We were pleased to converse with the Co-Founders of the Kenya Green Supply Limited who shared a lot about their organization. The article below is just an extract of the conversation we had. A demonstration of the Allsola device plus more is captured on the link below. This article captures the following:
- Market Feedback
- Kenya Green Supply Vision
To listen to the full interview, click HERE.
RiA: Good Morning, good afternoon everybody depending on where you are joining from. So my name is Tony Tiyou. I am the founder and CEO of Renewables in Africa. Your African clean energy champion and I have with me two very important people together with my regional director, Oluoch Were from, from Kenya. So, Olouch Were say quick hallo
OW: Hallo each and every one. It’s a pleasure you guys are joining us, so kindly keep it locked.
RiA: Excellent. So I have with me, Maria and Kevin, both executives of the very interesting companies that we are going to talk about. I don’t want to mention the names, I am going to let them do that on their own terms. So, both of you, Marielle and Kevin hallo today, how are you?
MF: Hi! Good morning, good afternoon, good evening, wherever anybody is.
KN : Good morning, good evening
RiA: Wherever anybody is, exactly. In Covid times you don’t know right. So you could be working in Africa and be in Berlin, yeah! That’s the way it works today. So am, let me now move on to the topic that brings us today, right. So, Marielle and Kevin, I wanted to give justice to you, to your carrier but also to the company that you both are representing. And I wanted to find out whether you would please be kind enough to introduce yourself but also the company that you are running. So any of you start, then the other follow.
KM : Yes, Okay! My name is Kevin Musila. I am the CEO and Co-founder of Kenya Green Supply Limited. That is the KGS Group. The company was started in the year 2013 and since our aim has been to develop smart devices, good products that run on renewable energy and are able to support the green revolution. Generally, we started as a distributor and now we have developed a good product that we call all solar that we are talking about today. Thank you.
RiA: Excellent. Marielle!
MF: Hi! My name is Marielle Fillit. I am the CEO and Co-founder of Kenya Greens Supply Limited, which is a company based in Nairobi Kenya and then also KGS Group LLC. Which is an American company based in Florida. And Kevin and I started the company back in 2013 in Kenya and it’s been a Journey so far and we are so excited to share all that with you guys. And Yeah! Just talk about it, and the product that we’ve developed which we now are solely focused on. So yeah! We are very excited to talk and chat.
RiA: Excellent! Excellent! So now you’ve talked about that product and what I have heard is very revolutionary, right. And I was wondering whether you would tell me more about that and also tell me if there is any statistics to back what you are saying! So what is that product about?
MF: So the product that we have developed is basically a solar smart home solution for raw consumers who need electricity which is essentially lighting, phone charging, some productive use of energy and also information and internet. So it’s a combo of energy and the internet. Essentially connectivity and electricity that is allowing the household to make productive use of a computer , a television screen but also the lighting piece which will also allow them make more use of their time and energy. So it’s really about the whole house and getting the household working in a way that meets some of the needs of a modern society in other countries too. Bringing these households into that standard so they can free up their time to participate in the world economy. Yeah! So, I think it’s really about the revolution here is not just about bringing people electricity and bringing them online, it’s also bringing their minds online with the rest of the world, connecting the rest of the world with them, allowing them to share on the internet, allowing them to learn alongside American students and meet students from all around the world. So am, it goes beyond the electricity and the internet which tend to be physical things more than the end goal here which would be connecting people and systems and machines extra. So, yes.
RiA: Excellent! And the good thing is I could see Kevin who was showing us the product, and showing us a demo. That’s fantastic, that’s great. So let me just add a question here, so how did you come up with this idea? Coz that’s really interesting.
MF: Kevin! Kevin! Yes. The idea came about from our previous work. Generally we started as a distributor and at that point we were distributing people’s products. Like other people were developing the products and we were distributing them. Then also it depended on the market demand at the time because there was a shift from just providing lighting and charging to bringing more solutions to the market or giving the customer more than just lighting and charging. So at that time while we were distributing other devices we were not able to innovate around those devices because they were not ours. So we decided to come in as a developer and start designing our own product and listening to the market and what people were talking about and what they needed. We need a TV; we need something that maybe a TV that’s not consuming a lot of energy and is also dependent on solar; we need the internet, we need a computer. Something like that. So all these informed what we wanted to make. And at the end of the day we settled on a device that can combine generation of energy, storage of energy and utilization of energy. And that’s what we have developed. We named the device “the all solar”, which means, you providing light, charging, you providing entertainment plus internet, you can call on the device plus other aspects. So we managed to put much of what the market or that customer wanted onto one single device that you can just carry around. Still you get all that value. That is what motivated our innovation and our way of looking at what we are making before bringing it to the market. Also we looked at what other people are bringing on the market, and looking at what they are bringing you find that they are hooking several accessories on a battery for it to make a device or a solution for the customer. But for us we are really bringing a device that is able to offer those solutions on a go. That is the device for me.
RiA: This is very, very interesting I must say. I personally haven’t come across such a product before but maybe I’m wrong, maybe I just haven’t looked far enough. So, I want to know what has been the market penetration, though I know it’s still a very new product. How is the market receiving the product so far?
MF: I can take this on. What we are doing right now is we had to go through a process of submitting the software for the device to Google – Android team because ultimately we wanted all the customers to have to go to the play store. That was a pretty rigorous process that took about eighteen months that was completed in December of twenty nineteen. And that really gave us the go ahead to say, okay now, the software is market ready, so at the very least we can begin mass production with that operating system. Lighting global is still in process but we’ve received the test report. It stated essentially that everything was normal, stable, you know, essentially I know that there will be no issues with that being granted lighting global which is very important for the lighting aspect and quality control in general. So it’s a quality control on the factory, etcetera, so that will be granted and then we will go into production probably this year depending also on orders. So at the moment we are trying to generate orders, which is kind of another reason we are doing this podcast. We want any interested parties, whether it be government or non-government organizations, non-profits, foundations, any NGO and interested party to come and join us. Our email is: email@example.com anytime. We want to spread the word now and the launch in each and every country will also depend upon the partners that we are choosing. Again, banks, NGOs, it could be any mobile operators especially have a money making opportunity with regards to this and the banks from the loans side. So we are open to proposals from any place. And so the launch is also dependent on those partners coming in and dedicating also resources because at the end of the day we are a device manufacturer, we focus very strongly on software and hardware and we make sure that we deliver on timing correctly, not necessarily deal making in each and every country because the political situation and or economic situation or whatever it maybe is not relevant. Like we just solely focused on delivering this product. So, the launch also can depend on other players. This is how I would put it.
RiA: Excellent! I wanted to call on to my colleague here, Oluoch, who is am, I have to say, before you joined RiA, before, you were an expert, so you probably the best expert right now of the markets, across the region in sales in Africa. So I wanted to get your sense on this product that we are talking about today. You know the market very well, so what’s your take on it?
OW: Okay! Thanks Tony. Currently around six hundred million people or roughly half the populations of sub-Saharan Africa don’t have access to grid electricity and it seems pretty unlikely the grid is going to get to many of those consumers at any time. So we need a different solution. And off-grid solar is turning out to be a very effective solution in bringing energy and modern digital services to consumers who don’t have access to grid electricity. Many people are unaware of the sheer number of many communities that are simply unreachable by existing power grids and thus cut off from the world around them, with no access to basics such as the normal things they need to use and maybe joggle around and get information from. That is basics such as the news and internet connection. So most often just plugging in a solar panel won’t help. So I am happy that All-Solar has come up with more innovative solutions to help those communities to connect with their world. You realize, it’s one thing to provide a house-hold with electricity, and it’s another thing for that household to be able to access the services that that electricity delivers. So, rather than just providing a socket in the wall, All-Solar delivers not only the power but also the devices and the services that go along with them. So, for example, if you deliver a thirteen inch smart television, it not only acts as a computer, but also comes with channels of satellite content, that would look just as a home in Miami or Cape Town as it does in a rural household say in Kenya or even in Ghana. There is still a long way to go before everybody in Africa has equal access to energy. And AllSola delivers not only the power, but also the devices and the services which mean that consumers have access to modern digital services that they might reasonably expect and want. Looking also at the market with regards to sub-Saharan Africa, you realize that at the moment there is quite a big demand with regards to solar home systems because it’s one key area that SDG-7 is focusing on and am happy that All- Solar is also coming in to fill that void in ensuring that not only the rural communities but also peri-urban communities have access to reliable safe and affordable source of energy. So good job All- Solar.
RiA: Okay! Thanks for that. Great! Now, let me come to the final question of our podcast, it has been quite interesting so far. I wanted to ask, both you, Marielle and Kevin or one of you, it’s up to you, so where do you see yourself in the next three to five years?
MF: Kevin, do you want to go first, or do you want me to go first? You go first.
KM : In the next three to five years, we are planning to launch a pilot between three to six months from December this year. So that is to majorly to help us generate the market. Probably after-market generation we are going to obviously pay these about ten million units probably by end of, that’s the minimum, by end of three years and maybe do more units by end of five years. Hopefully during the investment we hope to generate the investment, both market and demand and so on. So that’s going to back up these numbers. Marielle!
MF: Sorry Kevin. I wasn’t laughing at you, I was laughing with you, I hope I can clarify that if you saw me laughing. Yes! I think we are very excited about matching. I think the way we see this going three to five years is we would like to get some volume into Africa because the quorum of devices in the continent will allow us to do some very interesting things. First of all the devices are feeding back information to us. So, we are learning about the power module, like I said before, we are learning about how the customers are going to be using the device, what apps they are going to be using and then also in the next three to five years I want to develop some software for customers thinking through what software applications they need, they want, what’s going to make their lives easier? What’s going to make them happier? Especially for women I think. There’s a role to play for both men and women but I think some of these household tasks are becoming so overly tedious to the point where a woman cannot participate to the local economy unless there is some help or some way of, I don’t know doing something, I can’t, I don’t know what that’s going to be but we need to have women participating a little bit more in the local economy especially if the end goal would be to boost GDP. Because if your end goal for any country is to boost GDP and you only have 50% only of the population working on it, which is males, then, you are missing out. So we need to have women also. We need to have 100% of everybody working on it. Yeah! I think that’s where we see it going in the next three to five years and again like we said building the partnerships with mobile operators, banks, NGO’s, non-profits, foundations governments, anyone who wants to see our vision, we are going to do a new website mapping, tracing how we are going from the All- Solar as a device and KGS as a company to the SDGs. So we are going to do a new mapping exercise company to UN development goals. Plus I am going to include some frameworks from the World Bank as well as the IMF. So I think that’s also a good start when we talk about implementing the national energy impact. Oh! Sorry! The national energy action plans for each of those countries because they also have goals written in them from the UN World Bank. So, getting aligned to the SDG’s is so important because that’s where some of those ideas came from in the first place. What else can I say? Kevin! Anything else? Three to five years, what are we going to do? Kevin! If you there…..
KM: Yes! I think most that’s all we will do. Maybe also measuring impact to see how the device is helping, how the device is changing lives, what more we can do, that’s all in the raiment about us getting information on usage from the device, how we can improve or what more people want around this device.
MF: And maybe, Kevin we should also have a conversation about privacy really quickly. So, all the customer data information is written into a terms and condition document indicating that the customer is passing over or we as a company and google are collecting information, coz android also is collecting information. So, all that information is used anonymously to make the device better. It is not spying on individual customers just to make that very clear. It is anonymous and aggregated to make sure that we protect the customer’s privacy.
RiA: Okay. I think that’s great. I think that was a very interesting conversation looking at the product that we had, All-Solar TV. So, I just have to thank both of you for the conversation obviously Oluoch for supporting me in recording this. All I have to say is all the best, good luck and we hope to see those 10 million on TV very soon, alright; definitely before 3 to 5 years because there are lots of people that will need that. Thank you very much for your time.
MF: Thank you.
KM: Thank you too.
OW: Thank you.
Listen to the full interview HERE.