Brighterlite: Brighterlite Pakistan
Brighterlite Pakistan provides electricity to households and small businesses, by leasing out solar home systems to underserved people of rural off-grid Pakistan which currently do not have access to regular electricity. Brighterlite Pakistan is currently providing electricity to 20.000+ people in Pakistan.
Brighterlite offers its solar services to rural customers against a fee-for-service (while experimenting with long term lease- to-own). This model is preferred to regular cash sales because typical customers tend to strongly favour low purchasing price and end up with short lived and poor performing equipment. The fee-for-service model removes both the financing barrier and quality risk for customers and allows for the lowest monthly pricing possible. All customer payments are received electronically, and Brighterlite provides both a life-time-warranty and allows customers to upgrade to larger systems.
Brighterlite Pakistan partnered with Telenor Pakistan in late 2014 and we signed up the first Telenor franchisees and retailers in March 2015, making use of our payment solution specifically designed for mobile payments using EasyPaisa, owned by Telenor.
Our main areas of focus is larger, continuous off-grid areas in Sindh province where we see healthy sales growth and payment rates, and we have proven our business model on a regional basis in the district of Thatta and current focus is on volume and scale in the Sindh province by partnering with existing last-mile distribution channels applying our unique Franchisee/Retailer operating model..
For further growth we are particularly targeting microfinance institutions (MFIs), whose distribution network already covers attractive off-grid sales areas. One of our newest partnership/distribution agreements is with Thardeep Rural Development Program (TRDP which is located in Tharparkar, in southern Sindh, and is among Pakistan's most well-established NGO/MFIs.
What problem are you trying to solve? Who has this problem?
The main challenge that Brighterlite is addressing is to secure energy access to rural off-grid Pakistan. It is estimated that as many as 50 million people is living without access to electricity in Pakistan today (IFC).
Brighterlite Pakistan serves low/medium-income households as well as small businesses (SMEs) in rural, off-grid areas of Pakistan with SHS systems on a Fee for Service and Lease to Own basis. A typical household has 6 members, and uses kerosene, candles, batteries, torches, open fire, low quality solar products and/or diesel generator for lighting and electricity prior to becoming a Brighterlite customer. The typical small business currently served by Brighterlite are small grocery shops/kiosks, butchers, tailors and local tea/small restaurant shops just to mention a few.
Brighterlite customers pay a sign-up fee plus a regular (monthly or weekly) subscription fee, all paid via mobile phone. For the most basic subscription, customers pay about US$ 15 (signup) and US$ 5 (monthly). In the event of missing payments, the customer's system will be shut down by the built-in timer, and the customer will only receive a new code (via SMS) to re-open the system after he has settled his account via mobile payment.
Partly in contrast to official statistics, Brighterlite’s experience from over 2 years of operation and the installation of ~5000 solar home systems in Punjab and Sindh in Pakistan is that mobile coverage is lacking or unstable in substantial parts of Pakistan’s off-grid areas. Brighterlite’s sales of solar electricity to off-grid households and small businesses system uniquely allows for this situation, as Brighterlite SHS systems is activated by codes sent to customers by SMS after pre-payment. Hence, the location of the SHH system itself is GSM- independent. It is sufficient that there is GSM coverage nearby.
Some of our customers make their own mobile payment from their phone. However, the majority of mobile payment users in Pakistan are used to bringing cash to a mobile money retailer. Our retailers’ and franchisees’ employees therefore acquire their own mobile wallet or become easypaisa retailers (signing up with Telenor after recommendation from us). They collect cash payments from customers in their vicinity or up to 2 hours outside mobile coverage; transfer the collected amounts to Brighterlite’s account, and deliver codes back to the customers.
Brighterlite SHS packages today include access to lighting, mobile phone charging, fan, radio and TV. Several world class institutions and companies have contributed to the development of our current product portfolio, which has a clear focus on durable, low cost, and energy efficient solutions in order to minimize the total life cycle cost for our customers and offer the lowest prices possible.
Brighterlite customers pay a sign-up fee plus a regular (monthly or weekly) subscription fee, all paid via mobile phone. For the most basic subscription, customers pay about US$ 15 (signup) and US$ 5 (monthly). For the largest subscriptions, prices are roughly the double. In the event of missing payments, the customer's system will be shut down by the built-in timer, and the customer will only receive a new code (via SMS) to re-open the system after he has settled his account via mobile payment. Our customer contracts are running until they are terminated by either party. When a contract is terminated, we dismount the system, refurbish it and install it again.
First mover advantage.
Brighterlite will build on its first-...
For geographic extension of mobile fi...
Technological Solution - non GSM dependency.
Brighterlite has developed its own in...
Provides modern energy access to 50,000 households.
Reduces greenhouse gas emissions by 0 Tonnes of Carbon Dioxide per year.
Creates 500 new jobs during the lifetime on the project.
Improves the health conditions of 300,000 people.
Out of the total number of beneficiaries of the project, 150,000 are women.
Brighterlite operates with a retailer model that gives economic benefits of the SHS system immediately and directly back to the local employees and communities in which we operate.
Altaf Khadim, Head of Business Development
· Altaf is former Regional Head in Warid Telecom and served in Mobilink Telecom. Sales & Distribution professional with over 14 year experience in the Telecom and Broadband industry. Consultant to Franchise Development Services Pakistan, Founder Member of Mobilink WiMAX launch & expert at capturing new businesses, retail sales channel loyalty and strong relationship with business partners.
Athar Hussain, Head of Admin and Logistics Pakistan
· Logistics and Supply Chain professional. Former Order house leader ASEAN in Pakistan at Nortel and Manager Procurement at Pak telecom Mobile Ltd. With broad International assignments experience he is heading our end to end supply chain and Procurement.
Haakon Valstad, Country Director Brighterlite Pakistan
· Haakon Valstad is the Country Manager for Pakistan and responsible for all daily operations. He has extensive international experience from various managerial and business development positions related to the energy sector.
Joakim Østensen, Technology Director
· Mr. Joakim Østensen is former VP Technology at IDEX with total 20 years of experience in embedded programming and hardware development. This includes 10 years as Project Manager for similar developments at Datarespons. Mr. Østensen has developed the payment solution and customer interface in the Brighterlite systems.
Anders Skogen, IT Director
· Mr. Anders Skogen is a senior business developer, business modeler and IT expert from Point Carbon / Thomson Reuters who took part in the founding of Brighterlite and is now in charge of IT at Brighterlite. He has developed the cloud based CRM system and payment integration with Telenor Easypaisa in Pakistan.
Erik Sauar, CEO and Chairman of Board of Brighterlite
· Dr. Erik Sauar is former co-founder and CTO for 12 years in Renewable Energy Corporation (REC), and an experienced international executive, tech expert and company founder in the field of solar energy. With more than fifteen years as one of the global leaders in the solar sector, Dr. Sauar has excellent technology and sourcing network. Dr. Sauar in 1999 planned and established Solar Vision as a solar utility in South Africa based on a contract with the Ministry of Mines and Energy (after ANC won the elections). The company installed and operated more than 10,000 systems in less than 2 years based on investment support from the government for the Solar Home Systems, which at that time were 3-4 times more expensive than now.
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