Who is Involved
SEECO’s customers fall under three major categories: institutional markets, business operators, and households. Institutional clients include schools, hospitals, colleges, prisons, etc. The business segment covers restaurants and bars, hotels, and barbeques and campsites, while the household sector deals with individual homes. SEECO sells about 60% of its products to Dar es Salaam markets with the remaining 40% being sold to upcountry regions and neighboring countries. For Dar es Salaam markets, the institutional clients constitute 20%, while business and household count for 20% and 60% respectively.
About 50% of the company sales are done through agents, who sell the products to end-users and stove retailers. The other 50% constitutes direct sales to end-users from selling points and market places. As the majority of households are already using charcoal as their main source of cooking fuel, this creates a huge market for SEECO products, and the cost is considerably lower than the upfront costs associated with other fuel sources like LPG.
On the supply side, SEECO has a good relationship with steel, metal, sheets, wrappers, and clay suppliers, who have all been important stakeholders for the company since its founding. A supportive business environment has also had a major impact on SEECO’s progress. Both the financial and business development services received from the AREED project facilitated business growth and expansion. SEECO is now considering welcoming both international and national investors. The government Ministry of Energy and Environment is also playing a major role in creating an enabling environment for the promotion of sustainable energy technologies, but lobbying for better strategies and policy for energy SMEs in rural areas is still needed.