The Mwezi network provides jobs, skills and after-sales service for the poorest people, those at the base of the socio-economic pyramid, with our established network of local branches.
Our strategy is that these workshops assemble products and provide services that meet community needs and the Mwezi network’s aims. The branches are fitted out to provide a consistent, branded and scalable network.
For each local branch we employ a Community Field Officer and at least one Assembly Engineer. The Community Field Officer is responsible for managing the workshop and demonstrating and selling products. The local workshop is supported by Field Sales Agents who take our product range to more remote communities surrounding the workshop. We have a small fleet of motorbikes and cars to allow us to reach the most remote, off grid communities.
The local branch fulfill a number of important functions, namely – a shop to demonstrate our products and then sell them, a support and education point for the community to understand the benefits of the products, a convenient way for our customers to access warranty repairs for the products and replacement parts for the products, for example new batteries. Equally importantly, the local branch give confidence to the community that Mwezi has a permanent local presence.
Our intention is to increase the number of branches we have across Kenya and then East Africa, and then add complementary products to the range. Potential products including irrigation systems, water storage tanks and agricultural inputs – all of these products require after-sales support. We believe that this approach is both scalable and sustainable.
In addition, we offer a local language telephone customer support service from our office in Nairobi. This helpline provides both technical support for products and payment advice.
The operation is completely cashless. We are registered as a merchant with M-PESA which means that direct payments from mobile payment accounts by customers and Field Sales Agents is very straightforward, and cash deposits at M-PESA agents are cheap and easy. M-PESA avoids the risks associated with our people carrying cash around for any period of time. M-PESA also allows us to cheaply and quickly pay our FSAs their commission.
We are an evidence-based organization and we gather both qualitative and quantitative data on our impact. We have designed forms to collect data using mobile phones in the field at the point of sale. The results from our evidence gathering will be shared in our Mwezi Impact Reports.