A leader’s vision can surpass any obstacle encountered – if big and concrete enough to go the mile.He or She is not only motivated by their dream,but a passion to solve the most difficult problem of the masses – Power Supply.
One of such,is the C.E.O of Solynta Energy – Mr Uvie Ugono.
An Excellent Visionaire with the qualifications,passion and zeal to deliver.Hear him narrate his experience as he tackles a national challenge.
”We presently have quite a number of companies operating in the solar power space, so what is your own model and what differentiates it?
The solar space is vast. We focus very specifically on the urban residential and SME market space, and what that means is people living in towns and cities. These are people who typically already have some grid electricity but find it unreliable and rely on generators very heavily; these are our customers. What we do is generator displacement with solar at a significantly lower price point.
There are over 60 million generators in Nigeria, and our target market is about 45 million; 30 million used in households and 15 million for businesses.
How long have you been in this business and what prompted you to start it?
We started quite slowly after I came into Nigeria on April 20, 2013 but I did not make my first sale for 16 months. It was a challenge and it stemmed from the fact that at the time (which seems like ages now), most Nigerians had doubts about reliability of solar energy. There were lots of negative stories on it for instance, the street lights in Lagos that packed up after few weeks of installation. This had set in the mind of people and it took a while to convince them otherwise. We started by trying to sensitise and convince people, and once we did the first installation we did about 15 in quick succession on the basis of people first trying out the system. We became profitable after our first full year of trading and have remained so ever since.
We’ve grown very quickly to become a leading solar company in our space by far. This is because there is massive demand for power since people spend a lot of money on generators.
We operate the lease to own package where 35 percent of the system cost is paid upfront and we finance the remaining 65 percent for customers over two years. This has allowed a lot of people to be able to go solar. The cost of acquiring solar systems is quite high and since the financial institutions do not provide adequate facilitates for financing acquisitions like this, we have had to step into that space.
We realised that for us to be successful in our objective, we had to go beyond providing solar systems but also offering the financing framework for its acquisition.
We’ve been growing steadily, and this year, we just launched our pay as you go plan. It is a five year plan and lowers the entry point even more. During this period, full maintenance is our responsibility, including changing of batteries (if required).