Toyola’s main stakeholder is the end-user. As a large number of new clients purchase their stoves based on word-of-mouth from their friends and family, end-user satisfaction is particularly important. Toyola sells approximately 150-200 stoves a month. About 50 percent of sales are through distributors, who act as representatives the company to end-users. The other 50 percent is sold directly by door-to-door salesmen who are directly employed by Toyola. These salesmen drive from one community to another, selling stoves directly from their vans. Feedback from end-users indicates that relations between customers and both distributors and van salesmen are very good.
This marketing strategy sets Toyola apart from its direct competitors, and the company enjoys a large market share. Nor do indirect competitors, such as LPG, pose a threat. The majority of Ghanaians already use charcoal or wood as their cooking fuel, so Toyola stoves do not require any real behavior change. While the Toyola stoves do involve a larger up-front cost than traditional stoves, it is still considerably lower than the up-front costs associated with LPG.
On the supply side, the clay and metal components suppliers are essential to Toyola’s manufacturing process. Toyola works with 17 clay and 100 metal component suppliers in 15 different locations. For the last five years, Toyola has also worked with two different scrap metal suppliers. While they have a good working relationship, there have been some irregular supply issues, which limit Toyola’s ability to keep up with demand.
Both UNEP and its local partner, KITE, have had a major impact on Toyola’s success. Through UNEP’s AREED programme, the company procured a loan to expand its business, which continues to grow at a rate of 30 percent per year. Toyola is now seeking to attract other investors.
Diagram of Toyola's Commodity Chain