On behalf of the student-run non-profit Planete d’Entrepreneurs, a team of three French students from HEC Business School (Jean-Baptiste Lagier, Astrid Vitoux and Marianne Rauche) joined us on June 11th to embark on an ambitious mission: help us better understand our customers and evaluate the social impact that EGG-energy has had to date.
How to accomplish such a feat in just six weeks of time? By making a lot of trips to the field, of course.
The trio interviewed currently active customers, inactive customers and households without EGG-energy systems (yet!), whose responses were used to establish a baseline. The questionnaire was designed to gather quantitative metrics regarding usage, swapping and spending on other energy sources as well as information on qualitative metrics addressing employment, health and education. The group, accompanied by a Swahili translator, usually traveled to the homes of our users to administer the survey and see the system in action, ensuring that they received honest responses from customers. While the team’s preferred mode of transport was dalladalla (minibus) and foot, taxis and motorbikes were utilized on occasion.
Over five weeks, the team talked to over 100 people at our four sites (Msanga, Iringa, Mbagala and Chanika). With this substantial sample, the analysis that they’ll perform will give the company great insight into the behaviors and preferences of our customers: How much kerosene is EGG-energy’s service displacing? What modifications would make the service more convenient? Are our prices appropriate for our users? What other products should we offer? How is the quality of our service perceived? How can we improve our operations? The group will present their findings to EGG-energy management this week, who will then be able to refine EGG’s strategy to better meet the need of the population that we want to serve. After that, our French friends will return to Paris with the satisfaction of having done a fantastic job: “Mission accomplie!”