

-          Customers will receive an information packet upon joining which will include a copy of their PDS, which will include claim inclusions and exclusions, dates applicable, user responsibilities etc.



-          When discussing the nitty gritty of obtaining parts and supplies we moved away from the idea of buying in bulk and storing parts for the pilot program as we are yet to have a clear guideline of what to purchase

-          Instead we intend to have a catalog of pre-approved parts from local hardware stores in accordance to quality international standards which plumbers can purchase, obtain a receipt and claim the funds back from the hub.

-          We are hoping by doing this for the pilot program it will be able to predict future trends of required parts to eventually buy in bulk.

-          We have set up meetings with 3 recommended hardware stores in order to assess their supply of parts and to eventually build a relationship based on loyalty to hopefully get discounted prices


SUBSCRIPTION MODEL – Subscription vs. Microfinance

-          This was by far the most productive discussion taken from the meeting and a potential hard pivot.

-          When discussing the actualities of the subscription model we decided that our initial base + extras scheme had several holes in it e.g. cancellation policy, claim limit in first month, following through with payment, penalties etc.

-          This then led to the discussion of implementing elements of micro finance to our project.

-          We have researched several successful companies working in developing countries using micro finance e.g. GRAMEEN and see it as a feasible path for our project.

-          This newly defined model also supports results from the survey questions in that many people found the subscription model hard to comprehend, and instead thought the small amount paid each month could be used as credit for their infrastructure.

-          It also rules out the need for differing premiums, scouts assessing infrastructure and confusion of coverage.


We are still researching the 3 elements of micro finance (credit, insurance and savings) to determine which one will suit our project and the community will be on board with.

We are also seeking advice from anyone with information on micro finance, including contacting NITL and financial advisors in Dili.





WISI Feb Team

Hamish Moses Feb 14, 2017

love the friends reference

Reply 1

Bailey Bond Feb 14, 2017

Legends! It sounds like the work that you have been doing is fantastic and it is great to see the project advancing! I love the idea of Micro-Financing, will great to see the come to fruition.

Just curious, has the team hit any road blocks yet with the project? Would be great to hear your experience thus far

Reply 0

Hamish Moses Feb 14, 2017

aside from the minor roadblocks that are inevitable with any business model the main one we are stuck on is how to ensure our customers stick with our model for the long term and don't leave once they have gotten what they want. As we are aiming for small constant deposits it leaves us venerable to being screwed over... This is why we are exploring the micro financing as a way to increase our product value and long term viability

Reply 1

Amber Johnston Jun 20, 2017

Status changed to Previous Work

Reply 0