By: Andy Fugh and Devin Yeatter
Envirofit has a variety of partners including government agencies such as the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) of America and UKAid in addition to international organizations like the UN and World Economic Forum. These organizations provide economic support, PR, and even advise Envirofit on a variety of issues including assisting in finding grants. Meanwhile Shell’s foundation also provides funding and PR to Envirofit. Organizations such as the Clean Cooking Alliance and the Himalayan Stove Project have been assisting in distribution and PR channels as well.
Envirofit markets to base of the pyramid customers such as those in India making between $2 and $7 as well as other low income households in developing countries. They pay to manufacture the stoves, distribute them, advertise the company. They also pay for research, facilities, and staff in the various countries they are active in.
There are several different methods by which Envirofit generates revenue. They accept donations and also offer a “carbon credit” program where both individuals and companies are able to donate via this program that allows lower income families to subsidize their purchase of Envirofit’s products. The sale of these stoves generates revenue. Envirofit also offers a service known as SmartGas where users pay by the amount of gas they use and have the tanks and gas delivered to their homes.
Envirofit mostly sells to retailers within countries, and allows anyone to apply to become a distributor. In addition, its governmental and community based partners serve as distributors and increase awareness in the various countries it operates in. It has its own services and employees in various regions to help operate SmartGas in addition to other aspects of their business.
Envirofit’s resources are vast. It has an extremely large network of partners including many government agencies and corporate partnerships. It also includes its human capital in the form of its employees. They also own several patents for their products. In addition, their scientists and engineers are constantly researching and developing their product as well which has great value.
Research and Development: Envirofit International has a division of researchers and engineers that work together as a research and development department to continually improve upon the products that the organization distributes. This team develops different types of cooking stoves that suit different customer segments.
Impact Monitoring: Envirofit International follows up with its customers to ensure that each stove that they sell is creating a positive impact and that they are satisfied with the product they have received. This division feeds into the research and development segment of the organization, as the feedback that the company receives from customers can be used to refine the products that they sell and can be used to research and develop new avenues of products.
Design for Adoption: Before the stoves are produced on a large scale to be distributed to customers, Envirofit International tests each new stove design where they “focus, group test, and survey over 2,000 people”. This activity is used to ensure that the products that they produce are ideal for the customers that they are trying to serve.
Production for Scale: Since Envirofit International makes products that are sold globally, in Africa, Latin America, and Asia, it is extremely important that the production process is closely inspected. Each stage of production includes steps that are taken to check the quality of the materials used.
Customer Care: The Customer Care portion of Envirofit International serves as a means of providing the customer base with a source of educating themselves on how to use clean cookstoves, as well as serving as a branch that can be a contact point for customer concerns and questions.
Extensive Distribution: Envirofit International aims to be able to reach the most amount of customers via partnering with many different businesses that are both large scale and local to ensure that they can distribute their products in both rural and urban environments. They partner with last mile entrepreneurs. According to Business Insider, the Last Mile Problem results from the inefficiencies that make delivery to the doorstep very difficult. Partnering with enterprises that specialize in this area mean that they can take steps to ensure a more effective distribution system.
The value that Envirofit International proposes to its customers is that with purchasing an Envirofit Cookstove, they will reduce the amount of fuel required to prepare a week’s worth of meals, and at the same time health risks such as asthma caused from too much smoke intake will also be reduced. Essentially, the value to the customer is that over time, they will reduce the amount of money and other resources spent on fuel and on medical costs that come with dealing with the adverse effects of cooking over an open flame. According to Food Safety News, there are a very large amount of health risks associated with open flame and hearth cooking in homes, especially in homes with young children. The smoke and other particles produced from burning the fuel can cause an array of diseases such as asthma and even life threatening conditions such as pneumonia.
Envirofit does a lot to maintain its relationship with its customers. Some of these strategies include creating a center that is aimed at educating the customer base on the problem of efficient cookstoves and on how to properly operate their products if the customer base has any issues. The firm also strengthens its relationship with its customers by creating and developing products that are affordable and improve the quality of life of the customer base, promising to be more energy efficient and reduce the health risks associated with cooking over open flames.
East Africa: Envirofit claims to be the leading cooking stove distributor in the East African region. This region includes nations such as Rwanda, Zambia, Uganda, Tanzania, and Mozambique. The organization aims to market their products towards both family professional uses in order to increase the efficiency with which the region uses energy to prepare meals.
West Africa: Envirofit serves nations in the Western region of Africa, including nations such as Nigeria, Liberia, Ghana, and Gambia. The organization aims to distribute their products to customers who wish to increase the efficiency with which they prepare meals as well as light their homes.
Latin America: In the western hemisphere, Envirofit distributes their products to Honduras, Mexico, and several countries in South America.
- Dolan, Shelagh. “The Challenges of Last Mile Logistics & Delivery Technology Solutions.” Business Insider, Business Insider, 10 May 2018, www.businessinsider.com/last-mile-delivery-shipping-explained.
- “CSR Programs | Off Grid Appliances | Clean Cooking Stoves.” Envirofit, envirofit.org/our-story/#our-story.
- “Harmful Hearths: Open-Fire Cooking Threatens Lives.” Food Safety News, 31 Jan. 2011, www.foodsafetynews.com/2011/01/harmful-hearths-open-fire-cooking-threatens-lives/.
- Narapareddy, Vijaya. “Envirofit International: Cracking the BoP Market Blue Ocean Strategy Case Solution.” Blue Ocean University, Blue Ocean University, 5 Dec. 2018, blueoceanuniversity.com/frontpage/blueoceancase/7785-envirofit-bop.
- Bauer, T. (2011). Enabling Market-Driven Technology (Innovations Case Narrative: Envirofit International). innovations, 6(3), 93-102.