Image: Deevabits Sales Agents displaying products in a marketplace
I first met David Wanjau when starting my Arcadia placement at Deevabits Green Energy (DGE), a company he started that is now changing tens of thousands and soon hundreds of thousands of lives. I was in awe of the drive and passion David has for his businesses – he started out running a rabbit meat distribution business in rural Kenya and noticed that many of the farmers he sourced from had no access to electricity. To solve this issue, David started distributing solar products that improve the livelihoods of the rural poor on a pay-as-you-go basis.
As Deevabits Green Energy took off, their customers were really eager to purchase the products but it was hard for David to manage the credit he extended to ensure his cashflow allowed for continued growth. Over an 8-month period, I stepped in to manage this challenge and put Deevabits on the right path to raise future capital and grow. I researched DGE’s payment defaults, led an internal recruitment drive to establish a call center for customers, hired Area Sales Managers to drive growth, and developed HR tools to guide the Sales Managers. During my time with them, the company’s finance manager transitioned so I also worked closely with David and an external finance consultant to update their five-year financial model which was presented to debt investors as part of an ongoing due diligence, and develop a cash flow forecast to demonstrate the financial sustainability of the business to donors for various grant applications.
As a result of all these efforts, DGE more than doubled its monthly revenue, increased its collection rate by 6%, and the team grew from 7 to 18 full-time staff. I trained 7 of these staff to manage the systems I had built to move things forward after my placement. I was also really excited to hear that they were not only able to close the debt deal with the investor, but also received grant funding from a donor organization they were targeting.
Eugene Mwangi, OCA Senior Analyst
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